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Texas House passes bill to criminalize TSA patdowns

A bill that would criminalize the infamous “pat-down” at airport security checkpoints has made its way to the Texas Senate after clearing a key vote in the House on Friday evening. When the bill was introduced, it was seen as a longshot even in the Republican-dominated Texas House. That seemed…

Iranian cleric: Ahmadinejad ‘under a spell’

By Laurent Maillard TEHRAN — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been put “under a spell” by his chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, an ultra-conservative cleric was quoted by local media on Sunday as saying. “I’ve told some of my close friends that I am more than 90 percent certain…

Activists protest against Florida proposal to criminalize illegal immigrants

MIAMI — Hundreds of activists on Monday kicked off a week of protests in several Florida cities calling for the rejection of measures in the state congress that would criminalize illegal immigrants. The Florida House of Representatives is set to consider a measure that would authorize police to ask for…

As with blood, several types of human gut

PARIS — The human digestive tract, host to an ecosystem teaming with trillions of living bacteria, comes in three variations as distinct as blood groups, according to a study released Wednesday. These so-called “enterotypes” are found in populations worldwide and exist independent of race, country of origin, diet, age or…

Obama off to ‘friend’ Facebook in person

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama heads to Facebook’s headquarters on Wednesday to tout his budget cuts to followers of the social media powerhouse, which he also hopes to use to help get reelected. Obama, whose audacious 2008 White House bid leaned heavily on social networking sites, will hype his “Shared…

American being held in North Korea

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US State Department said Tuesday that an American is being held in North Korea and called for the person’s release on humanitarian grounds. Swedish officials, who represent the United States in the absence of diplomatic ties between Pyongyang and Washington, “have been able to visit” the…

Genital herpes ‘contagious even without symptoms’

WASHINGTON – Genital herpes can be transmitted even if a person has no symptoms, suggesting a high risk of transmission from people with unrecognized infections of herpes simplex 2, researchers said on Tuesday. The study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association followed about 500 people between March…

Ohio jailhouse killer to be executed Tuesday morning

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - Clarence Carter, a 49-year-old Ohio man convicted of beating to death another prison inmate after a dispute over what TV channel to watch, is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday morning. Carter will be the 12th person executed in the United Statesthis year and the third in Ohio. He…

Nebraska woman is mayor — and only resident — of her town

KANSAS CITY, Mo (Reuters) - Elsie Eiler is the most admired person in Monowi, Neb. She is also the smartest, wealthiest, best-looking and youngest. “And the oldest,” she is quick to add. When you are the only resident of a community, every title fits. Eiler, 77, is the lone inhabitant of Monowi,…

Willie Nelson to dodge jail over pot bust — in exchange for playing a song

On the road again, headed back to the “Live Music Capital of the World” (better known as Austin, Texas) around November of last year, legendary musician Willie Nelson was stopped by police in Hudspeth County. Smelling marijuana in Willie’s trailer, cops conducted a search, found the stash, and took the…

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