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Rhode Island school to consider appeal of prayer removal

CRANSTON, Rhode Island (Reuters) – A school committee geared up on Thursday for boisterous crowds expected at its meeting on a federal court order to remove a prayer banner that has hung for decades inside a local public school. The public hearing on whether to appeal the court ruling is…

Trouble for Presbyterian minister who performed same-sex ceremony

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The highest court of the U.S. Presbyterian Church will convene in Texas on Friday to consider whether a lesbian minister violated ecclesiastical law when she blessed the weddings of same-sex couples in California. The case surrounding the Rev. Jane Spahr, a 69-year-old grandmother, highlights deep divisions…

Tea party rep.: Dems engage in ‘the most insidious form of slavery’

Rep. Allen West (R-FL), a tea party favorite, said Wednesday in a speech to the U.S. House of Representatives that his colleagues in the Democratic Party engage in “the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today.” “Our party firmly believes in the safety net,” West said. “We…

Dems walk out of House GOP’s contraception hearing

Female Democrats on Thursday walked out of a House GOP committee hearing on contraceptive coverage after the only female witness requested to speak during the first of two hearings was rejected by the committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). Reports from inside the hearing noted that some of the female…

Anti-abortion ‘personhood’ bill clears Oklahoma senate

KLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – Oklahoma lawmakers edged closer toward trying to outlaw abortion on Wednesday by approving “personhood” legislation that gives individual rights to an embryo from the moment of conception. The Republican-controlled state Senate voted 34-8 to pass the “Personhood Act” which defines the word person under state law…

Maher: Santorum believes ‘life begins at erection’

HBO comedian Bill Maher on Wednesday explained that Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was gaining in popularity because GOP voters “hadn’t gotten the memo” that the country was moving past social issues. “What do you make of Rick Santorum’s surge?” NBC host Jay Leno asked Maher. “Oh, don’t even say…

Jobless claims at lowest since Obama took office

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits has fallen to its lowest since March of 2008, the Associated Press reported Thursday morning. The national economy added 243,000 jobs in January, lowering the employment rate to 8.3 percent, according to the Department of Labor. A government report noted that weekly unemployment…

How Ron Paul is secretly taking over the GOP

By Grace Wyler By now, it is clear that the Maine caucuses were a complete mess. Evidence is mounting that Mitt Romney’s 194-vote victory over Ron Paul was prematurely announced, if not totally wrong. Washington County canceled their caucus on Saturday on account of three inches of snow (hardly a blizzard by Maine standards),…

Foreclosure crisis hits Beverly Hills mansions

BEVERLY HILLS (Reuters) – The careworn house not far from Santa Monica Boulevard resembles millions of other homes that have been foreclosed on since the calamitous U.S. housing crash four years ago. Garbage spews from trash bags behind the property. A smashed television leans against broken furniture. A filthy toy…

Bankrupt Kodak drops name from Oscars theater

The theater that has hosted the US Academy Awards for the last decade will no longer bear the Kodak name as a result of the iconic company’s bankruptcy. A bankruptcy court on Wednesday approved Kodak’s request to cancel its contract with the theater, ruling that it was “in the best…

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