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US consumer confidence hits three year high

WASHINGTON — US consumer confidence hit a three year high in February as Americans became more optimistic that their finances would soon improve, according to a widely-watched indicator. “Consumers are more positive about the economy and their income prospects, but feel somewhat mixed about employment conditions,” said Lynn Franco, director…

U.S. judge delays decision in Chevron-Ecuador case

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge asked lawyers in the long-running Chevron Corp pollution dispute in Ecuador’s Amazon rain forest to do more work on Ecuadorean law before he decides whether any judgment against the oil company can be enforced. At a hearing in U.S. District Court in New…

Algeria to lift state of emergency before end of February

ALGIERS – Algeria said Wednesday it will lift by the end of February the state of emergency slapped on the country 19 years ago at the start of a decade-long bloody conflict with Islamist militants. “The lifting of the state of emergency will take place before the end of the…

Assange vows more leaks, fears death penalty

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange vowed on Tuesday to step up the website’s release of secret US cables as his defence team warned he could face the death penalty if he is extradited from Britain. Lawyers for the Australian released documents outlining their case after a brief court appearance in London…

Assange to face extradition hearing next month

LONDON — Sweden’s attempt to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for questioning on sexual assault allegations will be examined by a London court on February 7-8, a judge said Tuesday. District Judge Nicholas Evans set the date for the full extradition hearing during a 10-minute hearing at Woolwich Crown Court…

Afghan war costs now surpass Iraq’s: $6.7 billion for February alone

The amount of money the United States is spending on its war in Afghanistan has surpassed the cost of its war in Iraq for the first time. US taxpayers shelled out $6.7 billion for the Afghan war in February, the most recent month for which statistics are available, as opposed…

Private sector unexpectedly sheds 23,000 more jobs

U.S. private employers shed 23,000 jobs in March, missing expectations for an increase in jobs although fewer than the adjusted 24,000 jobs lost in February, a report by a private employment service said on Wednesday. The February fall was originally reported at 20,000. The median of estimates from 35 economists…

Reporter: NATO covering up, lying about civilian killings

A British reporter who reported on an apparent cover-up of the killing of an Afghan family says the NATO-led forces in that country habitually lie about innocent civilians’ deaths. Jerome Starkey, the Afghanistan correspondent for the Times of London, says the “embed culture” of reporting in war zones results in…

Right-wing media slam Reid over claim jobs report was ‘really good’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scrambled on Friday to explain what he meant when he called February’s 36,000 lost jobs “really good” news, while attacking Republicans for “mischaracterizing” the remark. Speaking on the Senate floor, the Nevada Democrat said that “today is a big day in America. Only 36,00 people…

Conservatives believe Obama adviser’s forecast is a ‘snow job’

The conservative-leaning Drudge Report sported the following all-caps banner Tuesday morning: “OBAMA ADVISER: WINTER TO ‘DISTORT’ UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES.” The Reuters article, that Drudge links to, reports “White House economic adviser Larry Summers said on Monday winter blizzards were likely to distort U.S. February jobless figures, which are due to be…

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