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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.

Jun 19, 2014

Redskins’ lawyer sees quicker resolution of trademarks case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Washington Redskins expect a legal case involving cancellation of the NFL team’s trademarks will move more quickly than a previous case, which took nearly 11 years to conclude in the franchise’s favor, a lawyer for the team said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tribunal canceled six Redskins trademarks because they disparage Native Americans. The team has said it will appeal the ruling in federal court.

Jun 18, 2014

U.S. Patent Office cancels trademarks of NFL’s Redskins

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the federal trademarks for the National Football League’s Washington Redskins because they disparage Native Americans, the agency said on Wednesday.

The decision by a Patent Office administrative tribunal followed years of criticism of the Washington club by Native Americans and others who say the name is a slur.

Jun 17, 2014

Senate panel scolds TV’s Dr. Oz over diet claims

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate panel probing bogus diet product ads took celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz to task on Tuesday for touting weight-loss products on his syndicated television show.

Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, the chairwoman of the Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection, said Oz had a role in perpetuating weight-loss fraud through his show.

    • 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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