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Co-author of Ohio death penalty says law ‘should be repealed’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

Feds: Sheriff Arpaio’s immigrant crackdowns often illegal

Update (below): Department of Homeland Security cuts Arpaio off from key immigration database Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona have long engaged in the “unconstitutional policing” of Latino communities, the Department of Justice alleged Thursday in a scathing report released after two years of detailed…

Wyden, Ryan team up to overhaul Medicare

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) are joining forces to reform Medicare in a way that both say will save the social safety net. The plan (PDF), set to be officially unveiled at the Bipartisan Policy Center Thursday, would give seniors the option of choosing between new…

Study: U.S. teens opting for pot over booze, cigarettes

Use of two of the most deadly and addictive substances known to man is on the downswing among American teens as they increasingly turn to marijuana, a study published Thursday claimed. Among high school seniors, marijuana use is at a 30-year high, with 1 in 15 saying they use the…

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