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Carnival singer Michel Martelly to become Haiti’s first post-quake president

by Clarens Renois PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Michel Martelly, a carnival singer with a colorful past who seized the mantle of change, is Haiti’s new president after storming to a landslide victory, preliminary results showed. The 50-year-old faces the huge challenge of rebuilding the Caribbean nation, which was the poorest country…

Colorado Senate backs civil unions for same-sex couples

DENVER (Reuters) – A bill in the Colorado legislature that would grant same-sex couples civil unions with certain legal rights passed the Democrat-controlled Senate on Thursday. But the bill still faces a hurdle in the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold the majority. The Colorado Civil Unions Act would give…

US hails Egypt vote as ‘important step’

CAIRO – The United States said Sunday that a weekend vote in Egypt that drew millions to the polls was an “important step” towards achieving the goals of the protesters who ended decades of authoritarian rule. US ambassador Margaret Scobey hailed the huge turnout for the referendum on constitutional changes…

228 Republicans vote to defund NPR

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Legislation to bar federal funds from being spent on National Public Radio passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday, although its ultimate prospects of becoming policy looked doubtful. HB 1076 passed after morning and afternoon debate sessions and follows recent controversies involving NPR’s executives, and other…

‘Wisconsin 14′ Dems speak at homecoming rally

The so-called “Wisconsin 14″ — those 14 Democratic state senators who fled Wisconsin to try and invoke debate and avoid a vote that would ban collective bargaining — returned to the Capitol building in Madison Saturday afternoon. They held a news conference while tens of thousands protested in the streets,…

Wisconsin governor cancels layoffs after union vote

MADISON, Wis (Reuters) – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said on Friday he was canceling the layoff warning notices he sent late last week to public sector unions after lawmakers approved his proposal to restrict the collective bargaining rights of those unions. Walker said the new powers for state and local…

Progressive groups raise $200,000 in hours after WI vote, will target vulnerable GOP lawmakers

The liberal groups Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy For America raised $200,000 since Wednesday night’s anti-union vote in Wisconsin and intends to use the money to target vulnerable lawmakers in the state. A joint campaign by the groups at WarOnWorkingFamilies.com witnessed a dramatic surge in fundraising after Wisconsin Republicans…

Senate passes bill to temporarily avoid gov’t shutdown

WASHINGTON – The Senate overwhelmingly approved a continuing resolution Wednesday that keeps the government running through March 18 and cuts federal spending by $4 billion. The stop-gap measure passed 91-9 in a morning vote, temporarily averting a government shutdown that would otherwise have occurred Friday. The House approved it Tuesday…

Ohio readies union bill vote, Indiana delay continues

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A vote on an Ohio bill that would end collective bargaining rights for public employees could come as early as Wednesday, a state senator said on Sunday. Meanwhile, in Indiana, Democratic state representatives could stay in Illinois all week to avoid votes on bills they say would…

Indiana lawmakers pass immigration curbs like Arizona

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – The Indiana senate passed a sweeping immigration bill that echoes Arizona’s tougher measures on illegal immigrants and despite opposition from some of the largest employers and business groups in the state. The measure, passed on Tuesday night by a vote of 31-18, would allow state and local…

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