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Women’s advocacy group calls race-based abortion bill ‘a disgrace’

The National Partnership for Women & Families on Thursday condemned the House Judiciary Committee after it passed a bill to ban sex-based or race-based abortions. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) introduced the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination (PRENDA) Act to the U.S. House in December. The legislation could…

New Jersey passes marriage equality bill

The New Jersey Assembly on Thursday passed legislation to that would allow same sex couples to marry despite a veto threat from Republican Gov. Chris Christie. “The ‘freedom to marry’ belongs to all Americans regardless of race, creed or sexual orientation,” Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D) said. “In a society based…

Dow surges to highest level since 2008 on solid U.S. data

NEW YORK — US stocks surged higher Thursday helped by buoyant data on new jobless claims and housing starts, with the Dow reaching its highest level since May 2008. Positive signs for the US economy poured in, with the weekly report of new claims for unemployment benefits falling to their…

U.S. hits Iran ministry for ties to Syria crackdown

WASHINGTON — The United States hit Iran’s intelligence ministry with sanctions Thursday, claiming it had supported Syria’s crackdown on dissidents, fueled repression at home and aided Al-Qaeda. The US Treasury Department said Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security supported the Syrian regime as it “continues to commit human rights abuses”…

Key U.S. Republican seeks ‘punitive action’ on Egypt

WASHINGTON — A top Republican lawmaker called for “punitive action” Thursday against Egyptian officials for the crackdown on US democracy advocates. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, singled out Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Fayza Abul Naga. “The Egyptian government’s actions cannot be taken lightly and…

CNN cancels debate with only Gingrich attending

Apparently the prospects of Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich berating debate moderator John King for two hours didn’t appeal to CNN. The network has canceled a debate in Georgia scheduled for March 1 after the three other GOP candidates decided not to attend. CNN reported that both Texas Congressman Ron…

Romney: Entrepreneurs should just ask parents for money

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney suggested to a group of business people in Michigan on Thursday that entrepreneurs should ask their parents for money instead of using loans from the federal government. In a speech to the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce, the former Massachusetts governor blasted the Obama…

Interracial marriages at record high: study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Marriage between races and ethnic groups has reached an all-time high in the United States as public acceptance has grown, according to a Pew Research Center study on Thursday. Couples of different race or ethnicity made up a record 8.4 percent of all married couples in 2010,…

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…

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