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Former world leaders say decriminalizing marijuana worth trying

NEW YORK — A group of prominent former world leaders said Wednesday the so-called war on drugs has “failed” and that decriminalizing marijuana may help curb drug-related violence and social ills. “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world,” the members…

Former world leaders: War on drugs has failed

NEW YORK – A group of prominent former world leaders said Wednesday the so-called war on drugs has “failed” and that decriminalizing marijuana may help curb drug-related violence and social ills. “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world,” the members…

Gingrich once owed $500,000 to posh New York jeweler: report

According to a report by Politico’s Jake Sherman, in 2005 and 2006 former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) owed as much as $500,000 to New York-based jeweler Tiffany & Co. — and his spokesman won’t say why. Confronted with questions about the congressman’s less-than-conservative spending on jewelry, Gingrich press secretary…

Two pounds of marijuana earns NOLA man a life sentence

A 35-year-old man from New Orleans was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison after he was convicted of possessing two pounds of marijuana with the intent to distribute, according to a report in The New Orleans Times-Picayune. It was the fourth marijuana conviction for Cornell Hood…

New Zealand commission urges gov’t to allow sales, use of marijuana

A government sponsored commission Tuesday recommended a major overhaul to drug laws in New Zealand. In their four-year review, the Law Commission called for legalizing medical marijuana, decriminalizing small amounts of cannabis and “social dealing,” and rescinding paraphernalia laws. Use of marijuana for medicinal purposes should not be prosecuted until…

U.S. denies considering tougher visas for Chinese officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department denied a newspaper report on Wednesday that Washington could respond to a series of Chinese diplomatic snubs by making it more difficult for senior Chinese officials to secure visas. “The U.S. has not contemplated, nor is it considering any changes to our visa policies in China,” State…

US banks to settle on financial crisis penalties: report

NEW YORK (AFP) – Several major US banks are close to an agreement with the Wall Street regulator to settle fraud allegations related to the “toxic” mortgages behind the 2008 financial crisis, a report said Friday. An initial agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could be settled next…

Banking culture still rewards risk, pays too well: survey

LONDON (Reuters) – Banks need to do more to shift away from a culture of risk and the excessive pay structures that prevailed before the financial crisis, an industry report said. Banks have made progress since 2008 as top management and boards have become more involved in setting risk policy…

China cites WikiLeaks to mock U.S. human rights record

The United States has no grounds to criticize China’s handing of human rights issues while it struggles to keep its own people in the dark on secrets outlet WikiLeaks, the Chinese government said Monday in a lengthy document released to state-run newspapers. The document was issued as a response to…

Clinton urges China to free activists

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China to free dozens of government critics rounded up this year including a prominent artist and said Beijing’s rights record was worsening. The State Department’s annual survey said China last year stepped up efforts to rein in activists, the media…

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