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Mother sues Cornell for $25 million after son’s hazing death

WASHINGTON — The mother of a Cornell University student is suing a fraternity for $25 million after her son was allegedly kidnapped, bound and forced to drink large amounts of alcohol that led to his February death. George Desdunes, a sophomore at the prestigious Ivy League school, called the Sigma…

FBI looks into possible fraud at Arlington Cemetery

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is investigating a range of problems at the top US military cemetery, including possible criminal contracting fraud and false records, The Washington Post reported. The Post said the Justice Department was investigating the mishandling of remains at Arlington National Cemetery as part of a sweeping…

US fraudster Madoff says sentence too harsh

NEW YORK — Bernard Madoff, sentenced to 150 years in jail for the biggest financial scam in US history, on Tuesday said the judge in his case had made him a “human pinata” and passed an overly harsh sentence. “Maybe the judge felt, ‘Well, he’s 70 years old, so even…

Bachmann claims ‘titanium’ spine

RAYMOND, New Hampshire — Republican White House hopeful Michele Bachmann took her campaign on the road Tuesday seeking to shake off her gaffe-prone speaker image and pledging a change in direction for the country. A day after officially launching her 2012 presidential campaign, the Minnesota Republican and favorite of the…

Obama to hold press conference Wednesday over debt default

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will hold a press conference Wednesday amid a dramatic showdown between his administration and Congress to avoid a US debt default, his office said. It will be held at 11:30 am (1530 GMT) in the building’s ceremonial East Room, the White House said in the…

Admiral Mullen to visit China

BEIJING — The top US military officer Admiral Mike Mullen will visit China next month, Beijing said on Wednesday, pledging to help improve sometimes rocky relations with Washington. Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, will visit from July 9-13, Xinhua news agency quoted defence ministry spokesman Yang…

Missouri could become the next state to require drug testing of welfare applicants

Missouri could become the second state to require anyone applying for temporary government assistance to undergo drug screening if Democratic Governor Jay Nixon does not veto the legislation by July 14. The Missouri General Assembly passed House Bill 73 in May. The bill would require the Missouri Department of Social…

Ohio House approves anti-abortion bill that challenges Roe v. Wade ruling

COLUMBUS (Reuters) – The Ohio House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which can be as early as six weeks. The House voted 54 to 43 for the ban, along party lines, with most Republicans voting in favor. If enacted, the law…

Palin fuels presidential bid speculation in Iowa

PELLA, Iowa (Reuters) – Republican Sarah Palin said on Tuesday she is still studying a potential 2012 presidential run, though her daughter said she has already made up her mind. Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008, attended the premiere of a flattering documentary about her, “The Undefeated,” at…

Senate backs Petraeus for CIA chief

WASHINGTON — The US Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved General David Petraeus’s nomination to head the CIA, the panel’s chair and vice chair said. The committee’s action means Petraeus could win full Senate confirmation as early as this week to succeed outgoing CIA director Leon Panetta, who is…

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