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S&P head: Agency may downgrade U.S. again

The head of Standard & Poor’s sovereign ratings said Sunday that the agency may downgrade the U.S. again. “Given the economic and political situation in the U.S., which will we see, an upgrading back to AAA or further downgrades?” Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked David Beers. “We have a negative…

New York Fire Department accused of systemic racism

NEW YORK — The New York Fire Department, one of the Big Apple’s most iconic institutions, is in the hot seat over allegations that racism keeps its ranks almost lily-white. Thundering around on immaculately maintained red trucks, the city’s “Bravest” are local heroes, admired for their professionalism and lauded for…

White House: Rivals must unite to fix U.S. economy

WASHINGTON — The White House on Saturday reacted to a historic downgrade of America’s top-notch debt rating by calling on political rivals to unite to fix the economy and assure the country’s fiscal future. “We must do better to make clear our nation’s will, capacity and commitment to work together…

Lock certified for U.S. defense facilities opened with wire

LAS VEGAS — Hackers at a DefCon gathering were shown how a high-security lock certified for use in sensitive US government facilities can be easily opened with just a piece of wire. Security specialist Marc Weber Tobias had plans to meet in Switzerland with lock-maker Kaba to discuss ways that…

US expands role in Mexico’s drug war: report

The United States is sending new CIA operatives and retired military personnel to Mexico and may deploy private security contractors to fight drug cartels, The New York Times said. Small numbers of CIA operatives and civilian US military employees have been posted at a Mexican military base, it said late…

US to ‘stay the course’ after Afghan chopper crash

The United States on Saturday vowed to “stay the course” in Afghanistan after 30 US soldiers were killed there when, according to local officials, the Taliban shot down their helicopter. The pledge from US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta — and a salute from President Barack Obama — came after the…

US Jews urge Castro to free contractor

American Jews urged Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday to release a US contractor “on humanitarian grounds” after the communist island’s highest court upheld a 15-year sentence. In his appeal, Elan Steinberg, vice president of The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors & Their Descendants, noted that Alan Gross has…

Abu Ghraib abuser Charles Graner released from prison

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The soldier who orchestrated abuses of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison was released on Saturday after serving more than six years in a Kansas military prison barracks, a U.S. Army spokeswoman said. Charles Graner, 42, was released from the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth at about…

Obama calls for end to bickering after credit rating loss

The White House on Saturday called for an end to the political gridlock blamed for the first-ever US credit rating downgrade as allies voiced confidence in the world’s largest economy. Standard & Poor’s cut the US rating for the first time in history Friday, by one notch from its top-flight…

Wisconsin GOP official resigns after drunken crash with kids in car

Columbia County Republican Party chair Amber Hahn resigned on Friday after drunkenly crashing a car carrying herself and her three children, according to The Wisconsin State Journal. Hahn, 35, crashed her car Thursday night while driving drunk. No other vehicles were involved and fortunately no one was injured. Police were…

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