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Florida jail ends free underwear for inmates to cut costs

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (Reuters) – A central Florida sheriff has announced a cost-saving measure that hits below the belt: no more free underwear for men booked into jail. Starting August 1, the Polk County jail will no longer provide five pairs of briefs to male inmates. Instead, inmates will have…

Chicago mayor to lay off workers to plug budget gap

CHICAGO (Reuters) – With Chicago still facing a lingering deficit in its current budget, Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled on Friday a series of steps that will lead to up to 625 layoffs. The steps include the privatization of custodial services at city libraries and airports, benefits services and the water…

Dem spins ‘GOP Wheel of Misfortune’ on House floor

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) has a solution for determining who won’t get paid if Congress fails to raise the debt limit and the U.S. defaults. The congressman brought a large wheel with him to the House floor Friday. Spinning the wheel determines which group won’t get paid when the Treasury…

Most in U.S. want ban on smoking in public: poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Most Americans want smoking banned in all public places but only 19 percent believe that cigarette smoking should be illegal in the United States, a Gallup poll published on Friday said. The Princeton, New Jersey-based pollster found in its July 7-10 telephone survey that for the…

Schooled in austerity, students reluctantly borrow

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Emi Young decided to attend Pomona College in California a few years ago, she broke with a tradition as closely associated with U.S. universities as fraternity parties and cramming for final exams. Young did not take out one dime of student loans. Moreover, she preferred Pomona…

Wisconsin recall Republican insists he doesn’t ‘smoke rocks’

The Republican candidate running to unseat a Democratic Wisconsin state Senator in next week’s recall election said Thursday that a child abuse investigation against him was “just another false accusation.” But discerning voters might think otherwise, considering his history. “I read a social services report yesterday that says I smoke…

Attorney General Holder formally announces News Corp. probe

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday the Department of Justice would launch an investigation of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire at News Corporation, to determine if anyone at the company attempted to spy on or bribe American citizens or officials. “There have been members of Congress in the United States…

U.S. sponsors global meet on religious tolerance

International experts will be invited to attend a conference in the United States this year on the free expression of religious beliefs, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Friday. “Later this year, the United States intends to invite relevant experts from around the world to the first of what we hope will be…

Charges dropped against woman who grew organic garden, but new charges filed

A Detroit woman who was facing jail time for growing an organic garden in her home’s front yard is no longer in legal jeopardy on that charge, her attorney said this week — but she’s now facing charges on a new “crime”: not having proper licenses for her two dogs.…

U.S. ‘running out of time’ on debt deal: Obama

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama Friday said the United States was “running out of time” to reach a deal on raising the country’s debt ceiling to avert a possible early August default. “We are obviously running out of time. And so what I’ve said to the members of Congress is…

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