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Wednesday, Jul 29th

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Problems Reported With New Voting Machines

Voters around New York State stepped into the brave new world of electronic voting machines in Tuesday’s primary elections amid complaints around the city of longer-than-usual delays and troubles with the scanners that are supposed to swallow and tabulate the new, SAT-style ballots.

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Executives with criminal records slip through FHA crackdown, documents show

FHA Commissioner StevensA crackdown on reckless mortgage lenders by the Federal Housing Administration has failed to root out several executives with criminal records whose firms continue to do business with the agency in violation of federal law, according to government documents, court records and interviews.

The get-tough campaign has also been hamstrung because, even when the FHA can ban mortgage companies for wrongdoing or an excessive default rate, the agency does not have the legal power to stop their executives from landing jobs at other lenders, or open new firms.

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Manual on How to Molest Children Is Legal, Cops Say

A 170-page manual explaining step by step how to molest children which police in Orange County, Fla., believe has been circulating there for months, is not illegal. Investigators have stated that they still want to know where it came from.

The manual, which was apparently written by someone who calls himself "the mule," is a how-to of child molestation, even explaining where and how to find potential victims, the station reported.

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Former Egg Farm Employees Say Their Complaints Were Ignored: Report

Two former workers at one of the two Iowa egg farms implicated in the massive recall of salmonella-contaminated eggs said federal inspectors who worked at the two farms ignored complaints about conditions at one of the sites, the Associated Press reported Friday.

The two workers, employed at Wright County Egg facilities, said they reported problems such as leaking manure and dead chickens to U.S. Department of Agriculture employees, but nothing was done, the news service reported.

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BP Says Limits on Drilling Imperil Oil Spill Payouts

BP warns that drilling ban could stop claims paymentsBP is warning Congress that if lawmakers pass legislation that bars the company from getting new offshore drilling permits, it may not have the money to pay for all the damages caused by its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company says a ban would also imperil the ambitious Gulf Coast restoration efforts that officials want the company to voluntarily support.

BP executives insist that they have not backed away from their commitment to the White House to set aside $20 billion in an escrow fund over the next four years to pay damage claims and government penalties stemming from the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. The explosion killed 11 workers and spewed millions of barrels of oil into the gulf.

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Focus On The Family: Anti-Bullying Efforts Are A Gay Front

Focus On The Family: Anti-Bullying Efforts Are A Gay FrontFocus on the Family has a message for gay rights activists: stay off the playground. Candi Cushman, an education analyst for the James Dobson-founded group, told The Denver Post this weekend that gay rights advocates have inserted their agenda into anti-bullying efforts, at the expense of Christian values.

"We feel more and more that activists are being deceptive in using anti-bullying rhetoric to introduce their viewpoints, while the viewpoint of Christian students and parents are increasingly belittled," Cushman told the Post.

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Border Patrol agents now board Amtrak train miles from border

Lake Shore Limited allows Border Patrol sweepThe Lake Shore Limited runs between Chicago and New York City without crossing the Canadian border. But when it stops at Amtrak stations in western New York State, armed Border Patrol agents routinely board the train, question passengers about their citizenship and take away noncitizens who cannot produce satisfactory immigration papers.

“Are you a U.S. citizen?” agents asked one recent morning, moving through a Rochester-bound train full of dozing passengers at a station outside Buffalo. “What country were you born in?”

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