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New York’s Gov. Cuomo drives same-sex marriage debate

ALBANY, New York (Reuters) – In a push to legalize same-sex marriage, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has emerged as a closed-door strategist, allowing gay rights groups to own the public campaign and also the loss that could result if legislation fails this year. Cuomo, a Democrat in his first year in…

Feingold compares new Obama fundraising group to Karl Rove

WASHINGTON – Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) on Friday tore into Democrats for launching a new outside group to aid President Barack Obama’s re-election efforts in part by raising undisclosed funds. “Democrats who mirror the right-wing tactics of Karl Rove and David Koch do our nation no favors,” said Feingold,…

Japan auto giants see home output plunge post-quake

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s leading automakers said Monday that domestic production plummeted in March after the massive quake and tsunami, which shut off parts supplies and led to widespread power shortages. Toyota, Nissan and Honda all reported massive falls in output due to the disaster and ratings agency Standard &…

Ted Stevens memorial holiday established in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – The last Saturday of July will now be known in Alaska as “Ted Stevens Day,” under a new law that memorializes the nation’s longest-serving Republican senator, who died last year in a plane crash. The bill was signed on Friday by Governor Sean Parnell, a Republican,…

Executions down in 2010: Amnesty

LONDON (Reuters) – At least 527 people were executed around the world last year, down from 714 in 2009, although China is believed to have put to death thousands more, human rights group Amnesty International said on Monday. It said Beijing was thought to have executed far more people than…

Lawsuit pits Target against gay-rights group

The retailing giant Target came under fire last year for its donations to run ads supporting an anti-gay rights candidate in Minnesota. Target insists that it is not anti-gay and has contributed to gay and lesbian organizations, but as recently as this month, concerns about last year’s incident caused Lady…

Pope’s book says Jesus was no ‘political revolutionary’

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI has rejected the idea of Jesus as a “revolutionary”, saying he used the “power of love” in a new book in which he also says the Jews were not responsible for Christ’s death. Jesus “does not come as a destroyer. He does not come…

Beyonce donated Gaddafi-linked money to Haiti

LOS ANGELES – Grammy-winning singer Beyonce donated money received for a New Year’s Eve concert reportedly for Moamer Kadhafi’s son to help Haiti relief over a year ago, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. Beyonce gave the money away as soon as she learned of the Kadhafi connection to the concert at…

US growth slows to 2.8% in fourth quarter

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US economic growth slowed to 2.8 percent in the last quarter of 2010, the Commerce Department said Friday, a pace that was slower than initially estimated. Growth for the last three months of the year was revised down from a previously announced 3.2 percent rate.…

House votes to cut all funding for US Institute of Peace

The US House of Representatives accepted an amendment to the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2011 on Thursday to eliminate all funding for the US Institute of Peace (USIP), an independent government-funded institution to analyze and prevent international conflict. “I am very pleased my amendment to end federal…

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