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Hagel orders top-to-bottom changes in nuke force

Nuke admin changedDefense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered top-to-bottom changes in the management of the nation's nuclear arsenal Friday, saying a lack of sustained attention and investment in the force caused it to "slowly back downhill."

Speaking to Pentagon reporters, he said the Defense Department will boost spending on the nuclear forces by about 10 percent a year for the next five years -- an increase of nearly $10 billion -- adding there is no problem on this issue the Pentagon can't fix.


Former CEO indicted in 2010 mine disaster

west virginia coal disasterMore than four years after an underground explosion killed 29 mine workers, a federal grand jury Thursday indicted the top executive of the West Virginia coal company that ran the mine, charging him with fraud and conspiracy to violate safety laws.

Don Blankenship, who was CEO of Massey Energy, becomes the highest-ranking executive to face charges in the deadly blast at the Upper Big Branc Mine, the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in 40 years.


Palestinian boy critically wounded at Jerusalem protest - apparently by police bullet

Palestinian boy critically woundedAn 11-year-old Palestinian boy was critically wounded in the face, apparently by a sponge-tipped bullet, during a violent protest Thursday afternoon in the East Jerusalem neighborhood Issawiya.

Haaretz reported recently that police handling disturbances in Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods have begun using a type of sponge-tipped bullet that is harder and more injurious than the kind they used to employ.


Warren Joins U.S. Senate Democratic Leadership Team

Elizabeth WarrenU.S. Senate Democrats elevated first-term Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to an expanded leadership team as they prepare to become the chamber’s minority party in January.

Warren, who will act as a bridge to the party’s liberal wing, said she’ll use her role to focus on financial equality in the U.S.

“Wall Street is doing very well; CEOs are bringing in more and more, yet families everywhere are struggling,” Warren told reporters at the Capitol in Washington.


‘Evil, abnormal beast’: FBI’s ‘suicide note’ to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. revealed 50 years later

MLKDr. Martin Luther King Jr. was called “an evil, abnormal beast” in an anonymous letter FBI agents sent the civil rights leader in 1964 in an effort to get him to commit suicide, a newly published, unredacted version of the note, shows.

The disturbing missive, which details intimate knowledge of King’s extramarital affairs, was sent in the days before he was to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and is written under the guise of a civil rights supporter angry with the movement’s leader.


Obama to protect 5 million from deportation

Obama to protect 5 million from deportationPresident Obama is considering an executive order that would protect as many as 5 million people from deportation, administration officials said Thursday.

But the officials -- speaking on condition of anonymity, citing internal deliberations -- said the details are still being developed and called reports of specific action "pre-decisional."


New Deaths Deepen Air-Bag Crisis as Investigators Summon Takata

Toyota recallAn air-bag crisis ensnaring the world’s largest automakers is deepening after Honda Motor Co. (7267) disclosed another death, a grand jury subpoenaed Takata Corp. (7312) and a U.S. Senate committee scheduled a hearing for next week.

Defective Takata air bags caused the July 27 death in Malaysia of a woman in a 2003 Honda City subcompact, said Akemi Ando, a spokeswoman for the carmaker. The pregnant woman’s unborn child also died, Honda said in a separate statement. The company was notified of the accident -- the first outside the U.S. -- one month later and is now recalling more than 170,000 additional vehicles worldwide because of a problem traced back to a Takata plant in Georgia, it said earlier.


Keystone pipeline approval bills advance in Congress

LandrieuLegislation to approve the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline began racing through the U.S. Congress on Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans appeared to be coming together in a challenge of President Barack Obama's oversight of the project.

In a series of rapid developments that unfolded just hours after Congress returned from a seven-week recess, there were indications the measure could pass and be sent to Obama sometime next week.


Texas lawmaker proposes 'license to discriminate' against LGBT

laws to discriminate against gaysA conservative Texas lawmaker is trying for the second time to pass a state constitutional amendment that would allow businesses to refuse to serve LGBT customers on the basis of religious belief.

State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, introduced a resolution that would ostensibly bolster religious freedom in the state, a measure nearly identical to one she introduced two years ago.


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