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2:34pm

Wed August 17, 2011
Law

In Top Court, Anticipated Health Law Review Raises Ethics Questions

In the coming term — the Supreme Court is expected to review President Obama's health care law. With that in mind, some interest groups are raising questions about the Court's ethics rules that govern when a justice should be disqualified from a case. Should Justice Clarence Thomas have to recuse himself because his wife has actively and publicly opposed the health care law? Or, should Justice Elena Kagan disqualify herself because she was a top legal official in the Obama administration when the law was enacted?

2:32pm

Wed August 17, 2011
The Two-Way

Ambassador Locke Picks Up His Own Coffee, Gains 'Hero' Status Among Chinese

Some pictures of the brand new U.S. ambassador to China are causing quite a stir. There's no scandal, instead the pictures have the Chinese reconsidering how their own public servants should act.

And it's all because of a coffee break.

We'll explain: Someone took a picture of Ambassador Gary Locke buying his own coffee at Starbucks in the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. And, then, later pictures showed Locke and his family arriving at a Chinese airport carrying their own bags.

Many Chinese were incredulous.

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2:09pm

Wed August 17, 2011
Politics

Pa. Senator On Deficit Panel A Tea Party Favorite

The legislation that finally resolved the debt-ceiling debate earlier this summer also created a panel of 12 lawmakers charged with finding more than $1 trillion in cuts to the federal deficit.

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, dubbed the "supercommittee," has a big job to finish by a Thanksgiving deadline.

Among the six Democrats and six Republicans appointed to the group is Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), a Tea Party favorite who was swept into office with the GOP tide last year.

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2:04pm

Wed August 17, 2011
Middle East

In Syrian Conflict, Tactics Grow Increasingly Brutal

Originally published on Wed August 17, 2011 7:40 pm

This screen grab, taken from an amateur YouTube video, shows a crowd beating a man in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour. This video cannot be independently verified.
YouTube

Syrian tanks and gunships are attacking neighborhoods in towns and cities around the country that have been hotbeds of anti-government protest, as the government pushes ahead with what's being called a Ramadan offensive.

Activists say the latest, most grisly trend is to detain protesters, torture them to death, then release their bodies for all to see. Activists say of the 70 deaths in detention they've documented so far, nearly 40 have been in the central city of Homs.

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1:45pm

Wed August 17, 2011
It's All Politics

Obama Prepares Ground For Campaign Against 'Do-Nothing Congress'

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 10:39 am

President Obama works rope line in Atkinson, Ill., Aug. 17, 2011.
Carolyn Kaster AP

It's safe to say President Obama probably isn't going to get much of anything that can be seen as an initiative of his administration through Congress in the next 15 months.

Obama and congressional Republicans have two entirely different prescriptions for how to create jobs, for instance. Obama emphasizes investments in infrastructure that would employ construction workers, for instance.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans argue that their agenda of tax cuts and fewer regulations would cure a too-high jobless rate.

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