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U.S. experts eye Cuba oil plans after BP spill

A group of US experts led by a former top environment official has visited Cuba to gather information on the communist country’s Gulf of Mexico oil exploration plans, according to state media. William Reilly, who led the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under former president George H.W. Bush and led…

One NYC parade gunman is still alive: police

Gun violence erupted during yesterday’s West Indian Day parade in New York City, leaving two people dead and two police officers wounded, according to area media. What began as a conflict between two armed men quickly escalated into a shootout with police around 9 p.m., and police initially said both…

Obama to propose $300 billion jobs package: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, facing waning confidence among Americans in his economic stewardship, plans to lay out a $300 billion job-creation package on Thursday, CNN reported, citing Democratic sources. The proposed new spending, to be announced by Obama in a nationally televised speech to Congress, would be offset…

Progressive tax system associated with greater happiness: study

The more progressive a tax system — where higher tax brackets have higher tax rates — the more likely people are to report feeling they live the “best possible life,” according to a new study comparing 54 nations. “The more progressive the tax policy is, the happier the citizens are,”…

U.S. Postal Service urges legal changes to avert default

WASHINGTON — The US Postal Service faces default by the end of September without legislative relief, and it plans to slash one in four jobs to reduce costs, the head of the public company said Tuesday. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told Senate lawmakers that without legislative changes, the Postal Service…

Trumka: Chances are AFL-CIO will endorse Obama for 2012

Richard Trumka, president of the largest federation of unions in the U.S., said Tuesday on MSNBC that the AFL-CIO would probably endorse President Barack Obama in 2012. “President Obama has been a friend for us,” Trumka said. He previously threatened to withdraw the AFL-CIO’s attendance at the upcoming Democratic convention…

Wisconsin cut $635 per student under Gov. Scott Walker’s budget

Wisconsin was first among 24 states in reducing state education aid since last year, according to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based think tank. State spending per student dropped $635 from the last fiscal year, thanks to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s budget, which took…

Cheney refuses to admit making any mistakes

During an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday, former Vice President Dick Cheney defended the all decisions made during the Bush administration, refusing to say he made any mistakes at all. “I pointed out to the former vice president that everyone makes mistakes, and there’s nothing wrong with admitting…

Sen. Kirk: Pakistan ‘main threat’ to Afghanistan

CHICAGO — Pakistan is the “main threat” to Afghanistan and its intelligence service is “the biggest danger” to the government in Kabul, a US senator recently returned from the region warned Tuesday. Republican Senator Mark Kirk, just returned from a two-week stint serving as a US Naval Reserve Intelligence Commander,…

Obama poll ratings dive as job speech looms

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s poll numbers crashed to new lows ahead of his crucial speech Thursday aimed at tackling zero US job growth and reviving his own political fortunes. Opinion polls revealed a mood of deep pessimism in the American electorate, amid high unemployment and economic anxiety, and suggested…

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