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Teen in U.S. charged in death of family hamster

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – A U.S. teenager has been charged with a felony, and could face a two-year prison sentence if convicted, for killing her family’s pet hamster, authorities said. Monique Smith, 19, of Brooklyn was arguing with a family member in June when she reached for the hamster,…

Tsunami evacuations ‘very possible’ in California

OAKLAND, California (Reuters) – The tsunami generated by a massive earthquake in Japan could reach 6 feet when it hits parts of the northern California coast and force some evacuations, a state emergency agency spokesman said. “It is very possible there may be some evacuations here,” California Emergency Management Agency…

Giffords expected at husband’s shuttle launch

LOS ANGELES — Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is expected to attend next month’s space shuttle launch commanded by her astronaut husband, a spokesman said. Doctors in Texas were due to provide an update Friday on the condition of the 40-year-old lawmaker, two months after she was shot in the head at…

Sanders introduces millionaire surtax to slash deficit

WASHINGTON – As Democrats and Republicans battle over how much spending should be cut to bridge the budget shortfall, one senator is focusing on the other side of the equation: revenues. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Thursday afternoon introduced a bill (pdf) that would establish a surtax on millionaires and…

Stephen King bashes Republicans at Awake the State rally

Speaking at a rally in Sarasota, Florida, celebrated author Stephen King talks about recently-elected tea party governors and says those as rich as himself do not pay enough taxes.…

US-Mexico border village chiefs held for gun running

LOS ANGELES – The mayor, police chief and a community trustee of a US border village were charged Thursday with gun trafficking to supply firearms to violent drug cartels in Mexico, officials said. In all 10 people were arrested in morning raids in Columbus, a small village just across the…

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka ‘thanks’ Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

The head of the largest federation of unions in the United States, AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka, jokingly thanked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Thursday for igniting an impassioned debate on workers’ rights. “Well, thank you, Scott Walker,” Trumka said during a speech in Washington, DC to the group Campaign for…

US trade gap hits seven-month high

WASHINGTON – The US trade deficit struck a seven-month high in January as imports from China surged and oil prices rose, overwhelming a solid gain in exports, official data showed Thursday. The United States started 2011 with a 15.1 percent jump in its trade gap to $46.3 billion, the highest…

14 charged over deadly US pirate attack

WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in the United States has indicted 14 suspected pirates over a boat hijacking last month that ended with the four American hostages being shot dead, officials said Thursday. “Fourteen individuals — 13 Somalis and one from Yemen — have been indicted in relation to…

New York man faces five years in jail for ‘linking’ to online videos

You may want to think twice the next time you share a link to your favorite video. In a case against a New York website owner, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is claiming that merely linking to copyrighted material is a crime. DHS, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement…

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