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Discreet nonprofit American Legislative Exchange Council writes bills for conservative lawmakers

This week, both the Los Angeles Times and The Nation put the spotlight on a little-known but influential conservative nonprofit that creates “model” state legislation that often make its way into law. The organization has helped craft some of the most controversial—and industry-friendly—legislation of recent years. The American Legislative Exchange…

Catholic Church to pay $1.75 million to father over son’s abuse

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An Illinois-based Catholic group agreed on Friday to pay $1.75 million to the father of a 14-year-old boy who was allegedly sexually abused by one of its priests in Florida after the two met in an Internet chatroom. The Order of the Carmelites, a religious group known…

San Diego gay pride march to feature active duty military

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – A weekend gay pride parade in San Diego will feature a large contingent of active-duty and retired military personnel, opening service members to possible discipline in the waning days of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” organizers said on Friday. The 350 current and former service members expected…

Los Angeles has traffic jitters as “Carmageddon” begins

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles on Friday began closing a crucial freeway, the 405, touching off what officials warn could be a grueling weekend of epic traffic jams that locals have dubbed “Carmageddon.” The unprecedented 53-hour shutdown, expected to delay motorists for hours on alternate routes with ripple effects…

Legionnaires’ outbreak reported at Las Vegas resort

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – A luxury resort on the Las Vegas strip has been linked to cases of the sometimes deadly Legionnaires’ disease that has sickened a handful of guests since 2009, health officials and the hotel said on Friday. Elevated levels of the bacteria that causes the disease were…

NSA whistleblower sentenced to one year’s probation

WASHINGTON — A former high-ranking US intelligence official who was accused of passing classified information from the secretive National Security Agency (NSA) to a reporter was sentenced Friday to a year’s probation. The sentence handed down by a US federal judge against Thomas Drake, 54, a former executive at the…

Obama to meet with Dalai Lama, defying China

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama will meet Saturday with Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, defying warnings from China after calls built at home to welcome the monk, officials said. The meeting was announced late Friday after a long silence from the Obama administration about whether the president…

Report: Warren to be passed over as nominee to head Consumer Bureau

Bloomberg News is reporting as of Friday evening that President Obama has chosen somebody other than Elizabeth Warren to be nominated as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. According to the report, which is based on an anonymous source, an unidentified individual who already works at the agency will…

Pawlenty: If debt ceiling not raised, pay ‘outside creditors’ first

Former Minnesota governor and presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty believes that if the debt ceiling is not raised, the United States should give top priority to paying its “outside creditors,” which he appears to believe would prevent the nation from actually going into default. Second to paying the central banks of…

Dallas County rental voucher event leads to stampede, injuries

When Dallas County in Texas announced that it would be taking applications for federally-subsidized rental assistance vouchers on Thursday, officials never anticipated that a crowd of 5000 people would show up as early as 10 pm the previous night. The early arrivals were told to come back later, but instead…

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