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Suicide bomber kills 17 in Afghanitan

The spokesman for the governor of the southern Kandahar province says a suicide bomber has killed 17 people in southern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border. Zalmay Ayubi says the attack occurred Thursday in the town of Spin Baldok. Ayubi said the attacker set off his bomb in a barber shop where men also go to take baths. Ayubi said the fatalities included a police officer and 16 civilians. An additional 23 people were wounded in the blast, which occurred around noon. Kandahar and other southern provinces are considered traditional Taliban strongholds.
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Feds warn states: Don’t come to us, the well is dry

Cut spending, raise taxes and fees, and accept billions of dollars from Congress. That’s been the formula for states trying to survive the worst economy since the 1930s. As Republicans prepare to take control of the House and exert more influence in the Senate, it’s clear that option No. 3 will soon wither. States will continue to face substantial deficits over the next few years, but they will have to get by with the end of stimulus spending and less financial help from the federal government. In recent interviews, top GOP lawmakers made clear it will be much less. “We’ve
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Another 1,400 troops headed for Afghanistan

The United States plans to send 1,400 additional Marines to Afghanistan to boost its combat forces ahead of the spring fighting season, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The United States, which led a 2001 invasion of Afghanistan that toppled the Taliban, has about 100,000 troops in the country, and President Barack Obama is under pressure to show results so he can begin a promised withdrawal this year. “The Marine battalion could start arriving on the ground as early as mid-January. The forces would mostly be deployed in the south, around Kandahar, where the U.S. has concentrated troops over
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Republicans take over House, soften cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans took power in the House of Representatives on Wednesday with promises of a leaner, more accountable government but softened a pledge of deep and immediate spending cuts that helped them win November’s election. Read the full story from Reuters
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