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‘Occupy’ group takes ‘golden calf’ to Congress

WASHINGTON — About 20 “Occupy DC” protesters took their anti-corporate demonstration to the corridors of the US Congress, toting a “golden calf” made from papier-mache to symbolize lawmakers’ subservience to moneyed interests. The protest, said the group’s leader Jeremy John, aimed to call attention to the “the worship of money,”…

U.S. mayors decry rise in poverty, homelessness

WASHINGTON — US mayors sounded an alarm Thursday over deepening economic woes after a survey of 29 cities from Los Angeles to Washington showed worrying rises in homelessness and poverty-related food aid. “Here is the richest country in the world (and) we have people who cannot find a place to…

Senate passes National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON — The US Senate passed a $662 billion defense bill Thursday that also freezes some Pakistan aid, imposes sanctions on Iran’s central bank, and approves the indefinite imprisonment of suspected terrorists. The Democrat-led Senate voted 86-13 for the Defense Authorization bill, which was passed Wednesday by the House. President…

Police departments could soon have easier access to airborne drones: report

In June, the first American citizens in history were arrested with the help of an unmanned Predator drone aircraft. And the incident could be a glimpse into the future of U.S. law enforcement. The Federal Aviation Administration next month could make it easier for police departments to obtain and use…

Mueller confirms FBI will update rape definition

FBI Director Robert Mueller confirmed Wednesday that the agency would expand its definition of “rape,” which has not been updated since 1929. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program currently defines rape as “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” Rape without force is not included.…

Co-author of Ohio death penalty says law ‘should be repealed’

An Ohio Supreme Court justice is calling on lawmakers to repeal the state’s death penalty law — even though he helped write it. Testifying before an Ohio House of Representatives committee hearing, Justice Paul Pfeifer insisted that the state was “no longer well-served by our death penalty statute and it…

Gov’t. to shut down Saturday if spending bill fails

By Zeke Miller It’s a scene that’s repeated itself at least three times this year — the government is hours from a shutdown, and congressional lawmakers remain far apart on an agreement. But this time, it just might happen. Much of the federal government will shut down early Saturday morning if…

Americans say Wall St. has too much power, but CEO pay keeps climbing

Executive pay in 2010 was up as much as 40 percent in some cases, even as Americans’ approval of mega-corporations on Wall Street plunged to its lowest levels yet, data released this week reveals. In a study first examined by The Guardian, U.S. executive pay skyrocketed in 2010, up 40…

Gingrich: ‘Post-conception birth control’ should be illegal

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich acknowledged on Thursday that his support for a “fetal personhood” constitutional amendment would make some forms of birth control illegal. Earlier in the week, the candidate had signed a pledge (PDF) from the group Personhood USA that declared he would “support a human life amendment…

Gingrich: My attackers are ‘discordant with the spirit of Christmas’

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is putting his critics on the naughty list. In an interview on Iowa Public Television Thursday, the former House Speaker told Des Moines Register political columnist Kathie Obradovich that former Massachusetts Sen. Mitt Romney and other attackers were “discordant with the spirit of Christmas.” “Are…

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