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Obama's Pragmatism
I think I’m beginning to understand Barack Obama’s concept of pragmatism better. Pragmatism is the name of a school of philosophy. The major point to understand is that, in the pragmatic view, we have to continue working hard at “business as usual,” regardless of what we believe is ethically right or wrong. As I understand it, Obama’s current philosophically-inspired position is that economic success is the major gauge of his leadership, simply because that is the way everything works in our civilization. Many aspects of our system are repugnant, probably as much to Obama as to some of those reading this, but according to his pragmatism we can’t get away from things as they are.

Obama’s is a deeply thought out attitude and not the same as a policy of continuous expediency. He demands that we throw ourselves into the world as we find it. I think he would say that any other attitude amounts to shirking our (his) responsibility to run the country for the good of everyone, including the good of people we detest.

This attitude can be compared with the one advanced by Victor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl survived life in Auschwitz while following similar principles. I recommend Frankl’s moving and disturbing book without reservation to anyone who would try to see human beings as we are, inextricably connected to the world around us. In some ways the philosophy of Frankl is the antithesis of the agonized lament, heard in Jean-Paul Sartre’s play No Exit, that “Hell is other people.”

I’m not sure I can entirely accept either Obama’s pragmatism or Frankl’s grim determination to follow the road on which we find ourselves. Nevertheless I believe these are ideas that we need to take seriously, particularly in light of the current president’s apparently deep commitment to principles such as I am awkwardly trying to characterize here.

If Obama succeeds in getting himself voted in for another term, it will be interesting to find out what he does with his second four years. He may not change his policies, but I’m hoping he will start to explain, in much greater depth, the decisions he is making and the logic he follows in making them.

—Ralph    |  

Wiki-Leaking Bank Information
For anyone interested in learning more about Wikileaks, how it operates, its ethics and an example of the character of one leaker, I recommend watching this video. Probably because of server overload, the video may take up to about 15 minutes to begin playing. It’s worth the wait.
—Ralph    |  

USA Has a Right-Sided Bias
This week’s diplomatic spat between the US and Venezuela illustrates the built-in U.S. bias against leftist governments.
(Reuters) - Venezuela condemned on Thursday the United States’ revocation of its ambassador’s visa. […]

In the latest flare-up between the ideological foes, Washington withdrew the visa of ambassador Bernardo Alvarez on Wednesday in retaliation for the rejection by socialist President Hugo Chavez of Obama’s nominated U.S. envoy to Caracas.

Chavez had blocked [U.S. envoy] Larry Palmer’s arrival, after the diplomat accused Venezuela’s government of close ties to leftist Colombian rebels. [Palmer] also alleged declining morale and growing Cuban influence in Venezuela’s armed forces.

It’s easy to see why U.S. foreign policy is always so strongly biased against leftist governments: there are still substantial remnants of U.S. anti-communism, the pillar upon which most of Washington’s foreign policy rested from the beginning of the Cold War, around 1947, until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Throughout 44 years of Cold War polarization, a strong tradition of U.S. anti-leftism became deeply rooted. And even though 20 years has now passed since the collapse of Russian communism, there is still a fixed expectation, both at home and in the rest of the world, that the U.S. will always oppose leftist governments such as Venezuela’s, while glossing over the faults of rightist states like El Salvador, to which

the United States has sent more than $1 billion in military aid […] in the last decade, and $2 billion more in economic assistance.
Anti-communist habits of thought also help explain why, two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, U.S. press and media still retain a strong right-sided bias. A reflexive “anti-communist” miasma of condemnation subtly permeates the atmosphere when any domestic policy appears to lean leftward.

As long as reactive hatred of communism and reactive fear of terrorism combine to lock U.S. political dialog into a tiny pen, there’s little hope we’ll hear sensible policy discussion any time soon.

—Ralph    |  

Ease of Use
Republicans no longer care how obvious they are about passing legislation exclusively for the benefit of the wealthy. They have no further need to hide this or anything else, because the likes of Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly, Limbaugh and hundreds of other right-wing radio and tv presenters all over the country are able to spin whatever their favored politicians may happen to say into electoral gold.

This wonderful ease of use of the populace is just one of the many miracles made possible by having so large a proportion of uneducated and under-educated citizens. Remember that the American economy is driven by consumption. You only have to know how to eat.

