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Fashion heiress, economist push foreign aid plan

May 23, 2009 5:54 am | by JANE WARDELL - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — An unlikely duo of a fashion heiress and a Nobel Prize-winning economist is pushing a controversial plan to boost aid to the developing world by giving wealthy donors a greater say in how the money is distributed.Backed by the head of the United Nations and a bevy of billionaires,...

Baghdad has new security layer: street gates, ML

May 23, 2009 5:54 am | by HAMZA HENDAWI - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

BAGHDAD (AP) — Even as the Iraqis are removing some of the concrete blast walls that divide Baghdad, authorities have quietly installed about 100 metal gates near a major Shiite shrine — a clear sign of ongoing security concerns as bombings continue.Perforated gates have been put up in the past...

Mayor proposes 6 furlough days for Tulsa workers, OK

May 23, 2009 5:54 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — City employees in Tulsa would be forced to take six unpaid furlough days under a new plan submitted to city councilors by Mayor Kathy Taylor that cuts $5 million in operating expenses out of her proposed budget.Taylor initially proposed four furlough days for city employees, but...

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GOP: Alternative energy alone won't meet US needs

May 23, 2009 5:44 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A GOP senator from the nation's leading coal-producing state contends Democrats will increase energy costs and make the U.S. more dependent on foreign oil if they focus solely on alternative energy.In the party's weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Sen. John Barrasso,...

Analysis: Iran looms over Obama Mideast peace bid, US

May 23, 2009 5:29 am | by MATTHEW LEE - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — An increasingly emboldened Iran is both complicating and giving promise to the Obama administration's efforts to forge peace in the Middle East.President Barack Obama and his team are reaching out to Iran. At the same time, the Islamic Republic's hostile rhetoric, nuclear...

Airlines in Tulsa OK ticket tax hike, OK

May 23, 2009 5:03 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Airlines operating at Tulsa International Airport have approved a 50 percent increase in ticket taxes to pay for improvements to the passenger terminal at the airport.The Passenger Facility Charge, now $3 per ticket for departing passengers at Tulsa International, would increase...

Lawyers' groups hold symposium on Article 9+

May 23, 2009 4:33 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO, May 23 (Kyodo) — The war-renouncing Article 9 of Japan's postwar Constitution has come under threat amid expansion of the Self-Defense Forces activities, panelists at a Tokyo symposium said Saturday."The SDF has been deployed on antipiracy missions off Somalia, and the restrictions on their...

SD gets more stimulus funds, SD

May 23, 2009 4:21 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Gov. Mike Rounds said the state has received $38.7 million for water and sewer projects through the federal stimulus package approved by Congress earlier this year.The Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program received $19.2 million. The program provides low-interest loans for...

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Obama keeps mum about conversation with Bush, US

May 23, 2009 4:21 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he's spoken with former President George W. Bush since taking office. But the current commander in chief is keeping mum about the details.Obama says that even though he's been president for only a few months, he thinks having a general policy of keeping...

Indian foreign minister takes finance portfolio, 1st Ld-Writethru, AS

May 23, 2009 4:20 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW DELHI (AP) — The newly elected Indian government announced key Cabinet positions Saturday, including former Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee as finance minister.A government statement said the foreign affairs portfolio went to S.M. Krishna, a longtime member of the ruling Congress Party and...

Obama hopes for 'leaner, meaner' GM and Chrysler

May 23, 2009 4:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC must emerge from their restructuring as "leaner, meaner" companies and that a substantial market awaits them if they make the right decisions.Obama said in an interview broadcast Saturday on C-SPAN that the...

Baseball: Kansai independent league outlines bailout plans+

May 23, 2009 4:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

AKASHI, Japan, May 23 (Kyodo) — Concerns over the fate of female knuckleballer Eri Yoshida's independent league have finally been put to rest, at least for now, as the league came up with bailout plans on Saturday.The low-budget, four-team Kansai Independent Baseball League has decided to set up a...

Baldacci reiterates anti-tax commitment, 1st Ld-Writethru, ME

May 23, 2009 4:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Gov. John Baldacci is using his weekly radio address to reiterate his promise not to raise "broad-based taxes" to balance the state budget.Baldacci says he and lawmakers have taken what was already a smaller two-year budget than its predecessor and reduced it from $6.3 billion...

Obama committed to moving ahead on health care

May 23, 2009 4:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says it's going to be very difficult to push a major health care overhaul through Congress.But the president says he really thinks "the stars may be aligned" and that a deal can get done if everyone involved works in a spirit of compromise, rather than rigid...

'Bloody intersection' secured by Pakistani troops, 7th Ld-Writethru, AS

May 23, 2009 3:54 am | by NAHAL TOOSI - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Taliban left so many mutilated bodies at the crossing — some hanging from trees with threatening notes — that Pakistanis in the Swat Valley's main town took to calling it "bloody intersection."On Sunday, the army said that spot and seven other major crossings in Mingora were...

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