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GOP congressman takes up Buffett tax dare

WASHINGTON — Warren Buffett will have to contribute $49,000 from his multi-billion dollar fortune after a Republican congressman took up his dollar-for-dollar challenge for donations to help cut the US deficit. Virginia Congressman Scott Rigell was the first to take up the challenge of one of the world’s richest men,…

Top U.S. court upholds copyright law protecting foreign works

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a law extending copyright protection to foreign works — everything from Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” to Picasso’s “Guernica” — even after they have entered the public domain. The court ruled 6-2 that a 1994 law that brought the United States in line with global intellectual…

Seven charged in U.S. insider trading probe

US authorities announced Wednesday the break-up of an alleged $78 million hedge fund insider trading scheme and said they’d charged seven people across the country. Speaking in Manhattan, the chief federal New York prosecutor, US Attorney Preet Bharara, called the ring “a club where everyone scratched everyone else’s back.” Four people were arrested and charged and…

Obama rejects contested Keystone XL pipeline

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Wednesday rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, saying he could not vouch for its safety by a deadline despite intense election-year pressure. The rival Republican Party had forced Obama to make a decision on whether to approve the 1,700-mile (2,700-kilometer) route…

Republican-led House ‘disapproves’ debt hike

WASHINGTON — The Republican-led House of Representatives Wednesday passed a largely symbolic measure condemning a hike in the US debt ceiling as political battles over government finances resumed. By a vote of 239 to 176, the lawmakers passed the resolution expressing disapproval of the increase in the US borrowing authority,…

Romney hits back at Gingrich ahead of key vote

ROCK HILL, South Carolina — Republican White House hopefuls brawled Wednesday ahead of this state’s key nominating primary, with frontrunner Mitt Romney pounding his chief conservative threat, Newt Gingrich. At a campaign rally in Spartanburg, Romney mocked Gingrich’s claims to have helped create jobs during his time in Congress, saying…

Supreme Court considers rights of U.S. permanent residents

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in three cases on the rights of foreign-born permanent residents of the United States, two of whom face deportation and a third who was denied re-entry after traveling abroad. The US government has been deporting record numbers of non-citizens —…

Lawmakers turn against anti-piracy bills amid huge Internet blackout

Dozens of Republican and Democrat Members of Congress voiced there opposition to two anti-piracy bills on Wednesday during the largest online protest in history. Even some lawmakers who had co-sponsored the legislation announced they would now vote against it. Thousands of sites joined in a blackout protest on Wednesday against…

Goldman Sachs profits plunge 47%

Banking titan Goldman Sachs on Wednesday reported a steep drop in profits for 2011, a fall of 47 percent from the prior year as the firm battled global economic headwinds. The New York-based bank, once famously described as a “great vampire squid” for its ability to make money, made $4.4…

Democrat seeks GOP names on Countrywide VIP loan list

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Democratic member of a congressional oversight panel turned up the heat on its Republican chairman on Tuesday to identify the four GOP lawmakers who got special treatment in the controversial “Friends of Angelo” mortgage program run by the now-defunct Countrywide Financial Corp. Representative Elijah Cummings…

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