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Walker’s anti-union posture sends retirement rate soaring

Record numbers of public employees in Wisconsin are planning to retire because of fears that they could lose promised benefits if they don’t. The Boardman law firm, which advises unions on contract matters and benefits, sent a letter union lawyers last week warning them that the state could revoke certain…

Tennessee bill seeks to forbid talk of homosexuality in grade school

WASHINGTON – A Tennessee bill seeks to forbid teachers from speaking about homosexuality in public elementary and middle schools, according to the local WVLT-TV news station. The bill, HB 229 and SB 49, was introduced by Republican State Sen. Stacey Campfield and Rep. Bill Dunn, both of Knoxville. They say…

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker slams Wall Street probes

Documentary filmmaker Charles Ferguson was honored last night at the Academy Awards for his film “Inside Job,” studying the financial crisis of 2008. During his speech, he took the opportunity to issue a scathing critique of the government’s post-crisis investigations. “Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three…

America’s last World War I veteran dies

WASHINGTON — The last US veteran of World War I, who lied about his age to join the army in 1917, has died, ending America’s living connection with the Great War. He was 110. The indomitable Frank Buckles, who also survived three years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp,…

Congress eyes deal to avoid govt shutdown

WASHINGTON — The US Congress faces a looming deadline this week to reach agreement on spending to avoid a federal government shutdown that could have chilling consequences for the US economy. The current stopgap spending measure — known as a “continuing resolution” or “CR” — is valid through midnight Friday,…

Exclusive: Readers share photos from Saturday’s labor protests

Millions of Americans were out in the streets this past Saturday, participating in the largest flare-up of labor protests the nation has seen in decades — yet images like these were conspicuously missing from the major television news networks. At the rallies’ epicenter was Madison, Wisconsin, where over 100,000 gathered…

Ohio readies union bill vote, Indiana delay continues

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A vote on an Ohio bill that would end collective bargaining rights for public employees could come as early as Wednesday, a state senator said on Sunday. Meanwhile, in Indiana, Democratic state representatives could stay in Illinois all week to avoid votes on bills they say would…

Michelle Obama gets a Republican boost on obesity

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Two Republican heavyweights came to the defense of First Lady Michelle Obama Sunday, breaking ranks with some of their party’s top stars who have taken jabs at her campaign against obesity. Mike Huckabee, a formerly overweight talk show host who is a possible presidential contender, took issue…

US ready to help Libya’s insurgents

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States said Sunday it was prepared to offer “any kind of assistance” to Libyans seeking to overthrow the regime of strongman Moamer Kadhafi as they set up a transitional body. As forces opposed to the longest-serving Arab leader took control of several western Libyan towns,…

Walker unmoved by protests, won’t back down on collective bargaining

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said Sunday that thousands of demonstrators had not caused him to reconsider his plan to strip unions of collective bargaining rights. NBC’s David Gregory asked Walker why he refused a proposal by unions to accept his demand that they contribute more to pension and health…

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