—Ralph    |  

What is a Conservative?
What exactly is an American conservative, anyway? I can’t think of a description that fits the present range of candidates. Is a conservative…
  • A religious fundamentalist who is fanatically opposed to abortion for any reason?
  • A wealthy individual trying to get his taxes reduced by giving money to a politician who promises to cut all taxes?
  • A person opposed to government spending (except for military, CIA, Homeland Security and “Black Ops” spending)?
  • An advocate of “white power,” also opposed to social services and immigration?
  • Someone who believes in “personal responsibility” (except when his or own family needs some kind of help)?
  • A politician who tries to block any legislative proposal advanced by Democrats, including legislation he or she has previously sponsored?
  • Someone who believes “Barack Hussein Obama” is secretly a Kenyan Muslim?
This is, of course, an ironic post, but it also contains a serious question: is there any common set of beliefs shared by self-described American conservatives?
—Ralph    |  

Reality vs Human Nature
We often hear that “reality has a well-known liberal bias.” Public opinion, on the other hand, has a well-known bias in favor of ignorance and jingoism. The truth is usually evident, but will not be accepted until much later. This is especially true when the truth turns out to be unpleasant or (even worse) expensive.
—Ralph    |  

Angry with Barack Obama?
I get pretty disappointed, even angry with Obama because he has neither ended the wars nor closed Guantanamo, but then I have to remember how much I hated Lyndon Johnson for his horrible war in Vietnam. Because of the massive public reaction against that war, in 1968 Johnson did not run for a second full term in office.

But now we remember Lyndon Johnson as the president who moved the Civil Rights Act of 1965 through Congress, and signed it.

It’s true that Barack Obama isn’t the most popular president, and that he’s not helping other Democrats. Those are the unfortunate facts. But we can still hope that the legislation Obama and this Congress have passed will help the country over the long term.

—Ralph    |  

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

Cached Nov 27, 2015, 2:42 pm (all times Eastern US)
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Reuters News
EU, Turkey driving hard bargain
before migration summit

'Black Friday' protest of police
shooting hits downtown Chicago

Burundi's top opposition leader
Rwasa says fears for his life

Chicago police charge man in
gang-related killing of 9-year-old

Pope in Africa rails against
corruption, appeals for refugees

Saudis failed to investigate air strikes
on Yemen civilians: rights group

Ice, snow and rain pound central
U.S., at least 2 dead, 1 missing

Ukraine leaves sabotaged power lines
to Russian-annexed Crimea in mud

Even in Chavez's hometown, Venezuela
'revolution' ails before election

Suicide bomber hits Shi'ite
procession in Nigeria's Kano state

Former Algerian anti-terror chief
jailed for five years: source

Belgium charges sixth
suspect over Paris attacks

Passengers on BA jet that caught
fire in Las Vegas sue Boeing, GE

Burkina Faso to choose first
new leader in three decades

Broad smiles and enduring spirit at
Holocaust survivors' beauty contest

Poland's decision not to extradite
Polanski confirmed after appeal ruled out

US targets Islamic State with 18
air strikes in Iraq -US military

Debris from U.S. rocket recovered
off coast of southwest England

Pirates attack Polish ship off
Nigerian coast, kidnap five

Black Friday crowds thin in subdued
start to U.S. holiday shopping

HSBC whistleblower Falciani
sentenced to five years in prison

Tunisia bus bomber arrested,
freed before attack

Tunisia puts suspected returning
jihadists under house arrest

Iranian hard-liners said to intensify
crackdown ahead of key votes

Venezuela lashes U.S., opposition
amid blame over activist's slaying

NATO split on message to send
Georgia on membership hopes

Turkish journalists' arrests
draws protests home and abroad

Berlin police release men
suspected of planning attack

Ben Carson to visit Syrian
refugees in Jordan: reports

UK child sex abuse inquiry to
probe VIP, political allegations

Turkey's Erdogan warns Russia
not to 'play with fire'

Polish ship attacked off Nigeria
coast, five sailors held, Poland says

France pays tribute to
victims of Paris attacks

Two Palestinians ram cars into
Israeli soldiers, shot dead

Pope warns Kenyan youths
against 'sugar of corruption'

