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U.S. money ended up in Taliban hands: report

US government funds earmarked ostensibly to promote business in Afghanistan have landed in Taliban hands under a $2.16 billion transportation contract, The Washington Post has reported. Citing the results of a year-long military-led investigation, the newspaper said US and Afghan efforts to address the problem have been slow, and all…

Democrats still oppose short-term U.S. debt plan

US President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders Sunday renewed their opposition to any short-term plan to raise the US debt ceiling, a White House official said. Obama met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for just over an hour late Sunday amid intense…

Dem. leaders consider forcing Oregon’s Wu out of office after sex allegations

UPDATE 10:16 ET: Rep. Wu has announced that he will not resign his House seat over allegations of an unwanted sexual encounter, but that he will not seek reelection in 2012, according to a breaking news alert from Politico. “He isn’t going to be running for reelection,” an anonymous Wu…

Here come the brides and the grooms in New York

Sunday, July 24, 2011 marked the first day same-sex couples could legally get married in the state of New York, and couples lined up at city halls early in the morning to exercise their newfound legal rights. Watch a Reuters report, embedded below via NDN. Also available on YouTube.…

Watching the debate, U.S. markets show no panic yet

Market experts are closely following the US debt ceiling talks, but they appear more worried about the economic impact of failure to reach an accord rather than a dramatic slide in the stock market. Still, it is the fear of a dramatically lower stock market opening Monday that has helped…

U.S. rushes to avert disastrous default

The White House and top US lawmakers scrambled Sunday for a deal to stop the world’s richest country from ruinous default on its debt, hours before Asian financial markets opened. President Barack Obama planned to meet with his top Democratic allies in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House…

Maid in Dominique Strauss-Kahn case speaks: ‘I want him to go to jail’

Even if you don’t know Nafissatou Diallo by name, you surely know her by reputation: The 32-year-old maid made headlines when she accused former IMF chief and French presidential favorite Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempting to rape her at the Sofitel hotel, where she worked, in May. Diallo granted Newsweek her…

To create balanced diets, tax junk food and subsidize healthy food

It’s a well-known fact that Americans have a less-than-ideal diet, but it’s not as commonly understood that government subsidies actually make junk food more accessible and affordable than fresh, healthier alternatives. The typical Standard American Diet (ironically abbreviated as SAD) contains high levels of animal byproducts, low levels of plant…

Sen. Feinstein: Defense of Marriage Act ‘wrong and unconstitutional’

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said Sunday that same sex couples who get married should have the same rights and benefits as married opposite sex couples. Last week she introduced the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation to repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that prevents same sex couples from receiving…

Hundreds of same sex couples to marry in New York

NEW YORK — Wedding ceremonies for hundreds of gay and lesbian couples were being held across New York State Sunday, with advocates hailing the day as a milestone toward the eventual legalization of gay marriage nationwide. Sunday marked the first day when a law allowing same sex marriage goes into…

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