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President says his goal is to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's $3.7 trillion budget for 2012 was quickly dismissed Tuesday by House Republicans for taking a pass on tackling historically huge federal deficits.


The oil giant calls the decision 'illegitimate and unenforceable'

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) -- An Ecuadorean judge ruled Monday in an epic environmental case that Chevron Corp. was responsible for oil drilling contamination in a wide swath of Ecuador's northern jungle and ordered the oil giant to pay $8.6 billion in damages and cleanup costs.


Mark Kelly says he can ask his wife questions and she can respond

PHOENIX (AP) -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords can walk while holding onto a cart, mouth the lyrics to easy songs and have simple conversations, according to family, staff and her doctors.


Cotton has more than doubled in price over the past year

NEW YORK (AP) -- The era of falling clothing prices is ending.


Proposes trimming the deficits by $1.1 trillion over a decade

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.73 trillion budget Monday that holds out the prospect of eventually bringing deficits under control through spending cuts and tax increases


Expert: "System shackled by institutional bias, cultural ignorance"

The numbers are disturbing. There are more than half a million children in the foster care system in the United States, and African-Americans make up nearly 40 percent of that number. U.S. Census data shows Black children in foster care, especially older ones, are less likely than White children to be adopted.


Civil rights groups fear impact on elderly and minorities

The first truly controversial act of the new Texas Legislature came last week with the passage of SB 14, a new voter identification bill that would require any voter to present a state-issued photo ID - typically a driver's license - in order to vote. Proponents of the bill argue that such legislation is needed in order to protect the integrity of elections. Opponents, including some traditional civil rights organizations, fear that any such law will have a disproportionate impact on minorities, the elderly and disabled.


Sons of Confederate Veterans wants to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- A fight is brewing in Mississippi over a proposal to issue specialty license plates honoring Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.


ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- A natural gas explosion rocked a downtown neighborhood overnight, leveling two houses and spawning fires that burned for hours through an entire row of neighboring homes


Expanding access to high-speed Internet to 98 percent of the nation within five years

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama wants nearly all Americans to have access to speedy wireless services.


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