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2:30pm

Tue December 6, 2011
It's All Politics

Judicial Wars Flare As Senate Blocks Obama Nominee

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 4:23 pm

Caitlin J. Halligan, then a lawyer for New York State, and attorney David Boies spoke in the Court of Appeals in Albany in 2005. On Tuesday, Senate Republicans blocked Halligan's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Jim McKnight AP

Senate Republicans have blocked the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. A Senate majority of 54 voted to break the filibuster, but that number falls short of the 60 votes needed under Senate rules.

Although Halligan won bipartisan praise from legal and law enforcement groups, Republicans portrayed her as a left-wing activist for positions she took while representing the state of New York as its chief appellate lawyer.

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2:17pm

Tue December 6, 2011
The Two-Way

U.S. Says It Will Use Foreign Aid To Promote Gay Rights

How a country treats its gay and lesbian citizens may now play a role in the foreign aid it receives from the United States.

The New York Times reports that the Obama administration issued a memo telling agencies to find ways to deter countries from criminalizing homosexuality.

The Times adds:

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1:55pm

Tue December 6, 2011
Opinion

The Magic Of Music And A Little Room To Groove

istockphoto.com

Alan Heathcock is the author of the collection Volt.

Last week, my wife suggested we have a dance floor installed in our family room. She was smiling ear-to-ear, wiping sweat from her eyes. Behind her, our three kids took turns showing off their moves as Michael Jackson's P.Y.T. blared over the speakers.

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1:53pm

Tue December 6, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Feds Say HCG Diet Remedies Are 'Illegal'

Lay off the HCG diet, says the FDA.
iStockphoto.com

If you thought those HCG diet ads sounded too good to be true, the Food and Drug Administration agrees with you.

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1:43pm

Tue December 6, 2011
Afghanistan

Afghan Attacks Kill 60; Signs Of A Sectarian Shift?

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 3:02 pm

Relatives comfort an Afghan man outside a Kabul hospital where victims of Tuesday's suicide bombing were taken. A suicide bomber struck a crowd of Shiite worshippers marking a holy day in the Afghan capital.
Ahmad Jamshid AP

Deadly suicide attacks in Afghanistan aimed at minority Shiite Muslims have experts wondering whether the war there could be taking a dangerous new sectarian turn.

Tuesday's twin attacks, in the capital of Kabul and the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, killed at least 60 Shiite worshippers as they celebrated Ashura, one of their sect's holiest days. It was the first such large-scale attack against Shiites in Afghanistan in more than a decade.

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