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Former cops: The drug cartels are winning

“[Look] at Phoenix, Arizona,” Neill Franklin, a former undercover police officer in Maryland, told Raw Story recently. “That is the number two kidnapping capital in the world. A couple years back they were averaging one drug-related kidnapping every day. We do already have these [cartels] in the United States, but…

Patent reform package will drive economic growth: officials

President Barack Obama will sign the America Invents Act Friday, a package of changes to the U.S. patent system that administration officials insist will spur the economy and job creation and speed lifesaving medical breakthroughs. The AIA is the most dramatic reform to the patent system since the Patent Act…

Lawrence O’Donnell extends ban on deadbeat dad Joe Walsh

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell has doubled down on his ban of tea party Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), who allegedly owes over $100,000 in child support. O’Donnell, who had first banned Walsh from his show in July, noted Thursday that a Cook County judge had ruled against the congressman after he didn’t…

Doctors call Bachmann’s vaccine comments toxic

CHICAGO (Reuters) – No matter how much the U.S. medical community repudiates the suggestion by presidential candidate Michele Bachmann that a vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) is dangerous, doctors fear the damage has already been done. Physicians are bracing for more parents to refuse the HPV vaccine, which protects against…

Obama backs off Social Security cuts in deficit plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, yielding to pressure from his political base, has backed off a proposal to reform Social Security retirement benefits in a high-stakes deficits deal Congress needs to reach this year. The Democratic president upset many core supporters in July when he considered changing how the…

U.S. set to sanction BP, contractors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. offshore drilling regulator could issue sanctions as early as next week against BP and the major contractors involved in last year’s Gulf oil spill, an agency official said on Thursday. Michael Bromwich, the head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, told reporters at a…

Supreme Court halts execution of Texas inmate

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday halted the execution of a black man convicted 16 years ago of a double murder in Texas after his lawyers argued his jury was unfairly tainted by racial testimony. The justices stayed the the lethal injection of 48-year-old Duane Buck pending a review of…

Health care reform could prevent reporting of patient outcomes

It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of patients die annually from preventable harm suffered while undergoing medical care. The infections, injuries and errors could rank as a leading cause of death in the United States. Last year’s sweeping health-care reform law — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act —…

Senate approves billions in disaster aid

WASHINGTON — The US Senate approved $6.9 billion in disaster relief funds over a yearlong period, a measure that faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. By a 62-37 vote, the Senate approved funds for the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help communities cope with…

Obama honors Afghan war hero

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama Thursday awarded a fearless US Marine, who five times defied a Taliban firestorm to save 36 ambushed men, with America’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor. Former marine sergeant Dakota Meyer, 23, and a comrade Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, defied orders and repeatedly drove into a…

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