Clinton wins union endorsements but
still struggles to win over hearts

Toyota leads global car sales in
October, outsells VW for fourth month

Kurdish militant killed in clashes
with Turkish police: sources

Russia-Ukraine row over Crimea
escalates as Moscow cuts coal to Kiev

Bulgaria parliament ratifies fighter
jets repair deal with Poland

Dijsselbloem: Refugee crisis
could trigger 'mini-Schengen'

Germany says wants to keep
Schengen in current form

Turkey has 'big interest' in
revitalizing EU ties: Germany

Suspects arrested in Berlin had
links to Islamic State: paper

Germany arrests man who may have
sold guns to Paris attackers

Ukraine says Russia has started
to restrict its coal supplies

Thai junta faces backlog of industry
problems as global scrutiny mounts

Israel to open representative
office in Abu Dhabi

Ten EU nations say Nord Stream
gas extension not in EU interests

Senior Labour members may
quit over Syria action: BBC

Kurds should be at Saudi-held
Syria opposition meet: leader

Australia goes cold on
secure intranet sale

Allegations of plot against Thai
government unfounded: opposition

China air force again holds
drills in Western Pacific

India's Modi to meet Sonia
Gandhi to discuss tax reform

Indonesia raises concerns over
Australia's handling of asylum seekers

Chinese rights activist
jailed for six years

China navy holds first joint
anti-piracy drill with NATO

One killed, several injured in
hit-and-run crash in New York City

China's army to get more
prominent role in military reform

E. coli from Costco chicken
salad traced to tainted celery

Minneapolis Black Lives Matter
protesters hold community Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving shopping crowds 'good
not great'; online sales strong

More than one million children need urgent aid in
the conflict-torn Central African Republic: U.N.

Global landmine casualties increase,
Afghanistan largely to blame: study

Trump denies mocking New York
Times reporter's disability

Mexico Federal Police open to
probe on use of excessive force

North, South Korea plan further
talks to improve ties after standoff

Man who jumped White House fence
facing charges: Secret Service

Putin says to keep cooperating
with U.S.-led coalition over Syria

New videos raise fresh questions in
Chicago police shooting of black teen

Massachusetts police officer indicted
for shooting hoax found dead: report

Man detained after jumping over
White House fence: reports

Hollande, Putin agree to work more
closely to combat Islamic State in Syria

Niger says Boko Haram gunmen kill
18 in village bordering Nigeria

Turkey arrests two journalists
on terrorism charges: CNN Turk

Hurricane Sandra weakens to
Category 3 as it nears Mexico

Senior El Salvador priest fired
over alleged sex with minor

White House on lockdown after
fence-jumper caught: reports

Belgium eases alert level
but threat still 'serious'

Power blackouts test loyalty to
Kremlin in Russian-annexed Crimea

Report on whether Iran sought nuclear
bomb will not be clear cut: U.N

Canada giving C$100 million to
help address Syria refugee crisis

Mali says arrests two suspects
linked to Bamako hotel attack

Khodorkovsky says Putin is leading
Russia towards stagnation, collapse

Kenya says ready to leave global
court over case against VP

U.S. runs new rule over catfish
suppliers, giving Vietnam time to comply

Khodorkovsky says Russia's Putin
and West want rapprochement

Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in
West Bank clashes; Netanyahu strategy debated

France's Hollande, in Moscow, urges
grand coalition against Islamic State

Belgium lowers security
alert level in Brussels

Arsenic and mercury found in
river days after Brazil dam burst

New York's Thanksgiving parade draws
huge crowd amid tight security

Amazon ads for Nazi-themed TV
show pulled from N.Y. subway

Mexico official and Pena Nieto
ally resigns amid criminal probe

Tunisia identifies bus suicide
bomber as Tunisian national

Brazil arrests push Petrobras
probe back to Rousseff's door

Remember the Pilgrims, Obama says, in
appeal for generosity to Syrian refugees

Pope, in Africa, says failure of
climate summit would be catastrophic

Italy says no agreement made at
G20 to extend Russia sanctions

Belgian police mount search
linked to Paris attacks

Stranded migrants try to storm
into Macedonia, tear down fence

U.S., allies lead 27 strikes against
Islamic State: U.S. military

Russia seeks economic revenge
against Turkey over jet

Brussels mosque powder scare
turns out to be false alarm

Burundi says U.S. sanctions on
officials, others 'scandalous'

