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Congress passes payroll tax deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congress approved a two-month payroll tax cut extension on Friday, capping an exhausting year of partisan warfare over taxes and spending that will resume in January, with the economy barely scratching out a recovery and elections on the horizon. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives, by voice votes in chambers nearly emptied for the…

Police pepper spray, shut down malls over Air Jordan shoes

Black Friday is long since over, but mayhem continued at U.S. shopping malls early Friday morning over Nike Air Jordan 11 “Concords.” Just two days before Christmas, police in Austin were forced to shut down two malls after they said crowds became unruly. “People started pushing like crazy, and they…

Man buys beer, robs bank, returns to bar

When robbing a bank, it would probably be wise not to return to the place you were right before the robbery. According to WTSP-TV in Florida, 52-year-old John Robin Whittle left a bar to get some money after buying a beer and returned later. But in-between that was his decision…

Romney on Irish Setter strapped to car roof: ‘Love my dog’

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered no defense Wednesday when asked about a dog he had made ride on the roof of his station wagon during a family vacation. According to a 2007 Boston Globe profile of the candidate, Romney’s oldest son, Tagg, yelled, “Gross!” as he noticed a brown…

California ERs serving African-Americans likelier to close: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Hospitals in California that served a greater proportion of black patients were more likely to shutter their emergency departments in the past decade than hospitals with fewer black patients, according to a new study. Also at a higher risk of closure were EDs serving a…

Less wooden Romney hits New Hampshire campaign trail

BERLIN, New Hampshire (Reuters) – A more confident and energized Mitt Romney is putting his people skills to the test in New Hampshire as he tries to fix a likeability issue that hurt his failed bid for the White House in 2008. The Republican presidential hopeful is shaking hands, signing…

Nine-year-old lost during plane trip to be driven home

NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) – The parents of a nine-year-old girl who flew unaccompanied to New York and was allowed to deplane in Baltimore, said they will drive to get her after the holidays rather than risk another flight. Chloe Boyce will not be flying again in the foreseeable after her…

Body of alleged killer of ex-Afghan central banker found in San Diego

(Reuters) – Remains of a San Diego man suspected of killing a former head of the Afghanistan central bank who fled to the United States as a political fugitive have been found, police said on Thursday. Bones identified as belonging to Ismael Raul Lopez, 28, were discovered by recreational divers…

Tax deal hands Obama win against Repbulicans

Republican leaders bowed to intense political pressure to extend a payroll tax holiday for 160 million Americans, ending a tense stalemate and handing a win to President Barack Obama. The deal, which must be confirmed by votes in both chambers of Congress, allowed Obama to end the year on a…

U.S. border chief resigns

NEW YORK — The head of the US Customs and Border Protection service announced Thursday he is to resign at the end of this year. Alan Bersin, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in March last year, said he would step down on December 30. His departure comes after…

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