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Republican candidates court Iowa insiders

DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) – Five Republican presidential hopefuls auditioned for Iowa’s party insiders at a fund-raising dinner on Friday, sparing each other from criticism but dishing up plenty of red-meat attacks on Washington and President Barack Obama. Two months before Iowa kicks off the battle for the Republican presidential…

Rare 4.7 earthquake shakes Oklahoma

A rare magnitude 4.7 earthquake shook the central US state of Oklahoma early Saturday, the US Geological Survey reported. The epicenter of the tremor, which occurred at 2:12 am (0712 GMT), was located nine kilometers (six miles) north of the town of Prague, the agency said. There were no immediate…

Biden urges Congress to pass Obama’s jobs plan

US Vice President Joe Biden warned Saturday that the latest US jobs report demonstrated the urgent need for Congress to pass the White House-backed “American Jobs Act.” Official Labor Department figures on Friday found that 80,000 jobs were created last month — slightly less than economists expected — and unemployment…

U.S. general in Afghanistan sacked over Karzai comments

A US general in Afghanistan has been sacked after accusing leaders including President Hamid Karzai of being out of touch and ungrateful for American support, officials said. Major General Peter Fuller, who was deputy commander of NATO’s mission to train and equip Afghan forces, had been dismissed after making “inappropriate…

Occupy The Kochs throws down the class warfare gauntlet in D.C.

WASHINGTON – Friday night, armed with popcorn, lemonade and serious signage, a few hundred activists gathered at 1075 7th Street NW to protest billionaire GOP backers the Koch Brothers as they graced the Americans for Prosperity-sponsored Defending the American Dream Conference. But this time, they were determined to do it…

Lawyers urge stay of Texas execution to allow for DNA tests

WASHINGTON — Lawyers for a Texas death row inmate urged an appeals court Friday to stay his execution, just days before he is due to be put to death, to allow for DNA testing that could prove his innocence. Hank Skinner, who has been on death row for 16 years,…

Second Iraq War vet hospitalized after Oakland protest

The Guardian reported on Friday that a second Iraq War veteran is in intensive care in an Oakland Hospital, with a lacerated spleen allegedly resulting from a beating by police during the protests on Wednesday night. This follows the case of Scott Olsen, who was shot in the head with…

Occupy Wall Street beset by rumors of police crackdown

By Sebastian Smith NEW YORK — Fears of a possible police crackdown spread Friday through New York’s Occupy Wall Street camp in the wake of violent clashes between police and protesters in California. The camp that popped up in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park seven weeks ago, inspiring similar anti-Wall Street demonstrations…

CIA monitoring Twitter, Facebook for intel and tips

The Central Intelligence Agency is clandestinely gathering troves of information from social media sites, according to a huge report released Friday by The Associated Press’ Kimberly Dozier. Based out of an unassuming building in Virginia, a team known within the organization as the ”vengeful librarians” are tracking chat rooms, blogs, Facebook,…

Nation’s oldest Catholic newspaper retracts column saying devil may control gays

CONWAY, Mass (Reuters) – The nation’s oldest Roman Catholic newspaper retracted an opinion column that said the devil may be behind gay attraction after the essay was condemned as cruel and wrong by gay rights groups. The weekly paper, the Boston Pilot, which is run by the Archdiocese of Boston,…

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