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Walmart’s women workers take case to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear a potentially landmark labor case on whether 1.5 million women employed by retail giant Wal-Mart can file a discrimination lawsuit as one unified group. Female workers at the company, which is America’s largest employer, claim that over the years,…

US man pleads guilty to possession of ricin

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A US man pleaded guilty Monday to illegal possession of ricin, a naturally-occurring poison used in murder and political assassinations and feared as a potential bioterror weapon. Michael Crooker, 57, of the eastern US state of Massachusetts, also pleaded guilty to threatening a federal prosecutor, the US…

ACLU: Mississippi’s drug enforcement tactics amount to a ‘reign of terror’

Harsh sentencing policies and the use of confidential informants has created a racially discriminatory criminal justice system in Mississippi that harms innocent individuals and erodes the rule of law, according to a report released Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Mississippi. Mississippi’s drug laws force…

Obama: US interests, values at stake in Libya

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama Monday told Americans his actions had stopped a “massacre” in Libya, but warned a military campaign to oust Moamer Kadhafi could repeat the bloodshed and misery of Iraq. Obama mounted a firm defense of his decision to launch air strikes and launch a no-fly zone…

Clinton urges backing for women in Arab world

WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday hailed a draft Senate resolution backing the rights of women in the Arab world as the region is swept by political upheavals. “Women must be included in every aspect of political and institutional reform, because we know that no government…

Traces of Japan radioactivity in US rain

WASHINGTON – Traces of radioactivity from damaged nuclear power facilities in Japan have been detected in rainwater in the northeast United States, but pose no health risks, officials said. The Environmental Protection Agency, in an update Sunday, said it had received reports of “elevated levels of radiation in recent precipitation…

Indiana House Democrats halt GOP anti-union agenda

Indiana House Democrats who fled to Urbana, Illinois nearly six weeks ago in protest of Republican anti-union legislation will be returning to their state after successfully winning concessions. “Today we can announce compromises that are great steps forward for working Hoosiers,” Indiana House Democratic Leader B. Patrick Bauer said Monday…

Budget sparring intensifies as both parties brace for government shutdown

WASHINGTON – Reinvigorated partisan bickering over broken-down budget negotiations Monday suggested that Democratic and Republican leaders are bracing for the prospect of a government shutdown, which would occur if the two sides fail to reach a deal by the April 8 deadline. In dueling statements, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid…

GOP welfare bill mostly harms poor children: hunger-relief group

WASHINGTON – A hunger-relief group expressed deep concerns with a House GOP bill that would cap spending on food stamps, fearing it would target the least well-off and disproportionately harm children. “We’re very concerned that the food stamps provisions take us in exactly the wrong direction given the economic climate…

Muslim Bush appointee calls GOP 2012 contender ‘un-American’ for anti-Muslim remarks

The 2012 presidential elections may seem a long way off, but candidates are already emerging and distinguishing themselves from the hazy pack. In the case of conservative Herman Cain, his adamancy this weekend at the Conservative Principles Conference that he would never appoint a Muslim to federal bench or the Cabinet…

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