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Sexting addict Weiner won’t quit Congress, opts for leave of absence

Rejecting calls by Democratic leaders for him to resign in a sexting scandal, Rep. Anthony Weiner is instead seeking professional treatment and asking for a leave of absence from Congress. Weiner’s plan leaves top Democrats wrestling with how best to end the furor over the seven-term congressman’s misdeeds that could hurt the party’s prospects in the 2012 elections. Weiner’s announcement that he would request a leave from Congress came shortly after several Democratic Party leaders demanded he quit on Saturday. The Weiner spectacle, with raunchy online photos and messages, has been a huge embarrassment for Democrats who back in 2006
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Timeline of a Weiner’s scandal

A timeline of events in the online sex scandal involving Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.: Friday, May 27: Weiner uses his Twitter account to send a waist-down photograph of a man’s underpants to a 21-year-old female college student in Seattle. He quickly deletes it and sends out a tweet saying that his Facebook account was hacked. Saturday, May 28: BigGovernment.com, a website run by conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart, first reports that Weiner sent the lewd photo. Weiner was a Twitter follower of the female college student who received the photo. Sunday, May 29: A Weiner spokesman tells AP that the lewd
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GOP Presidential field: Not much to brag about

Newt Gingrich’s campaign defections are just the latest tremor in a constantly shifting GOP presidential landscape that craves some steadiness as a big, early New Hampshire debate nears. Rivals already were trying to poach Gingrich’s donors and top supporters Friday, even as the former House speaker said he would keep campaigning despite the resignations of his top advisers and entire Iowa paid staff. Party insiders eyed the likely entry of Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and a possible bid by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Mitt Romney’s decision to skip the Iowa straw poll in August, meanwhile, reinforced his image as
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Police interview teen about Rep. Weiner

Police in Delaware said they interviewed a teenage girl on Friday about whether she had contact with Representative Anthony Weiner, who is under pressure to resign for sending lewd pictures of himself to women over the Internet and then lying about it. “Detectives were made aware of alleged contact between Congressman Anthony Weiner and an area teen. Detectives have conducted an interview with the teen and she has made no disclosure of criminal activity nor inappropriate contact by the congressman,” Police in Wilmington, Delaware, said in a statement. The New York Times quoted a Weiner spokeswoman as saying he had
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Anthony Weiner: ‘Hell no, I won’t go’

Representative Anthony Weiner vowed to remain in office on Thursday despite increasing pressure for him to resign for sending lewd pictures of himself to women over the Internet and then lying about it. “I’m not,” Weiner told the New York Post when asked if he was going to resign. At least seven of Weiner’s fellow House Democrats have publicly called on him to resign, and congressional aides say other representatives are hoping he quits, but a poll released on Thursday showed 56 percent of adults in his district believe he should stay. “I betrayed a lot of people and I
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Mass exodus: Senior Gingrich campaign aides quit

The entire top echelon of New Gingrich’s presidential campaign resigned on Thursday, a stunning mass exodus that left his bid for the Republican nomination in tatters. Rick Tyler, the former U.S. House speaker’s spokesman, said that he, campaign manager Rob Johnson and senior strategists had all quit, along with aides in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Other officials said Gingrich was informed that his entire high command was quitting in a meeting at his campaign headquarters in Washington. They cited differences over the direction of the campaign. Scott Rials, a longtime aide
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Wars, costs face new Pentagon chief

U.S. senators are warning the man nominated to be the next defense chief to be wary of draconian Pentagon budget cuts, laying down a gauntlet against the $400 billion in national security reductions that President Barack Obama has proposed. Leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee tell Leon Panetta the Pentagon must scrutinize the budget for potential efficiencies. But they also say the U.S. cannot afford to slice into the muscle of America’s military power. Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona says defense spending is not what is sinking the nation into fiscal crisis. Panetta was appearing before the panel
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Taxes still a key point in budget talks

Top lawmakers on Thursday are expected to discuss one of the biggest hurdles in the way of a debt-reduction deal that would allow the United States to continue borrowing at rock-bottom rates — taxes. As Vice President Joe Biden and six lawmakers meet for a sixth round of talks, outside pressure is growing for them to reach an agreement that would let Congress raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling before an August 2 deadline. Though bond markets remain placid, investors are increasingly alarmed that Congress will fail to act before that date, when the Treasury Department has warned it will
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More problems for Anthony Weiner

Scandal-scarred Rep. Anthony Weiner is clinging to his perch in Congress despite new efforts to pry him away and a pair of developments that might inspire others in his position to give up the fight: A newly released X-rated photo that Weiner purportedly took of himself turned up on the Internet. And his wife of less than a year, Huma Abedin, is pregnant. The baby on the way complicated an already ominous forecast for the 46-year-old congressman, who admitted on Monday that he had Tweeted sexually charged photos and messages to six women he did not know, then lied about
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Osama bin Laden’s files suggest new threats

Everyone Osama bin Laden ever wrote to, spoke to or even mentioned in the volumes of correspondence seized from his Pakistan hideout is under new scrutiny, U.S. officials say. Surveillance has been stepped up on possible terrorist targets around the world, as intelligence experts near the end of decrypting and translating material seized from the bin Laden compound. The trove of material has helped fill in the blanks on how known al-Qaida operatives work and think, and where they fit in the organization. The CIA and other U.S. counterterror agencies have sharpened their focus on some midlevel members of the
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