Daily Archives: February 2, 2012

Santorum Campaigns in Colorado Springs

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

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Rick Santorum changed venues just before his scheduled event in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Republican candidate appeared with Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family founder, and talked about abortion, stem cell research, and contraceptives.

He talked about the changes he would make on his first day as President. “I will not sign any bill that allows for any funding for abortions with any federal taxpayer dollars,” he said.

The Colorado Republican Caucus is February 7.


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Army Veteran Sues Government for Rights for Same-Sex Spouse

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A U.S. Army veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is suing the federal government, claiming she and her wife were denied military benefits available to married couples.

A complaint filed Wednesday in Los Angeles says that the government’s definition of marriage is unconstitutional and violates equal protection.

Tracey Cooper-Harris, who served twelve years in the Army, wants the same military benefits that a heterosexual married couple would receive.

Ms. Cooper-Harris was diagnosed in 2010 with multiple sclerosis, a disease that attacks the central nervous system.

Her disease is “service-connected.” Ms. Cooper-Harris wants to make sure that after she dies, her spouse, Maggie, whom she married in 2008, is taken care of financially.

She also wants Maggie to be buried next to her in a veterans cemetery. The Department of Veterans Affairs denied the request.

Even if the V.A. recognized the marriage, the federal government would not. The Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996, bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages and says states cannot be forced to recognize such marriages allowed in other states.

Ms. Cooper-Harris says she was married in California, where her marriage is legally recognized.

This is one of the first lawsuits filed by a veteran challenging same-sex marriage benefits from the military. It could take years for a decision to be reached.

Via CNN.

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Ecuador to Close “Clinics” to “Cure” Gays

Ecuador will investigate and act against any clinics found to be trying to force homosexuals to change their sexual orientation, a Health Ministry official said today.

Gay rights activists in the South American country say four clinics that engaged in coercive practices have been shut down in recent months but that others still run.

Health Ministry official David Troya told The Associated Press the agency will deal with any clinics that offer such treatments, which are abusive.

Newly named Health Minister Carina Vance, who has publicly defended gay rights, is hiring someone to work exclusively on the issue.

The ministry is “clear and emphatic” that in line with the World Health Organization findings, “homosexuality is not an illness and that as such a cure can’t be suggested, so that whoever offers treatments is deceiving people and acting illegally,” Mr. Troya said.

Paola Concha told the AP that her family sent her in 2006 to a clinic to “cure” her of homosexuality. “I received physical and verbal aggression during the eighteen months I was interned in one of these centers,” she said. “Nearly daily they beat me, and many times I was handcuffed to a pipe.”

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Facebook Files $5 Billion IPO

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Facebook files to raise $5 billion in an initial public offering of stock.

In 2011, Facebook earned $1 billion on sales of $3.7 billion. As of December 31, Facebook had 845 million daily active users.

The majority of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising, a combination of search and display ads.

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Combat Mission in Afghanistan to End in 2013

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The United States and NATO will end their combat mission in Afghanistan next year, transitioning to a training role, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said.

“Hopefully, by mid to the latter part of 2013, we’ll be able to make a transition from a combat role to a training, advise and assist role,” Sec. Panetta told reporters traveling with him to Belgium.

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Hundreds Killed or Injured at Football Riot in Egypt

At least sixty-eight people were killed when riots broke out at a soccer game in Egypt.

Hundreds were injured in the riots.

The fighting occurred in a stadium in the northeastern city of Port Said at a match between Al-Ahly and the home team, Al-Masry.

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AA Cuts 13,000 Jobs

American Airlines says it plans to cut 13,000 jobs as it attempts to emerge from bankruptcy.

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Researchers: Sugar Should Be Regulated Like a Toxin

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A spoonful of sugar might help the medicine go down, but it also makes blood pressure and cholesterol go up and increase the risk for liver failure, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Sugar and other sweeteners are so toxic to the human body that they should be regulated as strictly as alcohol by governments worldwide, according to a commentary in the current issue of the journal Nature by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

The researchers propose regulations such as taxing all foods and drinks that include added sugar, banning sales in or near schools and placing age limits on purchases.

The commentary might seem strange, but the researchers cite many studies and statistics to make their case that added sugar (specifically, sucrose, an even mix of glucose and fructose found in high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar) has been as harmful to society as alcohol and tobacco.

Via Yahoo! News.

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On This Day…

In 1943, the remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a major victory for the Soviets in World War II.

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Romney “Not Concerned” with Sounding Like an Ass

Mitt Romney - Caricature

Mitt Romney - Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Mitt Romney said on Wednesday that he’s not concerned about the plight of the country’s very poor because social safety nets take care of them.

“I’m in this race because I care about Americans,” Mr. Romney told Soledad O’Brien. “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.”

“I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling and I’ll continue to take that message across the nation.”

The CNN anchor pressed Mr. Romney. “You just said ‘I’m not concerned about the very poor because they have a safety net,’ and I think there are lots of very poor Americans who are struggling who would say that sounds odd. Can you explain that?”

“Well, you had to finish the sentence, Soledad,” said Mr. Romney. “I said I’m not concerned about the very poor that have the safety net, but if it has holes in it, I will repair them…The – the challenge right now – we will hear from the Democrat Party, the plight of the poor, and – and there’s no question, it’s not good being poor and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor. But my campaign is focused on middle income Americans. My campaign – you can choose where to focus. You can focus on the rich. That’s not my focus. You can focus on the very poor. That’s not my focus. My focus is on middle income Americans, retirees living on social security, people who cannot find work, folks who have kids that are getting ready to go to college. That – these are the people who’ve been most badly hurt during the Obama years.”

Whew! For a second there, I thought he was going to blow his answer.

The question was about a new poll indicating that when it comes to “understanding the needs of average Americans,” President Obama scored 55%, while he merited only 39%.

In January, Mr. Romney said that he once feared getting a pink slip. That comment drew criticism from his Republican rivals, particularly Texas Governor Rick Perry, because Mr. Romney is very wealthy. Most of his income comes from interest and capital gains.

Via ABC News.

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