One dead in shooting at
Bangladeshi Shi'ite mosque

Exclusive: Lebanon army chief sees
growing risk from Syrian camps

Paris airport traffic down
after attacks, security tighter

Russia accepts
IAAF ban

Report on Iran's nuclear past won't
be 'black and white', U.N. says

Chemical teams attend Brussels
mosque after powder found

'Putin is not forever', says
daughter of slain opposition leader

Afghan president sacks security
officials over fall of Kunduz

More war, diplomacy not seen
breaking Syria stalemate

Miss World Canada prevented
from reaching China pageant

Boko Haram militants kill 15
in southern Niger: sources

Pope offers lesson in humility
to flashy African leaders

Opposition activist's murder
shakes Venezuela before election

Britain's Cameron says time
to bomb militants in Syria

Prominent Pakistani opposition figure
charged with aiding terrorists

Tunisia says identifies bus attack
suicide bomber, makes 30 arrests

Iraqi forces cut last IS supply
line to Ramadi by retaking bridge

Turkey's Erdogan says Russian response to
downed jet 'emotional' and 'unfitting'

Dutch anti-Ukraine activists
are helping Putin: Poroshenko

Saudi Arabia to execute more than 50
convicted of terrorism, local media say

Russia buries a fallen soldier,
but won't confirm where he fell

Turkey's Erdogan calls for new constitution
to include more powerful presidency

Suu Kyi says Myanmar cabinet to
include ethnic groups, other parties

Morocco arrests three suspected
Islamic State militants

Runway protesters cause traffic
chaos at London's Heathrow airport

Barclays fined for lax crime
checks in 'deal of century'

Saudi Arabia imposes sanctions
on at least 12 Hezbollah figures

Obama on Thanksgiving urges
generosity to Syrian refugees

China's Xi says to shake up
military structure in reform push

Special Report: Egypt locks
up lawyers in Islamist fight

South African court lifts 2009
ban on domestic rhino horn trade

After uproar, German town warms
to refugees who took over church

Bangladesh says kills military
chief of banned Islamist group

Pakistani Baluch rebels release
video of leader they say is alive

Ten people, including Rosneft workers,
killed in helicopter crash in Siberia

Russia to help Cambodia build
capacity for nuclear power

German lawmakers to discuss
support for France in IS fight

China military in talks for
logistics 'facilities' in Djibouti

Operation in Syria kills person
involved Beirut attacks: TV

Dutch court rules that migrants' right
to food, shelter not unconditional

French soldier dies from
injuries suffered in Mali

China court upholds conviction against
journalist but cuts two years off sentence

Polish refocus on Smolensk crash
could hurt relations with Russia

Britain's Labour Party says considering 'free
vote' for lawmakers on Syria airstrikes

Mother who left baby in New York City
church manger will not face charges

Russia says strengthens control
over food imports from Turkey

German interior minister calls for
European refugee cap: newspaper

Ex-Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards
hospitalized with pneumonia

Mud from Brazil dam burst
is toxic, U.N. says

Myanmar's Suu Kyi blames lack of safety
regulations for deadly landslide

China pledges to work with Africa in
fighting militancy after Mali attack

Venezuela's No. 2 chides new
Argentina leader for 'offense'

Venezuela opposition activist
shot dead, party says

Mexico police use of excessive force led
to deaths of six people: rights commission

Venezuela opposition says local
leader shot dead days before vote

Thai graft, royal insult cases
threaten to embroil junta

Number of African child brides to soar
by 2050 as population grows: U.N.

Exclusive: U.S. has urged legal reforms
abroad to block Islamic State recruits

Chicago cop's defense in murder case
depends on his fears, extent of threat

Some entrances, exits to New York bus terminal
briefly closed due to 'police activities'

Washington state student slams
campus response to racist messages

Obama says U.S. is safe as millions
set off on Thanksgiving travel

Canada refugee airlift hampered by
exit visa requirement: minister

Lagging behind Clinton in 2016 bid,
Sanders boosts staff, spending

Jury convicts Connecticut man accused
of running Ponzi scheme as teen

Four men held in connection with
shooting of Minnesota demonstrators

Man pleads guilty to stealing human
brains from Indiana medical museum

U.S. military fighter jet crashes
in New Mexico, pilot safe

Chicago calm a day after release of
video of police shooting teenager

Former boxing champ shot to
death during robbery in Atlanta

Argentine president-elect taps
ex-central banker as finance minister

Gun that killed California muralist
was stolen from U.S. agent: report

Obama congratulates Argentine
President-elect Macri: White House

Ohio woman fined for damaging county
office with glitter, 'silly string'

