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Facebook plans to become music platform

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook is poised to pipe tunes into the world’s largest online social network in an alliance with streaming music services Rdio, MOG, and Spotify, technology blog Mashable said on Wednesday. People will be able to listen to music at Facebook.com, which will serve as a media platform…

Obama to unveil jobs plan on September 7

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama Wednesday requested the spotlight of a joint session of Congress on September 7 to unveil his new jobs plan at the exact time of a Republican 2012 candidates debate. Obama’s decision to debut his initiative — possibly his last chance to revive the staggering…

Judge allows ‘vindictive prosecution’ defense in Dan Choi trial

After three days of testimony Wednesday, a magistrate judge stopped the U.S. government’s trial of former Lt. Dan Choi to allow defense lawyers to argue that the gay activist had been targeted for “vindictive prosecution.” U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola told prosecutors that defense lawyers had presented enough evidence for…

Rep. West considers leaving Black Caucus after anti-tea party remarks

Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is considering leaving the Congressional Black Caucus after a Democratic member said that the tea party — whose caucus West also belongs to — wants to see African-Americans “hanging on a tree.” West is the first Republican member of the Black Caucus in more than a…

Suspicious package at U.S. military base sends 3 to hospital

Three service members who handled a suspicious package that was sent to an Illinois air force base were taken to hospital Wednesday after developing rashes, officials said. They were all released after a brief medical exam, a spokesman for the Scott Air Force Base said. “They were just experiencing some…

Irene damages to U.S. more than $10 bn: firm

NEW YORK — Hurricane Irene caused more than $10 billion in total damages to the United States as it swept across the country’s east coast, a leading risk-assessment firm said on Wednesday. “Irene caused significant damage to property,” the firm, Eqecat, said in a report. “Eqecat estimates that Irene caused…

Connecticut governor calls Ron Paul an ‘idiot’

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D) shocked CNN’s Christine Romans Wednesday with his response to Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s suggestion that FEMA wasn’t necessary for responding to natural disasters. “I think he’s an idiot,” Malloy stated. “That’s blunt,” Romans replied, laughing. “That’s quite blunt.” Malloy continued: “We’re spending $900…

Khmer Rouge court takes action against U.S. news service

Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes court said Wednesday it had started contempt of court proceedings against Voice of America Khmer for revealing confidential information about a new Khmer Rouge case. The move comes after the US-funded news service posted an article and video on its website describing prosecution allegations of mass…

U.S. man survives pruning shears in eye socket

LOS ANGELES — An 86-year-old American has made a stunning recovery after a gardening accident left him with a pair of pruning shears impaled through an eye socket deep into his skull. Leroy Luetscher lost his balance and fell face-down on the shears, which had landed point-end down in the…

Analysts: Antitrust suit a huge blow for AT&T

The decision by US authorities to challenge AT&T’s $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile is a bitter blow for the US telecoms giant, but it could benefit consumers, analysts said. As it filed a lawsuit to block the takeover on Wednesday, the US Department of Justice said the takeover bid —…

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