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Shooting suspect: ‘I acted alone’

Officials familiar with the investigation into a shooting rampage in Arizona say the suspect claims he acted alone. At least five people were killed and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head in the episode, which unfolded as the Democratic congresswoman was greeting constituents in her district in Tucson, Arizona. Police say the shooter is in custody. He has been identified by officials familiar with the investigation as Jared Loughner, 22. Officials say Loughner told authorities at the scene he had acted alone, although it is not certain that is the case. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity,
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Giffords a leading voce in immigration debate

Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who was shot point blank in the head while meeting with constituents on Saturday, was expected to be a leading voice on immigration in the new Congress. Sworn in to a third term in Congress just this week, Giffords, 40, was one of the few Democrats in swing districts to survive a Republican sweep in the November elections, narrowly defeating a conservative Republican opponent. She represents a district in southeast Arizona stretching from Tucson to the Mexican border that is at the center of the debate on U.S. immigration. A relative novice in Washington, Giffords
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Giffords: An unlikely Democratic choice in a conservative state

Gabrielle Giffords, one of her state’s most high-profile Democrats, seems at first glance to be an unlikely choice of voters in conservative-leaning southern Arizona. But she has managed to remain popular, winning election three times in the Tucson-area congressional district by holding centrist positions, reaching out to constituents and bucking her party’s position on many issues as a key member of the “Blue Dog Coalition” Democrats. She has been tough on border security, but supports comprehensive immigration reform. She voted for President Barack Obama‘s stimulus and health care reforms, but pushed the administration to put armed National Guard troops on
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Reactions to shootings

Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot and gravely wounded on Saturday by a man who opened fire at a meeting she was holding in Arizona. President Barack Obama, her colleagues and associates were stunned by the attack, which killed at least five people and left several others wounded. Following is reaction to the shooting spree: PRESIDENT OBAMA “It’s not surprising that today Gabby was doing what she always does — listening to the hopes and concerns of her neighbors. That is the essence of what our democracy is all about. That is why this is more than a tragedy for those
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Amercans want Wikileaks Twitter info

U.S. officials have issued a subpoena to demand details about WikiLeaks‘ Twitter account, the group announced Saturday, adding that it suspected other American Internet companies were also being ordered to hand over information about its activities. In a statement, WikiLeaks said U.S. investigators had gone to the San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. to demand the private messages, contact information and other personal details of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and other supporters, including the U.S. Army intelligence analyst suspected of handing classified information to the site and a high-profile Icelandic parliamentarian. WikiLeaks blasted the court order, saying it amounted to harassment. “If
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Newsflash! God was behind the Big Bang!

God’s mind was behind complex scientific theories such as the Big Bang, and Christians should reject the idea that the universe came into being by accident, Pope Benedict said on Thursday. “The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe,” Benedict said on the day Christians mark the Epiphany, the day the Bible says the three kings reached the site where Jesus was born by following a star. “Contemplating it (the universe) we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God,” he said
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Jobs report shows momentum for new year

The government is expected to report Friday that businesses stepped up hiring in December, a trend likely to gain momentum in 2011. Economists are predicting that employers added a net total of 145,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate dipped to 9.7 percent. Some are even more optimistic after a private payroll firm estimated this week that companies added nearly 300,000 jobs in December. Also encouraging was a report that fewer people applied for unemployment benefits over the past month than in any four-week period in more than two years. A decline in layoffs has consumers feeling better
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Meet the new boss, not the same as the old boss

Overhauling his team at the top, President Barack Obama on Thursday named banker and seasoned political fighter William Daley as his new chief of staff, hoping to rejuvenate both a White House storming into re-election mode and an economy still gasping for help. The choice of Daley immediately brought howls of protest from the left flank of the Democratic Party, where advocates questioned his insider ties to Wall Street. Centrists, business leaders and Republican lawmakers rallied around the move, one that underscored just how much and how fast the face of the White House is changing. Obama, whose hopes for
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IRS agent admits cheating on taxes

A California-based Internal Revenue Service agent could spend up to nine years in prison after acknowledging that he cheated on his own taxes. Federal prosecutors say 51-year-old Albert Bront pleaded guilty Wednesday in Los Angeles to filing false tax returns for himself and two innocent relatives. The false tax form claims included bogus alimony and mortgage deductions. The former Santa Clarita resident told a federal judge that he filed fraudulent tax returns for himself from 2003 to 2007 by claiming excessive deductions and failing to report income. He also acknowledged filing fraudulent returns on behalf of two unknowing relatives. Bront
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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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