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Bachmann claims she would close non-existent U.S. embassy in Iran

Speaking to an audience in Iowa on Wednesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) claimed that if she were president, the U.S. would not have an embassy in Iran. She was responding to news of the British embassy in Iran being overrun by hardline students, who trashed the place and set it…

November retail sales reports show mixed results

(Reuters) – Major U.S. retailers showed a big rift between winners and losers in November, as a strong turnout on “Black Friday,” the busiest shopping day of the year, encouraged some, while others did not experience the swell of buying they had hoped for. Early sales and deep discounts gave…

Jobless claims edge above 400,000

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New claims for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week, popping above 400,000 for the first time in just over a month and reinforcing the view that the battered labor market was healing only slowly. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed to a seasonally adjusted 402,000 from…

Clinton pushes reform in historic Myanmar talks

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held landmark talks with Myanmar’s rulers Thursday, saying she was “encouraged” by reform moves from the new regime after decades of repression and isolation. The top diplomat, sent by President Barack Obama on a delicate mission to encourage change in a nation long distrustful…

Cain says campaign plans rest with wife

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Reuters) – Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain, battling allegations of infidelity, said on Wednesday he would decide whether to continue his campaign after a face-to-face talk with his wife. While vowing not to end his candidacy over accusations he had a long-term affair, the former pizza company…

Obama cites progress towards payroll tax cut

NEW YORK (Reuters) – President Barack Obama struck an optimistic note on Wednesday night that lawmakers in Congress could reach agreement to extend payroll tax cuts he said earlier were needed to avoid a “massive blow” to the economy. At a fundraiser at a New York restaurant, the Democrat said…

‘Occupy San Francisco’ protesters reject offer to leave

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Anti-Wall Street activists in San Francisco, who hold one of the largest remaining Occupy camps on the West Coast, essentially rejected an offer to trade their compound for a new site even as officials said time was short for a deal. The offer came as mayors…

Lawmakers clash over criminal illegal immigrants

WASHINGTON — US politicians Wednesday clashed over how many undocumented migrants who have may committed crimes are free in the United States pending deportation — a key figure for gauging the success of immigration policies. Republican House leaders in early November asked the Obama administration to hand over the names…

Governors petition federal government to reclassify marijuana

Governors Christine Gregoire (D-WA) and Lincoln Chafee (I-RI) announced at a press conference Wednesday that they were jointly filing a federal petition to reclassify marijuana for medical use. The use of medical marijuana has been legalized in 16 states and the District of Columbia. But it is still classified as a…

Evangelist Billy Graham hospitalized

WASHINGTON — Reverend Billy Graham was hospitalized Wednesday for possible pneumonia, the facility treating the 93-year-old internationally renowned evangelist said. “He was admitted this afternoon,” a spokeswoman for Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina told AFP. The hospital said in a statement that he was undergoing “evaluation and treatment of…

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