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Wednesday, Oct 22nd

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Kucinich: Israel may be using American weapons illegally

Responding to media reports that Israel had bombed a UN school serving as a refuge for Palestinian civilians, Congressman Dennis Kucinich is calling for a Congressional report on Israel's possibly illegal misuse of US weapons.

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Chief justice: Inflation outpacing pay for judges

Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday that Congress should be as generous to judges as it already has been to itself, by approving an inflation-related increase in their pay.

Alone among federal employees, judges will not receive a cost-of-living allowance in 2009. Members of Congress are getting a 2.8 percent boost, worth $4,700. But they refused before Christmas to give an identical increase to judges.

Federal trial judges are paid $169,300 a year. Appellate judges make more, ranging up to Roberts' salary of $217,400. The salaries pale in comparison to what top lawyers earn in private practice.

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Election judge is dumbfounded her ballot was rejected

hirley Graham was astonished to learn that a lawyer from Norm Coleman's campaign on Tuesday blocked her absentee ballot from being added to the U.S. Senate recount.

"I'm an election judge," said Graham, of Duluth. "I expected to be the last person whose ballot wouldn't be counted."

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Franken Senate Victory Projected

Democratic challenger Al Franken finds himself on the cusp of winning a seat in the United States Senate after Minnesota's canvassing board awarded him a host of challenged votes during deliberations on Thursday.

As of 8PM ET, the Minneapolis Star Tribune projected that Franken would finish the recount process with a lead of 89 votes, positioning him to become the 59th senator caucusing with Democrats in the upcoming Congress.

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Interior Dept. Changes Rule to Remove Congress Veto

In another regulatory action in the waning days of the Bush administration, the Interior Department on Thursday unveiled a new rule that challenges Congress’s authority to prevent mining planned on public lands.

Congress has emergency power to stop mineral development, and has used it six times in the last 32 years. The most recent was in June, when it put a three-year moratorium on uranium mining on one million acres near the Grand Canyon. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has ignored that Congressional directive, saying it was procedurally flawed.

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Lieberman Contributed to GOP Senate, House Candidates

When Democrats gathered last week to decide the fate of Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a pair of senators-elect, Tom Udall of New Mexico and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, stepped up to offer symbolically important speeches.

But no one in the room knew, as Merkley spoke, that Lieberman had supported Merkley's opponent, Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.). Lieberman, through his Reuniting Our Country PAC, gave Smith's reelection bid $5,000 on Oct. 10, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

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Franken camp finds 6,400 uncounted absentee ballots

With the recount in the razor-thin Minnesota U.S. Senate race continuing into its second week, Democratic candidate Al Franken's campaign says it has uncovered 6,400 rejected absentee ballots and will ask a state board to count at least some of those votes.

Franken's campaign also says several dozen ballots have gone missing. 

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