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Supreme Court upholds $270 million award to smokers

WASHINGTON — The US Supreme Court rejected an appeal request made by American tobacco companies on Monday in a class-action lawsuit that awarded 500,000 smokers a total of $270 million in damages. Without comment, the highest US court dismissed the appeal of a 2009 Louisiana court decision that ruled the…

Blagojevich jury has verdict, deadlocked on two counts: attorney

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The jury in the second corruption trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich said on Monday it had reached a verdict on 18 of 20 counts, the court clerk and spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office said. The verdict will be announced between 1 and 2 p.m.…

At least 28 killed as Bolivia bus plunges into ravine

LA PAZ — A public bus careened off a winding road and plunged some 100 meters (330 feet) into a ravine early Monday in southern Bolivia, near the Argentine border, killing at least 28 people, and leaving 10 injured, officials said. An investigation has been launched into the crash, said…

NASA: Asteroid to barely miss earth Monday

Astronomers have just discovered an asteroid that is expected come close enough to Earth Monday that it will be visible with amateur telescopes. The Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research centre (LINEAR) spotted Asteroid 2011 MD on June 22. It has an orbit similar to Earth’s. The asteroid will be visible from…

LulzSec: Arrested hacker not ours

The British teenager arrested Monday night on suspicion of being associated with hacking group LulzSec is not a part of the organization, they said on Twitter Tuesday. “Seems the glorious leader of LulzSec got arrested, it’s all over now… wait… we’re all still here! Which poor bastard did they take…

No automatic right to lawyer in U.S. civil cases: court

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Supreme Court ruled Monday that states did not have an automatic duty to provide counsel in civil courts in the case of a divorced father who was jailed for failing to pay child support. By a majority 5-4 vote, the justices found that while the…

Facebook growth slows as it loses some U.S. users

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Facebook is approaching 700 million members but its growth is slowing and it lost users in the United States and Canada last month, the Inside Facebook website said Monday. Facebook had 687 million members at the start of June, said Inside Facebook, which closely tracks developments…

Republicans pound Obama in first big debate

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (AFP) – Republican presidential candidates led by frontrunner Mitt Romney used their first big televised debate to lash out at President Barack Obama — but not each other. The debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, late Monday did little to define differences between the seven candidates in the…

Herman Cain: Only the Muslims not ‘trying to kill us’ should be in government

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain clarified his stance on appointing Muslims to government positions during CNN’s New Hampshire GOP debate on Monday. The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza had previously told ThinkProgress that he would not be comfortable appointing a Muslim to his White House cabinet or as a federal…

Obama: If I were Anthony Weiner, I would resign

President Barack Obama said in an interview Monday that if he was in the wake of a scandal like Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York is now, he would resign. “Well, obviously what he did was highly inappropriate,” he told NBC News. “I think he’s embarrassed himself, he’s acknowledged…

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