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Sen. Robert Menendez seeks probe of alleged Cuban plot to smear him

Robert MenendezSen. Robert Menendez is asking the Justice Department to pursue evidence obtained by U.S. investigators that the Cuban government concocted an elaborate plot to smear him with allegations that he cavorted with underage prostitutes, according to people familiar with the discussions.

In a letter sent to Justice Department officials, the senator’s attorney asserts that the plot was timed to derail the political rise of Menendez (D-N.J.), one of Washington’s most ardent critics of the Castro regime. At the time, Menendez was running for reelection and was preparing to assume the powerful chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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Senate passes vote to promote shooting on public land by 82 to 12

Senate passes shooting billLegislation to promote shooting on public land and relax ammunition regulations sailed through Congress on Monday night after Senators voted overwhelmingly in favour of a key procedural motion.

In stark contrast to gun control legislation, which has been stalled since last April, the bipartisan "sportsmen's act" has been promoted by gun enthusiasts and attracted support from several Democrats facing re-election in Republican-leaning states.

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House panel opposes giving SEC documents for insider trading probe

SECA U.S. House of Representatives panel said on Friday it should not have to comply with a federal regulator's demand for documents sought for an insider-trading probe involving the staff director of a subcommittee and a lobbyist.

The House Ways and Means Committee argued in a court filing that U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in New York should deny the Securities and Exchange Commission's attempt to subpoena documents from the committee and its healthcare subcommittee staff director Brian Sutter.

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5 things to know about the 1964 Civil Rights Act

Civil Rights ActOn July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, one of the most significant civil rights achievements in U.S. history. This new law made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; It ended school, work and public facility discrimination, and barred unequal application of voter registration requirements.

Five hours after Congress approved the law, Johnson signed it, then turned and handed pens to various key figures in getting the legislation passed, including Attorney General Robert Kennedy. He went on to address the country in a nationally televised address, saying the law was a challenge for the United States to "eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in our beloved country."

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Facebook study manipulated News Feeds in January 2012 to investigate emotional contagion

Facebook-More than 680,000 Facebook users were part of a psychology experiment in January 2012 without their knowledge.

In order to investigate whether the emotions of other social media users could lead "people to experience the same emotions without their awareness," researchers manipulated 689,003 users' News Feeds to show statuses that were especially positive or negative.

The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in an article called "Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks."

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U.S. student loan refinancing bill fails Senate hurdle

US loan refinance bill failsDemocratic-sponsored legislation to allow student loan borrowers to refinance at lower interest rates failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

The Senate voted 56-38 to end debate and move to a final vote, short of the 60 votes required.

Democrats had said their measure would let holders of both federal and private undergraduate loans - some with rates of 9 percent or higher - to refinance at 3.86 percent.

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GOP-run House votes 274 to 131 to make business tax break permanent--and increase deficit

GOP votes business tax break permanentThe House of Representatives voted 274 to 131 Friday to make the research and development tax credit permanent--and add $155.5 billion to federal deficits over the next 10 years.

Republicans, who have consistently complained about deficit spending, nevertheless were nearly unanimous in backing the plan. Only one Republican voted no. Sixty-two Democrats joined those in favor, while 130 voted no.

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