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United States

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Same-Sex Marriage In California

via Richard Wolf and Brad Heath, USA Today WASHINGTON — A fractured Supreme Court effectively opened the door for same-sex marriages to resume throughout California on Wednesday, saying it did not have the authority to hear a case challenging that state’s ban on gay and lesbian weddings. The court’s 5-4 decision, written by Chief Justice … Continue reading

Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Decision Could Come Tomorrow, And It’s Anything But Simple

via Richard Wolf, USA Today WASHINGTON — If the range of possible Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage this month requires a scorecard, the potential confusion arising from those decisions may demand a manual. It’s not as simple as whether gays and lesbians can marry or not, and whether they become eligible for federal benefits. … Continue reading

June 1st Is National Day Of Civic Hacking: White House Asks Americans To Solve Problems With Govt Data From NASA And More

via John Constine, TechCrunch The White House wants you to hack for a better America. Last month it announced the National Day Of Civic Hacking on June 1-2 where many government agencies will liberate data for citizens across the U.S. to use to build tech that helps their communities. Twenty-seven cities have planned events where … Continue reading

In Light Of Sandy Hook Tragedy, Lawmakers Consider Banning Assault Weapons

via Patricia Zengerle and Susan Heavey, Reuters A growing number of lawmakers – including a leading pro-gun senator – called on Monday for a look at curbing assault weapons like the one used in a massacre at a Connecticut grade school, a sign that attitudes toward gun control could be shifting. Senator Joe Manchin, a … Continue reading

Economy Added 146K Jobs In November; Unemployment Falls To 7.7%

via Vicki Needham, The Hill The economy added 146,000 jobs in November while the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent. It’s the lowest the jobless rate has been since December 2008, and the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was higher than estimates that had predicted Hurricane Sandy would hold total job growth down. … Continue reading

Israel Plans to Move Forward With E1 Settlements Despite International Outcry

via BBC News Israel says it will not give in to international pressure to halt plans for 3,000 new settler homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Israel would continue to stand by its “vital interests” and would not change its decision. The UK, France, Spain, Denmark and Sweden … Continue reading

Israel Moves To Build 3,000 New Settlement Homes As ‘Punishment’ For UN Vote On Palestinian Status

via Aron Heller and Karin Laub, Associated Press Israel responded swiftly Friday to U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state, revealing it will build 3,000 more homes for Jews on Israeli-occupied lands that the world body overwhelmingly said belong to the Palestinians. The plans also include future construction in a strategic area of the West Bank … Continue reading

Palestine’s Upgraded UN Status Granted By Wide Margin

via BBC News The UN General Assembly has voted to grant the Palestinians non-member observer state status – a move opposed by Israel and the US. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the assembly the vote was the “last chance to save the two-state solution” with Israel. Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, said the … Continue reading

ACLU Sues Department of Defense Over Policy Barring Women From Combat

via Peter Henderson, Reuters The American Civil Liberties Union and four servicewomen sued the U.S. Defense Department on Tuesday to end a ban on women in combat, calling the military the last bastion of discrimination by the federal government and saying modern warfare has already put women in the line of fire. The civil rights … Continue reading

U.S. Abortion Rate Falls 5% To Lowest Point In A Decade

via USA Today U.S. abortions fell 5% during the Great Recession in the biggest one-year decrease in at least a decade, according to government figures released Wednesday. The reason for the decline wasn’t clear, but some experts said it may be due to better use of birth control during tough economic times. Their theory is … Continue reading

Google Fiber Internet Service Tries To Bring U.S. Up To Speed

via David Talbot, MIT Technology Review, Mashable Google’s effort to install a blazingly fast, gigabit-per-second fiber Internet service in the two-state metropolis of Kansas City — a speed 100 times faster than the national average — is a radical new business direction for the company, and perhaps provides an unorthodox model for how to rewire … Continue reading

International Energy Agency Says U.S. Will Be World’s Largest Oil Producer By 2020

via Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times The U.S. will become the world’s top producer of oil within five years, a net exporter of the fuel around 2030 and nearly self-sufficient in energy by 2035, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. It’s a bold set of predictions for a nation that currently … Continue reading

President Of France Wants To Ban Homework

via The Wall Street Journal French President François Hollande has a bold new plan to tackle social injustice and inequality in France: ban homework. Introducing his proposals for education reform last week at the Sorbonne, the French president declared that work “must be done in the [school] facility rather than in the home if we … Continue reading

