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Obama still determined to close Guantanamo prison

WASHINGTON — The White House insisted Monday that President Barack Obama was determined to close Guantanamo Bay, despite failing to do so by the war on terror camp’s 10th anniversary this week. Obama declared within a few hours of taking office in January 2009 that he would shutter the camp…

U.S. stocks rise ahead of earnings kickoff

NEW YORK — US stocks managed modest gains Monday as Wall Street awaited the unofficial kickoff of the fourth-quarter earnings season, which came shortly after the closing bell. After slipping into negative territory in early trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session up 32.77 points (0.26 percent) to…

GM takes aim at youth market with zippy little cars

DETROIT, Michigan — General Motors took aim at the youth market Monday, showing off sporty new designs for their smallest, entry-level cars at the Detroit auto show. “At Chevrolet we believe we can capture the hearts and minds of these new consumers and become one of the brands, across all…

Poll finds record-high number of independents in 2011

Forty percent of Americans now identify themselves as independents, the largest percentage in at least 60 years, according to Gallup. Previously, the highest percentage of independents occurred in 1995 and 2007, when 39 percent of Americans identified themselves as not being aligned with any major political party. “Increased independent identification…

U.S. health experts seek more study on ‘fracking’

WASHINGTON — A group of US medical professionals called Monday for a halt to a type of drilling for natural gas called “fracking” in populated areas until more is known about its health impacts. “When it comes to hydrofracking, our guiding principle for public policy should be the same as…

Sen. Franken pushes for Student Non-Discrimination Act

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has released an online video that urges people to tell their representatives to support legislation to protect public school students from a “wave” of bullying targeting lesbian, gay, bixsexual or transgender teens. “Nine out of ten LGBT kids are harassed or bullied in school,” he said.…

Psychic monkey devours Gingrich’s banana

Grandpa the psychic spider monkey is bananas for Newt Gingrich. The New York Daily News‘ Barry Paddock traveled to the Staten Island Zoo to get Grandpa’s prediction for Tuesday’s New Hampshire Republican primary. Grandpa was asked to choose from a series of bananas, each with the name of a GOP…

Police investigating Gingrich staffer for shoving protester

Police in Manchester, New Hampshire are investigating allegations that a staffer for Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich assaulted an Occupy Wall Street protester Sunday, according to a report. Lieutenant Maureen Tessier told BuzzFeed that authorities were looking into the claim that Rebecca Burton (pictured, center) was violently shoved and grabbed…

U.S. extends Grand Canyon mining ban for 20 years

The US administration announced Monday a 20-year ban on new mining projects around the Grand Canyon, in a move aimed at protecting the prized tourist area from the impact of uranium extraction. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the move would “protect the iconic Grand Canyon and its vital watershed from the potential adverse…

Todd Palin to endorse Newt Gingrich

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s campaign will be getting a boost from Alaska’s former “first dude.” ABC News reported on Monday that Todd Palin, husband of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, will endorse the former House Speaker. Todd Palin told ABC News that he respects Gingrich due to the criticism…

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