Local business owners have to swallow credit card fees for now as Democrats shy from debate

Democrats shy from debate on interchange fees

WASHINGTON — Local business owners fed up with forking over a portion of their profits to credit card companies so customers can use Visa or MasterCard are unlikely to see legislative relief anytime soon.

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NC lawmakers OK smoking ban in country’s top tobacco-growing state; gov. says she’ll sign

Smoking ban in top tobacco-growing NC almost law

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina legislators have approved a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars in the country’s top tobacco-growing state.

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White House advises Democratic senators on selling health care legislation to public

White House advises senators on health care bill

WASHINGTON — Democratic senators are settling on affordability and choice as the selling points for their health care overhaul — instead of talking more about helping the uninsured.

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Providence mayor wants to tax college students $150 per semester; some students cry foul

Providence mayor wants to tax college students

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The mayor of Providence wants to slap a $150-per-semester tax on the 25,000 full-time students at Brown University and three other private colleges in the city, saying they use resources and should help ease the burden on struggling taxpayers.

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California lawmaker becomes eighth woman to deliver baby while serving in Congress

Lawmaker delivers baby boy

WASHINGTON — Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif, has become the eighth lawmaker to deliver a baby while serving as a member of Congress, extending what has become a bit of a baby boom on Capitol Hill.

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Travel officials say attacks on business travel, conferences misguided

Travel officials push back on business travel

WASHINGTON — The CEO of Internet travel site Travelocity said Wednesday that misguided criticism of business travel has led to a lot of confusion about what’s acceptable.

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First Senate hearing on interrogation methods used on detainees quickly turns partisan

Senate holds first hearing on harsh interrogations

WASHINGTON — A congressional hearing on terrorism-era interrogation practices has opened with harsh partisan recriminations.

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House Speaker Pelosi: House will take up sweeping health care legislation before August recess

Pelosi: House taking up health care before recess

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that her chamber would have a sweeping health care bill on the floor by the end of July, an announcement that President Barack Obama hailed.

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NTSB says helicopter pilot’s aerial sex incident was so reckless it must cost him his license

Revocation of pilot’s license over sky sex upheld

LOS ANGELES — A helicopter pilot who was videotaped receiving oral sex from a woman as he flew her around San Diego acted so recklessly that his license must be revoked, the National Transportation Safety Board said. The actions of David Martz were so dangerous, the NTSB concluded in a written ruling, that they put the lives of everyone on his aircraft and on the ground below him in danger.

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Utah’s AG reveals Senate campaign strategy in apparently accidental Twitter messages

Utah AG reveals Senate plans in accidental tweet

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has apparently sent out half a dozen accidental Twitter messages revealing details of his yet-to-be announced U.S. Senate campaign.

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