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Sarkozy backs off ban of Muslim veil, calls it ‘unworkable’

French president Nicolas Sarkozy backed off previous statements in support of a public ban on the full Muslim veil to prevent Jean-Francois Cope, his party’s Parliamentary leader, to rush through an “anti-burka law."…

New Jersey passes nation’s toughest medical marijuana law

By a vote of 48 to 14 in the state’s assembly on Monday, New Jersey became the 14th state in the union to make legal accommodations for the use of medical marijuana. However, California this is not. The bill, which was supported by both outgoing Gov. John Corzine and Governor-elect…

New Jersey Senate defeats gay marriage bill

New Jersey’s state Senate has defeated a bill to legalize gay marriage, leaving it unlikely the state will have a gay marriage law in the very near future. The bill needed 21 votes to pass; only 14 senators approved the measure Thursday. Full story follows below Powered by Mochila…

Court rules Obama’s detention powers not limited by laws of war

The Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Tuesday that upholds the Bush administration’s broad claims of executive power to detain non-citizens. The case, Al-Bihani v. Obama, “was the first by the Circuit Court to directly apply the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in Boumediene v. Bush creating a…

17,000 potentially harmful chemicals kept secret under obscure law

Of some 84,000 chemicals being used commercially in the United States, some 20 percent — or 17,000 — are kept secret not only from the public, but from medical professionals, state regulators and even emergency responders, according to a report at the Washington Post. And the reason for this potentially…

TSA nominee’s data snooping raises privacy concerns

An admission by the Obama administration’s nominee to run the Transportation Security Administration that he improperly accessed personal information about his estranged wife’s boyfriend and then inadvertently misled Congress about it is raising concerns about the security of air passengers’ private information. Erroll Southers, whose bid to become head of…

Washington slaps fee on plastic shopping bags

WASHINGTON — Residents of the US capital may have to dig a little deeper into their pockets when they go grocery shopping once the city slaps a five-cent levy on each plastic bag issued at the checkout line. The measure, which takes effect on January 1, 2010 and is the…

Brazil passes law cutting carbon emissions 39% by 2020

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Tuesday signed a law requiring that Brazil cut greenhouse gas emissions by 39 percent by 2020, meeting a commitment made at the Copenhagen climate change summit. Brazil announced at the summit a “voluntary commitment” to reduce CO2 emissions by between 36.1 and 38.9 percent…

‘Traditional marriage’ defender Rove mocked for getting divorced

The progressive blogosphere is having a good laugh at self-professed “traditional marriage” defender Karl Rove, after a Texas court granted the former Bush White House political mastermind his second divorce. The man referred to as “Bush’s brain” ended his 24-year marriage to Darby Rove last week, said Dana Perino, the…

‘War’ on Wall Street? Bankers slam regulations that were in place 10 years ago

From 1933 to 1999, the Glass-Steagall Act separated commercial banking from investment banking, preventing deposit-taking banks from using consumers’ money for risky stock market investments. For two decades prior to Glass-Steagall’s repeal, the financial sector experienced robust, record-breaking growth. And less than a decade after the law was repealed, the…

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