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Bill to steer BP oil spill fines to Gulf states passes committee

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan effort to secure at least 80 percent of fines from the BP Gulf oil spill for the five Gulf Coast states — Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas — advanced Wednesday as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the bill by voice vote.

House Rejects Bill Providing Disaster Aid

In a rebuke to GOP leaders, the House on Wednesday rejected a measure providing $3.7 billion for disaster relief as part of a bill to keep the government running through mid-November.

The surprise 230-195 defeat came at the hands of Democrats and Tea Party Republicans.

Tiny Nation Played Pivotal Role In Americans’ Release

The two American men who stepped out of an Iranian prison Wednesday after spending more than two years in custody may have a tiny Persian Gulf nation to thank for greasing the wheels of their release.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, both 29, had been accused of espionage along with fellow American Sarah Shourd and sentenced to eight years in prison. They were freed in exchange for $1 million and flown to Oman.

Do Regulations Really Kill Jobs Overall? Not So Much

It’s become a mantra on Capitol Hill and a rallying cry for industry groups: Get rid of the job-killing regulations. In recent days, with nearly every one of the GOP presidential candidates repeating that refrain, the political echo chamber has grown even louder. Earlier this month, President Obama also asked the Environmental Protection Agency to back off more stringent ozone regulations, citing the “importance of reducing regulatory burdens” during trying economic times.

House GOP bill would roll back basic air-pollution rules

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Friday on a bill that’s mushroomed recently into a plan to block the Obama administration’s two main rules to clean up air pollution from power plants and change the way the Clean Air Act has worked for 40 years.

PHOTOS: Protesters Around The World Oppose Execution Of Troy Davis

The pending execution of Troy Davis in Georgia has sparked worldwide protests as far away as London and Rome, with people demanding his life be spared because there is “too much doubt” regarding his conviction. “We’re trying everything we can do, everything under the law,” Chester Dunham, a civil rights activist protesting in Savannah, GA, where police are stepping up security, told the AP. ThinkProgress compiled some photos from around the world of the demonstrations:

White Supremacist Executed For Dragging Death

White supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed Wednesday evening for the infamous dragging death slaying of James Byrd Jr., a black man from East Texas.

Byrd, 49, was chained to the back of a pickup truck and pulled whip-like to his death along a bumpy asphalt road in one of the most grisly hate crime murders in recent Texas history.

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