Correspondent, Milan
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Jul 22, 2014

Harding letters reveal steamy side of 29th U.S. president

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – On Christmas Eve 1910, future U.S. President Warren Harding wrote his mistress Carrie Phillips a letter that began: “There are no words, at my command, sufficient to say the full extent of my love for you … mad, tender, devoted, ardent, eager, passion-wild.”

Harding praises Phillips’ “matchless embrace” and adds: “To have and to hold you, in happiness to you, exclusively, in satisfying and satisfied love, would be the triumph of living and loving.”

Jul 18, 2014

U.S. military to start gender treatments for Chelsea Manning

WASHINGTON, July 18 (Reuters) – The U.S. Army will provide
gender identity treatment for Chelsea Manning, a soldier who is
serving a sentence in a military prison for leaking classified
documents to WikiLeaks, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Manning, 26, who was born as a man but identifies as a
woman, had sought to be transferred to a civilian prison to
start hormone therapy. She is serving a 35-year sentence at an
all-male facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Jul 18, 2014

Member of Eisenhower Memorial panel says troubled design is dead

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A member of the commission overseeing construction of the Eisenhower Memorial said on Friday the controversial design by celebrity architect Frank Gehry should be scrapped.

Commissioner Bruce Cole said Gehry’s design of the memorial to Dwight Eisenhower, the World War Two military leader and 34th president, had generated too much opposition, especially with Congress withholding construction funds for two years in a row.

Jul 17, 2014

Decriminalized pot takes effect in District of Columbia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Marijuana decriminalization takes effect in the District of Columbia on Thursday, part of an easing of pot penalties in the U.S. capital that has drawn fire from Congress.

The District of Columbia joins 17 states that have reduced penalties for first-time violators to a fine and a civil, or minor, offense. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized recreational use of marijuana.

Jul 17, 2014

Buckyball magnetic toys recalled, ending legal fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Magnetic toys called Buckyballs, which can be swallowed and have been blamed for numerous injuries, are being recalled at the end of a years-long legal fight, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Thursday.

Millions of the loose, high-powered rare earth magnets were sold as toys and desktop accessories. When swallowed they can pinch or trap intestines and require surgery to remove.

Jul 17, 2014

U.S. libraries become front line in fight against homelessness

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – George Brown, a homeless man in Washington, has a simple answer when asked how often he uses a public library.

“Always. I have nowhere else to go,” Brown, 65, said outside the U.S. capital’s modernist central library after a morning reading sociology books. “When it’s hot, you come here to stay out of the heat. When it’s cold, you come here to stay out of the cold.”

Jun 24, 2014

District of Columbia approves ‘yoga tax’ as part of budget

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The District of Columbia Council on Tuesday approved a “yoga tax” on gymnasiums and yoga classes that has angered fitness buffs in the U.S. capital.

The Democratic-controlled council voted 12-1 to give final approval to a $10.6 billion budget for 2015 that included a sales tax on gyms, yoga studios and other athletic businesses, a spokeswoman for Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said.

Jun 23, 2014

Obama to award Medal of Honor to U.S. ex-paratrooper Pitts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will award former Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. award for heroism, on July 21 for gallantry during one of the bloodiest battles of the Afghan war, the White House said on Monday.

Pitts, of Nashua, New Hampshire, will be the ninth living recipient of the Medal of Honor for fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan, the Defense Department said.

Jun 23, 2014

Homeland Security chief warns parents on child immigration surge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warned Central American parents against sending their children to the United States illegally, part of a White House effort to stem a flood of children crossing the border.

Johnson said children fleeing Central American countries faced a dangerous journey with no U.S. immigration permits awaiting them. Anyone caught crossing the border illegally is a priority for deportation, regardless of age, he said in an open letter to parents that ran in Spanish-language media during the weekend.

Jun 19, 2014

U.S. Marine gets Medal of Honor for taking grenade blast

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama presented retired Marine William “Kyle” Carpenter the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. award for gallantry, on Thursday for covering a grenade with his body and saving a comrade’s life.

Carpenter, 24, of Gilbert, South Carolina, should not be alive today after diving onto an insurgent grenade in Afghanistan packed with TNT, Obama told a White House ceremony.

    • About Ian

      "Ian Simpson covers Italian equities from Milan with a focus on banks. In a 30-year career, he has been based in Dallas, Kansas City, New York, Washington, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Portugal and Italy. He has reported from more than 20 countries."
      Joined Reuters:
      1990
      Languages:
      Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, some Dari
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