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US combat brigades still in Iraq: report

The US military and the Obama administration loudly trumpeted the withdrawal of the “last combat brigade” from Iraq last week, but news reports suggest the move is purely semantic: The combat brigades are still there, but under a different name. The Army Times reported on Saturday that the US still…

Hawaii governor vetoes same-sex civil unions, calling it ‘marriage by another name’

Hawaii’s governor on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have permitted same-sex civil unions, ending months of speculation on how she would weigh in on the contentious, emotional debate. Republican Gov. Linda Lingle’s action came on the final day she had to either sign or veto the bill, which the Hawaii…

US Army employee threatens vuvuzela blower with an ax

BERLIN – German police say an American got so fed up with the constant mosquito-like droning from his neighbors’ vuvuzela plastic horns that he threatened to kill them with an ax. Police in the Bavarian city of Weiden said Friday the 45-year-old man confronted his neighbors during Thursday’s Netherlands-Cameroon World…

More than 1,000 people create live Impressionist painting

ROUEN, France — Some 1,250 people held enlarged fragments of a reproduction of a Claude Monet masterpiece above their heads Saturday in a bid to create the world’s biggest live Impressionist painting. The creation of a 600-square-metre (6,450-square-feet) version of a painting Monet made of Rouen’s landmark Gothic cathedral kicked…

Chavez uses state funds to hire 200 staffers to manage Twitter account

CARACAS (AFP) – Just days after his new Twitter account became a must-read in Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez said he was setting up a special office with 200 staff and public funds to handle requests supporters Tweet him. “I’ve created my own Chavezcandanga mission to answer (the messages) and we’re…

Bush’s ex-spokesman: Rove ‘living in his own world’

Karl Rove has been accused by prominent journalists of distorting and rewriting history in his new memoir Courage and Consequence. Now, he’s being rebuked as a fabricator by one of his close former colleagues in the Bush White House. Former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan on Tuesday sharply rebuked Rove…

Bollywood star claims he autographed his own naked body scan

Joking comments on a foreign TV talk show last Friday were either exaggerations designed to self-inflate a Bollywood star’s ego or they might signify — as an ACLU blogger sees it — that “the future is now.” Civil libertarians have argued that if airports use full body scans on travelers,…

Alleged Christmas day bomber pleads not guilty

Hobbled by leg irons, a young Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a US plane on Christmas Day pleaded not guilty during his first court appearance amid heightened security. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, spoke softly from the dock Friday to confirm his name, how it was spelled and his…

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