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Chinese in stew over California shark fin threat

SAN FRANCISCO — Chefs in San Francisco’s Chinatown are sharpening their knives to defend the right to serve shark fin soup, a staple in high-end Chinese restaurants in the city. Two local assemblymen have proposed a law to ban the transport and sale of shark fins in California, which would…

Palin parents ‘sleep with guns’ due to threats

LONDON – Chuck and Sally Heath, the parents of US conservative champion Sarah Palin, “sleep with guns” after receiving death threats, a BBC interview revealed. Speaking at their home in Wasilla, Alaska, the couple claimed that Palin and “her whole family” had been the target of threats. “One guy from…

Congressman Ron Paul says he supports the Defense of Marriage Act

Speaking to a group of religious conservatives in Iowa, Republican Congressman Ron Paul (TX) said he supports the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because the controversial legislation protects states’ rights. In February, President Barack Obama decided that a key section of the DOMA a Clinton-era law that restricts the benefits…

Drug czar questioned about legalizing marijuana

Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said legalizing marijuana would greatly increase its use, but that the issue should not only be approached as a criminal justice problem. Kerlikowske added that prescription drug abuse was “clearly” the greatest drug problem in the United…

Supreme Court rules against Navy’s right to withhold information

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that the government could not use an exemption in the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to withhold certain Navy maps and data from the public. FOIA requires federal agencies to make documents publicly available upon request, but contains various exemptions…

Obama to lift freeze on new Guantanamo trials

WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama said Monday he would lift the two-year freeze on new military trials for Guantanamo Bay terror suspects and issued new guidelines on the treatment of those held indefinitely. Obama, who has been thwarted in his desire to close the camp in Cuba which he…

Massachusetts voters can now register as ‘Pirates’

The Massachusetts Election Division has approved the Massachusetts Pirate Party as a political designation, allowing voters in the state to register as a “Pirate.” The party strives to increase government transparency, promote personal privacy, reinforce the spread of knowledge through copyright reform, and abolish patents. “We live in a country…

Rep. Alcee Hastings sued for sexual harassment

A conservative watchdog group filed a sexual harassment lawsuit Monday against against Rep. Alcee Hasting (D-FL). Judicial Watch filed the suit in federal court on behalf of Winsome Packer, who formerly had worked for the congressman. The harassment allegedly occurred between 2008 and 2010 when the two were working together…

Private contractors at record in Afghan war: US report

WASHINGTON – The number of private security personnel working for the US military in Afghanistan rose to 18,919 at the end of last year, the highest level used in any conflict by the United States, a congressional report said. The Congressional Research Service report said that the number of private…

Supreme Court OKs death row inmate’s appeal

WASHINGTON – The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a Texas Death Row inmate can ask a federal court to allow DNA testing on crime scene evidence he says will clear his name. The US high court ruled by a six to three vote that Hank Skinner, 48, could…

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