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Sean Penn urges Congress not to forget Haiti

Oscar-winning actor turned activist Sean Penn, who has been working on Haiti aid after the massive January 12 earthquake, urged US lawmakers Wednesday to help reopen Haitian hospitals that have shut down for lack of funds. “The hospitals that do exist have got to be staffed, supplied, administrated to,” said…

Imelda Marcos wins seat in Philippines Congress

MANILA: Imelda Marcos, the widow of deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos famous for her vast collection of shoes, won a seat in the Philippine Congress on Tuesday. It’s a fresh taste of power for the former first lady, 80, who fled the country more than two decades ago after a popular…

Reid: GOP blocking justice for minority farmers

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticized Republicans in a statement released Friday morning, attacking them for employing “obstructionism” to deny “justice” for black farmers and native American trust account holders, who have waited years for financial settlement over “historic injustices.” Where we see injustices, it is our responsibility to stand…

Obama calls for legislation to restrict lobbyist influence on elections

US President Barack Obama called on Congress on Saturday to pass reforms limiting the influence of special interest groups on US elections, saying the integrity of US democracy needed to be protected. “What we are facing is no less than a potential corporate takeover of our elections,” Obama said in…

US lawmakers won’t give Washington voting rights in 2010

WASHINGTON — The US Congress has given up plans to take up legislation this year to give the US capital a member of Congress with full voting rights amid a dispute over gun laws, a top lawmaker said Tuesday. “I am profoundly disappointed that we will not be considering legislation…

Key Obama adviser: Banks must fear the government

Failing US financial institutions must face the credible threat of government closure if reforms are to succeed, a key adviser to President Barack Obama said Tuesday. Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman, said reforms being discussed by Congress hit on the “essential elements” of financial reform, but that a…

Obama plans to overhaul ‘No Child Left Behind’

President Barack Obama announced Saturday he will be sending to Congress a new education initiative designed to better prepare high school graduates for college and a professional career. The proposal, addressing the needs of the elementary and secondary education systems, will overhaul the so-called “No Child Left Behind” Act, an…

Corporate entity becomes ‘candidate’, kicks off bid for Congress

When the Supreme Court decided the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, henceforth allowing corporate soft money to influence U.S. elections, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) cynically opined that it would lead to the election of the “congressman from Wal-Mart.” Turns out, he may be right. Meet Murray Hill, Inc.,…

Did secretive religious group subsidize Congressman’s rent?

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) has been making headlines recently by threatening to torpedo health care reform unless the bill excludes coverage for abortion. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow believes that Stupak is just looking for publicity with “this antiabortion stunt” and that “it is not rational to think that the Democratic-led House…

Obama demands ‘up or down vote’ on health reform

In his most unequivocal terms yet, President Barack Obama championed the use of budget reconciliation to approve a final motion on the extensively-debated health care reform legislation stalled in Congress. “So, no matter which approach you favor, I believe the United States Congress owes the American people a final vote…

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