Archives for FUBAR

A gun is your best ticket to the Texas State House

Security is newly tightened at the Texas Capitol, but plenty of gun-toting visitors can breeze right through. Concealed handgun license holders walk through a special lane marked “CHL Access” around, and not through, the metal detectors put in place last year after a man fired shots outside the statehouse. Schoolchildren and tourists, meanwhile, have to walk through metal detectors and put their bags and keys through scanners. One of the busiest times is now, when the legislature, which meets biennially, is convened. Richard Robertson, a concealed handgun license holder who visited the Capitol on Saturday, is glad guns are allowed
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Fast food: Caught in immigration mess

Chipotle Mexican Grill has a lot going for it — an upscale burrito concept, a hip and eco-friendly image, expansion plans galore and a 500 percent-plus stock price gain in just over two years. And then it has something not going its way — a federal crackdown on its immigrant labor force that has so far forced Chipotle to fire hundreds of allegedly illegal workers in the state of Minnesota, perhaps more than half its staff there. The probe is widening. Co-Chief Executive Monty Moran told Reuters on Friday that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also issued “notices
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Say what? High unemployed and fewer layoffs?

The U.S. labor force has been split into two groups: the relieved and the desperate. If you have a job, you can exhale; you’re less likely to lose it than at any point in at least 14 years. If you’re unemployed? Good luck. Finding a job remains a struggle 20 months after the recession technically ended. Employers won’t likely step up hiring until they feel more confident about the economy. A result is that people who are unemployed are staying so for longer periods. Of the 13.9 million Americans the government says were unemployed last month, about 1.8 million had
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Bank of America will pay $410 million to settle overdraft fees

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) has agreed to pay $410 million to settle lawsuits accusing it of charging customers with excessive overdraft fees, court documents show. The largest U.S. bank by assets is among the more than two dozen U.S., Canadian and European lenders named as defendants in the class-action litigation, which in 2009 consolidated lawsuits filed across the country. JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) are among the other defendants named in the case, court records show. Bank of America spokeswoman Anne Pace in an email said the bank has already
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Farmers watch harsh winter destroy their way of life

For Northeastern farmers long used to coping with all sorts of cold-weather problems, this winter presents a new one: snow and ice that’s bringing down outbuildings, requiring costly repairs, killing livestock and destroying supplies. Farmers in Connecticut alone have lost at least 136 barns, greenhouses, sheds and other structures as snow measured in feet, not inches, accumulated while January passed without a thaw. “We’ve had other challenges,” said Joe Greenbacker, a partner at Brookfield Farm in Durham, where a fabric-covered “hoop house” caved in and killed a calf. “But this is the most snow I can remember on the ground
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Quick Robin! To the Bat-Plane!

A robotic, bat-winged bomber designed to take off from a US aircraft carrier has passed its first test in a debut flight in California, the US Navy said. The X-47B jet, which looks like a smaller version of the B-2 stealth bomber, stayed in the air for 29 minutes and climbed to 5,000 feet in a test flight on Friday at Edwards Air Force Base, according to the Navy and defense contractor Northrop Grumman. Military leaders see the plane as part of a new generation of drones that would be able to evade radar and fly at much faster speeds
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Where’s my dead elephant?

A Polish hunter who dreamt of shooting an elephant has sued a German-based travel company after it sent him to a part of Africa where he said there were no elephants to be found, a newspaper reported Wednesday. The company, Jaworski Jagdreisen, which organises hunting expeditions, insists there are elephants in the area of Zimbabwe it sent the hunter, identified only as Waldemar I, the Rzeczpospolita daily newspaper said. “From what I know, (the hunter) should have seen elephant excrement there,” it quoted the company owner as saying. Even though the company organised a second trip for the luckless hunter
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Ron Reagan: Sarah Palin is just one big soap opera

Sarah Palin is honoring one Reagan and offending another with the same speech. The former Alaska governor is scheduled to speak in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Friday at a tribute to former President Ronald Reagan – just one of the celebrations marking the centennial of the 40th president’s birth on Feb. 6. But his son, Ron Reagan, tells The Associated Press he doesn’t see anything in common between his dad and the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, who was invited to speak by the event’s sponsor, the conservative Young America’s Foundation. “Sarah Palin is a soap opera, basically. She’s doing
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Unemployment among vets highests in five years

More than 15 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans were unemployed in January, far higher than the national jobless rate and the highest since the government began collecting data on veterans in 2005, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday. That rate could go even higher if the U.S. military begins winding down operations in Afghanistan and a flood of veterans return home looking for work, a veterans’ advocate said. “These numbers need to be a wake up call for all Americans because there is really no excuse for this,” said Todd Bowers, deputy executive director for Iraq
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Is Egypt another U.S. intelligence failure?

U.S. intelligence agencies are drawing criticism from the Oval Office and Capitol Hill that they failed to warn of revolts in Egypt and the downfall of an American ally in Tunisia. President Barack Obama has told National Intelligence Director James Clapper that he was “disappointed with the intelligence community” over its failure to predict the outbreak of demonstrations would lead to the ouster of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunis, according to one U.S. official familiar with the exchanges, which were expressed to Clapper through White House staff. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters
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