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Historic Agent Orange cleanup begins in Vietnam

From deformed infants to grandparents with cancer, families near Vietnam’s Danang Airbase have long blamed the toxic legacy of war for their ills. Now after a decades-long wait, a historic “Agent Orange” clean-up is finally beginning. The base was a key site in the US defoliant program during the Vietnam War, and much of the 80 million litres (21 million gallons) of Agent Orange used during “Operation Ranch Hand” was mixed, stored and loaded onto planes there. On Thursday, the US and Vietnam began a long-awaited joint cleanup effort at the site — using technology which will heat the contaminated
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New poll shows Obama’s lead over Romney increasing slightly

Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the future but voters do not seem to be holding it against Democratic President Barack Obama, who slightly expanded his lead over Republican rival Mitt Romney this month, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll says. Three months before the November 6 presidential election, nearly two-thirds of Americans think the country is moving in the wrong direction. Only 31 percent say it is moving in the right direction – the lowest number since December 2011. But Obama’s lead over Romney among registered voters was 49 percent to 42 percent, up slightly from the 6-point advantage the president held
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Campaigns continue constant political sniping

President Barack Obama is pushing an economic fairness argument to voters in Colorado while Republican Mitt Romney‘s campaign protests a tough attack ad aired by a super PAC supporting the president. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul labeled the ad linking Romney to a woman’s death from cancer “despicable,” but the Obama campaign refused to call on Priorities USA Action to pull the TV spot. Bill Burton, a former White House aide and co-founder of the group, defended the ad. In the ad, a steelworker suggests that Romney and the private equity firm he founded might bear some responsibility for his
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Welfare debate: Deja vu all over again?

Welfare is causing a ruckus in the presidential campaign. But the program is a shadow of its old self from the 1970s, when Ronald Reagan used the image of “welfare queens” to assail government poverty programs promoted by liberals. Nowadays government cash assistance to the poor is mainly conditioned on work. And the Obama administration waivers excoriated by Mitt Romney as gutting welfare reform are unlikely to reverse that basic policy, as even some architects of work requirements acknowledge. “If Washington were different and … people could sit down and reason together, it’s not impossible to think that Republicans and
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Campaigns target working class, female voters

Republican candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are making hard sells to working-class and female voters while raising the volume on their criticism to fire up the party base and cast the other as an extremist. Romney’s team thrust welfare into the campaign with an ad claiming that Obama planned to dole out taxpayer dollars to anyone, even those not trying to find work. For his part, Obama was set to appear Wednesday with Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University student who became a flashpoint for women’s health and, by proxy, abortion rights. Romney is set for a Wednesday morning
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Romney ad: Obama ‘gutting welfare reform’

Mitt Romney has released a new television ad accusing President Barack Obama of “gutting welfare reform.” The Republican presidential contender says Obama simply wants to pass out checks without the work requirement adopted in President Bill Clinton‘s welfare overhaul. The Obama campaign says Romney is twisting the facts. Obama says he’s giving states the flexibility they’ve asked for to make welfare more efficient. Romney is among several Republican governors who signed a letter back in 1995 asking for more “waiver authority.” The ad is part of Romney’s push to paint Obama as a big-government liberal. Romney’s campaign is refusing to
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Romney continues to kick Obama’s butt in fundraising

For a third straight month, Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney‘s fundraising has outpaced incumbent Barack Obama, who set fundraising records four years ago and who was supposed to outpace all rivals in campaign cash this time around. Romney’s fundraising machine is so robust that Democratic political strategists are worried the President may not be able to raise the cash the he needs to keep his job. “This is not the way it was supposed to happen,” a veteran Democratic strategist, who asked not to be identified, told Capitol Hill Blue Monday.  “We didn’t expect to get our butts kicked when
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Obama: Opponent’s tax plan is ‘Romney Hood’

President Barack Obama is labeling opponent Mitt Romney‘s tax plan as “Romney Hood,” saying it takes from the poor and gives to the rich. Speaking Monday night at a campaign event in Connecticut, Obama said the GOP plan “is like Robin Hood in reverse.” Obama says Romney’s tax plan would give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans while forcing middle-class families to pay up to $2,000 a year in additional taxes. The president cites a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center that says millionaires would receive a tax cut of approximately $250,000 a year if the former Massachusetts governor
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Tea Party zeros in on GOP Senate primaries

Sarah Palin is mounting an aggressive campaign in Missouri — in television and radio ads, in automated telephone calls, even serving barbecued pork sandwiches at a rural political picnic. She’s urging residents to vote for Sarah — Sarah Steelman, one of three Republicans in a prickly U.S. Senate primary. Fresh off a resounding Republican runoff victory by Ted Cruz in Texas, Palin and the tea party movement now are trying to capitalize in primaries this month in Missouri, Wisconsin and Arizona. But they may pose a more difficult test than in Texas, where the charismatic Cruz waged an outsider’s campaign
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Obama looking for much-needed campaign cash from Hollywood liberals

Three days after Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood issued a high-profile endorsement of Republican Mitt Romney for President, incumbent President Barack Obama is gathering a set of Hollywood liberals in Connecticut for his own star-power fundraiser. A big-bucks fundraiser at the home of film mogul Harvey Weinstein, co-hosted by Ann Hathaway, Joanne Woodward and Aaron Sorkin, is expected to help Obama boost his campaign cash.  The President has lagged behind Romney in raising cash. Eastwood endorsed Romney last week. Related articles Go ahead, elect my Mitt: Clint Eastwood endorses Romney Clint Eastwood Backs Mitt Romney for President Clint Eastwood Makes Mitt
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