U.S. using sex, money to infiltrate
Iran, supreme leader says

U.S. reviews Thailand's trade
benefits after labor complaint

Sumner Redstone's lawyer denies
claims challenging his competence

Bankrupt grocer Haggen receives
court approval to sell 47 stores

Conflict, crisis give West Africa
chance to rebuild, improve education

Court rules Norway aid agency
'grossly negligent' over Kenya kidnap

Russia's past and present collide
at ceremony to honor former leader

Sarkozy battles far-right
in French regional vote

Obama signs U.S. defense
bill into law: White House

Obama jokes about presidential
race at turkey pardoning

France's Hollande heads to Russia
hoping for Syria breakthrough

At Trump's presidential rallies,
a combustible mix of glee, fear

Canada's murder rate in
2014 falls to 50-year low

Oregon patrolman reassigned after
calling black activists 'fools'

Florida 'Facebook killer' found
guilty of second-degree murder

Authorities in Niger
arrest five journalists

Germany's Merkel vows more
support for France after attacks

Georgia sheriff declares his
community 'politically incorrect'

UK-made cruise missile used in deadly
airstrike on Yemeni factory: Rights groups

Human error led to deadly U.S.
strike on Afghan hospital: military

Saudis to sue Twitter user who called
poet's death sentence 'ISIS-like'

GM, law firm can keep ignition
switch documents secret: U.S. judge

Puerto Rico Governor loses support
of mayors as debt crisis bites

Remains of Texas girl missing
since 1990 may have been found

Lawyer of Chicago officer charged with
murder says video 'distorts images'

