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House Republicans rally around payroll tax plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the House of Representatives began to fall into line on Thursday behind a bill to extend an expiring payroll tax break after their leaders sweetened the measure with a provision that President Barack Obama has threatened to veto. The move to link the popular tax…

Protesters ‘occupy’ lawmakers’ Washington offices

WASHINGTON — Around 1,000 demonstrators assembled at US lawmakers’ offices on Thursday as part of a “Take Back the Capitol,” action targeting corporate America’s influence in Washington’s corridors of power. Protesters — many of them labor-union activists who support the Occupy Wall Street movement that began in New York in…

Corzine can’t explain missing MF Global funds

WASHINGTON — Former Wall Street high-flyer and Democratic politician Jon Corzine told US lawmakers Thursday he did not know what happened to an estimated $1.2 billion that disappeared from the accounts of now bankrupt broker MF Global. Corzine — former US senator, New Jersey governor, head of Goldman Sachs and…

Obama rejects Republican ‘appeasement’ claims

WASHINGTON — With the icy riposte “ask Osama bin Laden,” President Barack Obama on Thursday rebutted Republican claims he is blind to the threat from radical “thugs” and guilty of appeasing US enemies. Obama’s use of lethal force as US commander-in-chief against Al-Qaeda and other groups has partly insulated him…

Suspect admits plotting to attack U.S. military facility

LOS ANGELES — A 32-year-old man pleaded guilty Thursday to plotting to attack a US military processing center for new soldiers in the northwestern city of Seattle, officials said. Walli Mujahidh admitted conspiracy to murder officers and agents of the United States, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and…

Obama scolds Republicans on blocked consumer chief

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Thursday scolded his Republican critics for blocking his nominee to lead a new consumer watchdog agency tasked with protecting Americans from finance industry abuses. In a rare appearance in the White House briefing room, Obama pressed his political foes to “come to their…

Gunman kills two at Virginia Tech

WASHINGTON — Virginia Tech, the scene in 2007 of the deadliest school shooting in US history, was again struck by violence Thursday when a gunman opened fire, killing a campus police officer and a second person. The university said on its website (www.vt.edu) that the shooter — described as a…

Sen. Sanders files amendment to end corporate personhood

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a constitutional amendment to the U.S. Senate on Thursday that would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United ruling. The decision held that corporations have the same First Amendment rights as people, and that political spending was free speech. The ruling allowed corporations to…

Gingrich: 5-year-olds working is an ‘education in life’

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Thursday that it was good life experience for children as young as five or six to have a job. For more than a week, the candidate has been talking about the virtues of child labor, calling current restrictions “truly stupid.” “I got a little…

Remains of 274 U.S. troops dumped in landfill: report

WASHINGTON — The US Air Force dumped the cremated, partial remains of at least 274 troops in a landfill before halting the secretive practice in 2008, the Washington Post reported Thursday. The procedure was never formally authorized or disclosed to senior Pentagon officials, who conducted a review of the cremation…

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