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Gingrich exploring 2012 presidential bid

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich on Thursday edged toward becoming the first big-name Republican to challenge President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. Read the full story.
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U.S. sees limited progress in Pakistan spy standoff

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – National security officials say progress is being made to persuade Pakistan to free a CIA contractor held on murder charges but that Washington could take punitive diplomatic and financial action if the case is not resolved soon. Read the full story.
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GOP to relaunch flood insurance overhaul

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Draft legislation to overhaul the U.S. National Flood Insurance Program will be unveiled next week, said the Republican chairman of a congressional insurance oversight panel on Thursday. Read the full story.
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Budget crisis forces states to spend creatively: Duncan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With some states taking a budget-cutting ax to public school funding, the U.S. education department on Thursday offered some guidance on finding and spending federal money flexibly — but did not attach any dollars to the advice. Read the full story.
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First budget talks set for Thursday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The opening round of White House-led negotiations aimed at crafting a bipartisan deal to fund the government for the rest of this fiscal year will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday on Capitol Hill, Republicans and Democratic aides said. Read the full story.
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U.S. looking at new moves on Somalia piracy: Clinton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is looking at new strategies to fight pirates off Somalia, who last month killed four Americans and represent a growing threat to sea traffic, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday. Read the full story.
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Ex-Governor Roemer to launch presidential bid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer said on Wednesday he plans to take a step toward a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and campaign against business-as-usual in Washington. Read the full story.
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