Homeless man arrested in California
encampment had machine guns: police

EU lawmakers call for 'blacklist'
of European jihadists

Man dies at Ohio State after
taking annual lake plunge

Paris attacks a reason Canada
slowing Syria migrant flow, PM says

Hungarian court says terror
suspect is World War Two hobbyist

U.S. sanctions businessman helping Syrian
government buy oil from Islamic State

U.S. data points to moderate
fourth-quarter growth

Sisi loyalists sweep list
seats in Egypt's election

Sudan security forces
detain opposition leader

Russia and Turkey refuse to back
down in row over jet downing

Obama: no indication of attack
plots in U.S. over Thanksgiving

Brussels lockdown ends
but manhunt goes on

French comic convicted in
Belgium for anti-Semitic jokes

Security expected to be tighter as
Americans head off on Thanksgiving travel

St. Louis Rams player hospitalized
after shooting in Florida

Drug driving suit mimics
taking the wheel stoned

Tunisia says suicide bomber carried out
bus attack claimed by Islamic State

White House says Obama to deliver
statement on homeland security at 11:40 ET

U.S. probe says Afghan hospital
strike was tragic accident

Russian deputies seek accountability
for Armenia genocide denial

Iran to back Palestinians 'in
any way we can': Khamenei

Lebanon charges network
linked to Beirut bombings

U.S. consumer spending slowing, but
business investment poised to rise

December deal for British EU reform
difficult: chief EU negotiator

EU sounds alarm as internal
barriers rise in refugee crisis

Italy court clears PM Renzi over
expense claims when Florence mayor

Pope Francis lands in Kenya
at start of Africa tour

U.S. jobless claims
fall more than expected

Russia says downing of its jet
won't deflect it from Syria mission

Tales of crime and struggle
in Nairobi's bustling slums

Days before summit, Turkey, EU
face big hurdles to migration deal

U.N. accuses Houthis of blocking
supply routes to Yemen's Taiz city

Defiant Merkel vows to stand by
refugee policy despite security fears

Bangladesh detains two political
activists for IS propaganda

Four men accused of slashing inflatable
dam in drought-hit California

Germany to send up to 650 soldiers
to Mali for peacekeeping mission

Canada refugee plan revives
concerns over porous U.S. border

Putin says Turkey's leaders back
'Islamisation' of Turkish society: agencies

U.S. raises military aid to Philippines
amid sea tension with China

Merkel says Schengen agreement
needs further development

Brussels schools, metro
reopen under tight security

Russia ready for joint command
against Islamic State: Paris envoy

Security tight after Tunisia
bomb blast kills at least 13

French PM says Europe can't take in
more refugees: Sueddeutsche Zeitung

Thai constitution could give free rein
to military abuses, says rights group

China set to pledge more aid
to Africa ahead of Xi's trip

China fines five phony
Disney hotels: Xinhua

Bangladesh leader Hasina's gains
from shock hangings seen short-lived

Reports of civilian casualties dim
chances of U.S.-Russia alliance in Syria

Afghan forces launch bid to
rescue 18 captured by Taliban

Kabbalah Center follower wins
$177,000 in sexual misconduct suit

Militants fight their way into army
base in Indian Kashmir, officer says

U.S. working to keep up with
surging weapons demand: Pentagon

Hurricane Sandra forms off Mexico's
Pacific coast, seen strengthening

Thousands of Cubans stuck after
Nicaragua declines to open border

France, Belgium widen probe into Paris
attacks, Hollande meets with Obama

Oregon police investigate assault
of transgender college student

Seven charged with murder in beating
of teen at upstate New York church

Brazil Senate passes decree to
help utilities ahead of auction

Obama to meet advisers Wednesday on
homeland security after Paris attacks

Obama meets with national security advisers
on Islamic State threat: White House

U.S. Air Force looking into data breach
related to contract protest: sources

Honduras judge rules five Syrians to
face charges of falsifying documents

Baby in swaddling clothes found
in manger at New York church

Report says combination of errors led
to U.S. bombing of MSF hospital: NYT

Minneapolis police arrest three in
shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters

No explosives found in U.S.-bound
parcels at Cairo airport: DHL

Ohio man indicted for kidnapping
son from mother 13 years ago

Jury weighs murder charges
for Florida 'Facebook killer'

Magnitude 7.5 quake hits Peru-Brazil
border, no damage reported

University in Washington state
cancels classes after hate speech

Argentine president-elect picks
U.N. insider as his top diplomat

Washington state girl, 16, found
tied up in high school bathroom

U.S., France agree to scale up
fight against Islamic State

Medical examiner finds Missouri man's death
during police confrontation was suicide

Chicago charges officer in black teen's
death, releases video of shooting

Five charged in $600 million
California health care fraud scheme

Egypt probing explosives found in
DHL parcels bound for U.S.: CBS News

Chicago officer charged with murder;
city to release video of shooting

Arkansas parents charged with manslaughter
after two-year-old son shoots himself

Peru-Brazil border quake
upgraded to magnitude 7.5: USGS

CDC says at least 19 E. coli infections
linked to Costco chicken salad

Hungary detains group heading to
capital with explosives, finds bomb lab

India's ruling party confronts
Gandhis as parliament gathers

Embezzled utility payments leave
some Oklahomans in the dark

Son of Kentucky murder suspect
arrested for threatening police

Man charged with killing California
artist as he worked on mural

Hostages in northern French town
safe, no link to Paris attacks

FBI has lead in probe of 1.2 billion
stolen Web credentials: documents

Budget gap, pensions could push
Illinois credit rating lower: Moody's

Kerry to visit Cyprus, five
other European countries

Obama says Europe, U.S. must
coordinate on Islamic State threat

NY lawmaker who lied to FBI gets
house arrest after cancer diagnosis

Family of man found dead in Texas jail
say officers used excessive force

French jets destroy an Islamic State
command center in Iraq: official

At least 19 people sickened with E.coli
linked to Costco chicken salad: CDC

Kerry: Palestinian attacks are 'acts
of terrorism' that must be condemned

Taking of hostages in northern France not
linked to Paris attacks: police sources

Apparent suicide attack on Tunisian
presidential guard bus kills 12

Many House Republicans want refugee
restrictions in spending bill

U.S. consumers and stores face off
over depth of holiday discounts

Black U.S. leaders call
for Abolition Day holiday

Despite security fears, Germans aim
to enjoy Christmas market season

Hostages taken in northern
French town: police source

Connecticut man, girlfriend
charged in parents' murder

Smartphones may have role in
rise of U.S. traffic deaths

U.S. Mint set to stop making
2015 American Eagle silver coins

Military contractor L-3 pays $25.6
million to settle U.S. fraud lawsuit

Police arrest one in shooting of
Minnesota protesters; others sought

Sweden tightens asylum rules
in bid to force EU action

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