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China congress chief rules out multi-party system

BEIJING — China’s parliament chief Thursday ruled out any shift to multi-party democracy in a speech that appeared to pour cold water on political reform hopes sparked by remarks from Premier Wen Jiabao last year. Wu Bangguo, who is officially number two in the country’s leadership behind President Hu Jintao,…

Obama joins forces with Jeb Bush on education

MIAMI (AFP) – In a case of strange political bedfellows, US President Barack Obama and Jeb Bush, the son and brother of presidents, shared a stage in Florida to push for education reform on Friday. Bush, the former governor of the Sunshine State, teamed up with Obama at a school…

Bahrain must reform now, Clinton says

WASHINGTON — Bahrain must carry out political reforms immediately, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in comments aired on Sunday in which she blasted any violence by the Gulf kingdom’s security forces as unacceptable . “Bahrain had started on some reform and we want to see them get back…

74 members of Congress file letter questioning impartiality of Justice Thomas

Seventy-four Members of Congress have signed a letter calling for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from cases involving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because of his family’s financial ties to groups dedicated to lobbying against it. “The appearance of a conflict of interest merits recusal…

Graham, Schumer reignite immigration reform

WASHINGTON – Key senators from both major parties have initiated new discussions on broad immigration reform, after Democrats attempted to take up the explosively controversial issue last year only to see it fail. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the point persons on immigration for their respective parties,…

Egypt’s Suleiman meets with opposition on reform

CAIRO (Reuters) – Vice President Omar Suleiman held talks on Sunday with Egyptian opposition groups including the officially banned Muslim Brotherhood to try and find a way out of the country’s worst crisis in decades, attendees said. They said the attendees included members of secular opposition parties, independent legal experts…

Bush-appointed judge dismisses legal challenge to health reform

WASHINGTON – A federal judge on Thursday sided with the Obama administration on the sweeping health care reform law, throwing out a challenge to its constitutionality. Keith Starrett, a George W. Bush- appointed US District Court judge in southern Mississippi, said opponents of the individual mandate had offered “insufficient” basis…

Judge may escalate battle over health care reform

MIAMI – A Florida judge could on Monday become the second judge to declare President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law unconstitutional, in the biggest legal challenge yet to federal authority to enact the law. The judge, Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Florida, was expected to rule…

Egypt protest intensifies, Mubarak turns to army

CAIRO – Protesters intensified their campaign on Monday to force Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak to quit as world leaders struggled to find a solution to a crisis that has torn up the Middle East political map. Crowds flocked in the morning to Tahrir Square, which has become the focus of…

US, Europe fear Arab revolt ‘contagion’: analysts

PARIS — The United States and Europe are raising pressure for democratic reform in Egypt but face a tricky task amid fears that the violent unrest there could spread far beyond its borders, analysts say. The United States on Sunday raised pressure on Egypt’s long-time President Hosni Mubarak, its closest…

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