Obama Victory, Passage Of Progressive Ballot Measures All Thanks To Young Voters

via Tyler Kingkade, The Huffington Post Mitt Romney lost the youth vote by a huge margin, and with it, he lost the presidency. Sixty percent of young voters who cast ballots chose to reelect President Barack Obama, against the 36 percent who voted for Mitt Romney. That’s a six point slide in youth support for … Continue reading

Puerto Rico Approves U.S. Statehood In Non-Binding Vote

via WBEZ Chicago A slim majority of Puerto Ricans Tuesday sought to change their ties with the United States and become the 51st U.S. state in a non-binding referendum that would require final approval from Congress. The two-part referendum asked whether the island wanted to change its 114-year relationship with the United States. Nearly 54 … Continue reading

President Barack Obama Wins Second Term

via Steve Holland and John Whitesides, Reuters President Barack Obama rolled to re-election and a second term in the White House on Tuesday with a clear victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney as the Democrat overcame deep doubts about his handling of the U.S. economy. Romney called Obama to concede after the president’s victories in … Continue reading

As Govorner, Romney’s Lax Regulation May Have Facilitated Meningitis Outbreak

via Craig Unger, Salon The fatal meningitis epidemic sweeping the United States can now be traced to the failure of then-Gov. Mitt Romney to adequately regulate the Massachusetts pharmaceutical company that is being blamed for the deaths. At least 344 people in 18 states have been infected by the growing public health crisis and 25 … Continue reading

Arizona, Indiana Blocked From Defunding Planned Parenthood

via Tara Culp-Ressler, ThinkProgress Planned Parenthood scored two legal victories this week, with rulings in both Arizona and Indiana preventing the healthcare provider from being defunded. A federal judge has blocked Arizona from implementing HB 2800, a measure that would have revoked Medicaid funding for family planning services at any health organization that also provides … Continue reading

Human Rights Campaign Report: Catholic Church Gives More Than $1 Million To Fight Marriage Equality

via Lila Shapiro, The Huffington Post Continuing its efforts to fight same-sex marriage in four ballot measures around the United States, the Catholic Church is now the top donor to the cause among religious institutions, according to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign. This fall in Washington, Maryland and Maine, voters will decide … Continue reading

California: Prop 37 Will Decide If Genetically Modified Food Get Labeled

via Tom Philpott, Mother Jones You’d be forgiven for not noticing—unless you live in California, where you’ve likely been bombarded by geotargeted web ads and TV spots—but this election could spur a revolution in the way our food is made. Proposition 37, a popular Golden State ballot initiative, would require the labeling of food containing … Continue reading

Supreme Court Revisits Affirmative Action In College Admissions, Hears Arguments For Fisher v. University of Texas

via Robert Barnes, The Washington Post The Supreme Court seemed deeply divided Wednesday over the future of affirmative action in college admissions, with liberals defending a university’s right to assemble racially diverse student bodies, and conservatives worrying about the constitutional rights of those who are denied admission because of their race. As expected, the justice … Continue reading

Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.8%, Near-Four Year Low

via Lucia Mutikani, Reuters The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to a near four-year low of 7.8 percent in September, a potential boost to President Barack Obama’s re-election bid. The Labor Department said on Friday the unemployment rate, a key focus in the race for the White House, dropped by 0.3 percentage point to its lowest … Continue reading

Romney Receives Much Needed Boost From Debate

via Jonathan Mann, CNN Mitt Romney was ready. After nearly two-dozen debates against fellow Republicans earlier in his campaign and exacting preparation in the months since, the Republican candidate had his first chance to debate with Barack Obama face-to-face. The result seemed so imbalanced that even some of the president’s supporters quickly conceded defeat. “It … Continue reading

DHS Grants Same-Sex Couples Protection From Deportations

via Julia Preston, The New York Times The Department of Homeland Security has stated in writing that foreigners who are same-sex partners of American citizens can be included under an Obama administration policy suspending deportations of some immigrants who pose no security risk. In letters sent late Wednesday to several Democratic lawmakers, Homeland Security Secretary … Continue reading

Facebook Can ID Faces, But Using Them Is A Matter Of Privacy

via Somini Sengupta and Kevin J. O’Brien, The New York Times Facebook on Friday confronted a new obstacle over what to do with one of its most vital assets — pictures. The company promised European regulators that it would forgo using facial recognition software and delete the data used to identify Facebook users by their … Continue reading

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