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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…

Senate Foreign Relations Committee backs limited Libya conflict

WASHINGTON — A key US Senate panel voted Tuesday to authorize limited US strikes on Libya as part of a NATO-led campaign against Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi but to forbid the deployment of ground troops. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s 14-5 vote set the stage for what was sure to…

Jared Lee Loughner to be forcibly medicated by prison officials

Federal prison officials have decided to forcibly medicate Jared Lee Loughner, the young man on trial for the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others, with unspecified anti-psychotic medications. The Courthouse News Service reported that Loughner’s defense attorney, Judy Clark, has filed a motion (PDF) to fight the involuntary administration…

Google launches social networking service to rival Facebook

WASHINGTON — Internet search giant Google launched its rival to Facebook on Tuesday, a new social networking service called Google+. “Online sharing is awkward. Even broken. And we aim to fix it,” Google’s senior vice president for engineering Vic Gundotra said in a blog post. “We’d like to bring the…

21 sickened from Salmonella-tainted sprouts in the U.S.

WASHINGTON — An outbreak of salmonella poisoning in salad sprouts has sickened 21 people in the United States but is not connected to the German E. coli outbreak, health authorities said Tuesday. The illnesses arose between April 12 and June 7 and so far have spanned five states. Three people…

Sen. Harry Reid: Republicans living in a fantasy world

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters on Tuesday that his Republican friends seem to be living in a fantasy world because of their views on deficit-reduction. “Republicans should start accepting the hard truths we face and work with us to do the right thing for the middle class instead…

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