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U.S. astronauts somber as shuttle era comes to an end

The Atlantis roars back to Earth this week ending America’s vaunted space shuttle program and frustrating a generation of astronauts who see their chance to soar into the cosmos sharply limited. US astronauts bound for space will now have to hitch a ride on the Russian Soyuz rocket, at more…

Gold soars above $1,600 per ounce for first time

The price of gold surged on Monday above $1,600 per ounce for the first time in history, as investors bought the safe-haven metal amid deepening debt worries in the eurozone and the United States. Gold jumped as high as $1,600.10 an ounce in early morning trading on the London Bullion…

Obama urges ‘shared sacrifice’ on debt

WASHINGTON — Insisting he is “willing to compromise,” President Barack Obama called on US lawmakers Saturday to quickly forge a deal that would avert an early August debt default by the world’s richest nation. Obama has warned of economic “Armageddon” should Congress fail to raise the debt limit to allow…

Homeless veteran numbers drop by 55,000: VA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of homeless veterans on any given night has dropped by over 55,000, the Department of Veterans Affairs said on Friday, due in part to programs like the $46.2 million announced Thursday to provide permanent housing for 6,790 homeless veterans. Despite a still-stagnant economy and increased…

Florida jail ends free underwear for inmates to cut costs

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (Reuters) – A central Florida sheriff has announced a cost-saving measure that hits below the belt: no more free underwear for men booked into jail. Starting August 1, the Polk County jail will no longer provide five pairs of briefs to male inmates. Instead, inmates will have…

Charges dropped against woman who grew organic garden, but new charges filed

A Detroit woman who was facing jail time for growing an organic garden in her home’s front yard is no longer in legal jeopardy on that charge, her attorney said this week — but she’s now facing charges on a new “crime”: not having proper licenses for her two dogs.…

U.S. ‘running out of time’ on debt deal: Obama

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama Friday said the United States was “running out of time” to reach a deal on raising the country’s debt ceiling to avert a possible early August default. “We are obviously running out of time. And so what I’ve said to the members of Congress is…

Netflix price hike draws user ire, investor glee

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Netflix Inc’s hefty price increase provoked an unprecedented outpouring of outrage on the Internet, but Wall Street cautiously welcomed the move, sending its shares up nearly 3 percent on Wednesday. Thousands of subscribers complained on Netflix’s official blog with many threatening to cancel subscriptions after the…

Strong blast hits Egyptian gas pipeline: report

CAIRO — Saboteurs bombed an Egyptian gas pipeline in the Sinai peninsula for the fourth time since February, cutting supplies to Israel and Jordan, the official MENA news agency reported Tuesday. The blast occurred near the town of al-Arish in the north of the Sinai peninsula, it said, adding that…

Atlantis blasts off on end-of-era spaceflight

Atlantis blazed a path into history Friday as it rocketed off the launch pad for a final time, marking the last-ever liftoff of the 30-year-old American space shuttle program. The storied spacecraft is carrying a crew of four US astronauts toward the International Space Station on a 12-day mission to…

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