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U.S. unable to fill NATO gaps, says Panetta

The US military faces serious budget cuts and will be unable to make up any shortfalls in the NATO alliance as European members slashdefence spending, Pentagon chief Leon Panetta warned Wednesday. Fiscal pressures are bearing down on both sides of the Atlantic and NATO allies will need to work closely together to…

In U.S., debate roils over male circumcision

In the United States, a vocal movement of “intactivists,” or people who oppose male circumcision, is engaged in a fierce debate with doctors over the practice of clipping baby boys’ foreskins. Actor Russell Crowe may be the most famous of them. Earlier this year he declared on Twitter: “Circumcision is barbaric and stupid,”…

Obama signs short-term funding bill into law

President Barack Obama early Wednesday signed into law a stopgap measure to fund the US government through November 18 after US lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the bill. The US House of Representatives passed the measure on Tuesday by a 352-66 vote, sending it to the White House with plenty of time to avert a partial government shutdown. The White…

Thousands of California inmates join hunger strike

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Thousands of inmates in several California prisons have taken part in a 9-day-old hunger strike, demanding an end to what they call inhumane conditions, prison officials and an inmate advocacy group said on Tuesday. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation counted 1,186 inmates in four…

Many U.S. veterans say Iraq, Afghan wars not worth it

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A third of U.S. military veterans who have served in the armed forces since the September 11, 2001, attacks think the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting, a poll released on Wednesday showed. The poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that these…

Underwear bomber vows ‘US cancer’ will be wiped out

A Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a US-bound airliner in 2009 vowed Islamic militants would wipe out “the cancer US” and hailed a slain Al-Qaeda cleric as his trial opened. “Anwar is alive,” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab shouted out in the Detroit court in reference to Anwar Al-Awlaqi, the US-born cleric who was…

U.S. retooling strategy to aid Afghan exit

Ten years after hastily going to war in Afghanistan, the United States is eyeing an honorable exit from the conflict after being forced to change strategy as it confronts a Taliban insurgency. US forces entered Afghanistan in October 2001, just weeks after the attacks of September 11, in what was dubbed Operation…

Democrat narrowly wins West Virginia governor’s race

CHARLESTON, West Virginia – Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin held on for a narrow victory in a special election for governor of West Virginia on Tuesday that had tightened after Republicans ran ads tying him to President Barack Obama. Tomblin, who has been acting governor, defeated businessman Bill Maloney, who has…

Warren debates rivals in Massachusetts Senate race

BOSTON – Consumer advocate and former Obama administration official Elizabeth Warren squared off with Democratic rivals in her first political debate on Tuesday as she campaigns to unseat Republican Scott Brown in next year’s Massachusetts Senate race. Democrats are eager to take back the seat Brown won in an upset…

Principal allegedly assaulted student for wearing Gay-Straight Alliance shirt

A 17-year-old senior at Sequoyah High School, Chris Sigler, claimed his principal shoved and verbally harassed him last week for wearing a t-shirt in support of establishing a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club. A teacher had told Sigler he could not wear his homemade shirt, which said “GSA: We’ve Got Your…

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