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New Hampshire Senate passes gay-marriage bill
29 Apr 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Andrew J. Manuse CONCORD, New Hampshire (Reuters) - New Hampshire's Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would legalize same-sex marriage after an amendment was added that allows clergy to decline to marry gay couples. The bill, which passed in a 13-11 vote, needs to be signed by Governor John Lynch to make New Hampshire the fifth U.S. state where gay marriage is legal. The Demo ...


Muslims get long sentences for U.S. Army base plot
29 Apr 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Two Muslim men convicted of plotting to kill soldiers at a U.S. Army base received long prison sentences on Wednesday for a plan prosecutors said was inspired by holy war against the United States. Three others in the plot were handed life sentences on Tuesday. Mohamad Shnewer, 23, a Jordanian-born taxi driver from Philadelphia, was sentenced to life plus 30  ...


Fed says U.S. recession appears to be easing
29 Apr 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Mark Felsenthal and Alister Bull WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday the pace of deterioration in the U.S. economy appeared to be slowing but that it would continue to keep interest rates exceptionally low to ensure recovery. Wrapping up a two-day policy meeting, the U.S. central bank said it had decided to hold benchmark overnight interest rates in the ze ...


Obama marks 100th day in office
29 Apr 2009 source: bbc.co.uk

US President Barack Obama has been sketching out the future direction of his administration, as he marks his first 100 days in office. Mr Obama is addressing a town hall meeting in St Louis and will hold a primetime news conference, which will be broadcast live on most TV networks. Traditionally, commentators have used the milestone to assess presidents' early successes and failures. Latest polls suggest Mr Obama continues to enjoy a high level of popularity.  ...


Raul Castro repeats U.S. talks offer
29 Apr 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban President Raul Castro repeated on Wednesday an offer to discuss "everything" with the United States to try to improve relations, but said Cuba did not have to make any "gestures" to its long-time enemy. "We have reiterated that we are willing to talk about everything with the United States, in equality of conditions, but not to negotiate our sovereignty, nor our pol ...


17 killed in twin Baghdad car bomb attack
29 Apr 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At least 17 people were killed and 48 wounded on Wednesday when two car bombs exploded in a busy market in Baghdad's Sadr City slum, police said. A third car bomb was discovered and was being defused, the police said. The blasts followed suicide bombings last week in which at least 150 people died in just two days, stirring fears that Iraq could slide back into broader s ...


U.S. drone fires missile in Pakistan
29 Apr 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A pilotless U.S. drone fired a missile into Pakistan's South Waziristan, a major sanctuary for al Qaeda and the Taliban, on Wednesday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties, intelligence officials said. "One missile was fired. People are rushing toward the area but we don't know about casualties," an intelligence official told Reuters by telephone  ...


U.S. economy tumbles in first quarter
29 Apr 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy contracted at a surprisingly sharp 6.1 percent rate in the first quarter as exports and business inventories plummeted. The drop in gross domestic product, reported by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, was much steeper than the 4.9 percent annual rate expected by economists and followed a 6.3 percent decline in the fourth  ...


Basra lowdown
29 Apr 2009 source: bbc.co.uk

UK forces had five bases in and around Basra. They began to vacate them or hand them over to the Iraqis during 2007. Basra International Airport was officially handed over to US control in April.


US reports first swine flu death
29 Apr 2009 source: bbc.co.uk

A Mexican child has died of swine flu in Texas - the first death from the virus outside Mexico, where it may have killed as many as 159 people. Officials say the 23-month child had been visiting relatives in the Houston area when he became ill. President Barack Obama urged local authorities across the US to be vigilant and shut schools if necessary. Several new cases have been reported in Europe. The World Health Organization has called a meeting on the outbreak.  ...


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