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Bible-only reading at US jail

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Department of Justice has filed a complaint against a South Carolina sheriff for letting one of his prisons bar inmates from reading anything but the Bible. In the complaint filed this week in a Charleston court, the Justice Department said requests by numerous inmates at…

Republicans will make US a ‘Third World’ country: Obama

CHICAGO (AFP) – US President Barack Obama accused his Republican foes of wanting to turn the United States into a “Third World” country Thursday as he rallied support for his reelection campaign. The attack came a day after Obama savaged Republican budget plans and unveiled his $4 trillion deficit reduction…

NASA spared cuts in US spending bill passage

WASHINGTON (AFP) – NASA breathed a sigh of relief Friday after Congress approved a government spending bill that secured $18.5 billion for the US space agency, sparing it from the prospect of cuts. “We appreciate the work of Congress to pass a 2011 spending bill,” NASA administrator Charles Bolden said…

US banks to settle on financial crisis penalties: report

NEW YORK (AFP) – Several major US banks are close to an agreement with the Wall Street regulator to settle fraud allegations related to the “toxic” mortgages behind the 2008 financial crisis, a report said Friday. An initial agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could be settled next…

World’s oldest man Walter Bruening dies at 114

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Walter Bruening, a retired railworker who was the world’s oldest man, has died in the US state of Montana at the age of 114. Breuning died Thursday of natural causes at a Great Falls hospital, Stacia Kirby, spokeswoman for the Rainbow Senior Living retirement home where he…

Delaware approves civil unions for same sex couples

Delaware lawmakers approved a civil unions bill that will provide same sex couples all of the same rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities as married persons under Delaware law. The bill now heads to Delaware Gov. Jack Markell to be signed into law after the House voted 26-15 in favor of…

Obama: ‘Birther’ claims will hurt Republicans in 2012

President Barack Obama dismissed conspiracy theorists, known as “birthers,” who have recently been brought back into the media spotlight by billionaire real estate mogul and television celebrity Donald Trump. During an interview with ABC News Chief Political Correspondent George Stephanopoulos on Thursday, Obama suggested the majority of Americans would not…

Maine attorney general: Labor mural removal is ‘government speech’

Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s was exercising his right to “government speech” when he ordered a mural removed from the Maine Labor Department headquarters, state Attorney General William Schneider said Monday. LePage ordered a 36-foot mural depicting the history of labor movements in Maine to be removed from the state’s Department…

Rick Santorum borrows slogan from poem by gay rights advocate

A former Republican senator who warned that acceptance of homosexuality could lead to “man on child, man on dog” relations borrowed his presidential campaign slogan from a pro-union poem written by a gay rights advocate. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum announced Thursday that he would be setting up a fundraising…

Congress passes $38 billion spending cut bill

WASHINGTON – The Congress on Thursday approved $38 billion in spending cuts this year as part of a bill to fund the federal government through September 30, sending the legislation to President Barack Obama to sign into law. After months of wrangling between Democrats and Republicans, the Senate voted 81…

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