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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Hard-line Iranian lawmakers criticized a nuclear deal reached in Geneva last week, with one calling it a "poisoned chalice," but a majority of deputies who spoke Wednesday in a parliamentary hearing on the accord backed an initiative that appears to enjoy both wide public support and the endorsement of top clerics.
CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities on Wednesday took a heavy hand against both Islamist and secular opponents, handing down heavy prison sentences to a group of female supporters of the ousted Islamist president — including teenagers as young as 15 — and ordering the detention of two dozen secular activists, all for participating in protests.
The United States celebrates its "land of plenty" Thanksgiving Day this week, but for the poor and most vulnerable, there is less food on the table after Congress cut aid. As Americans stock up on turkeys for Thursday's traditional Thanksgiving feast, food pantries and charities are bracing for higher demand after lawmakers slashed $5 billion from the nation's largest hunger safety net. And lawmakers aimed at trimming the US budget deficit are contemplating more cuts to food stamps for the poor -- formally the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- an initiative that helps feed almost 48 million, or one in seven Americans. "Talk about 'Les Miserables' in America," Leonard Edwards, an unemployed food stamps recipient, told AFP.
The EU on Wednesday laid down steps Washington must take to restore trust after a huge spy scandal, including giving EU citizens the right to US legal redress to protect personal data. "Massive spying on our citizens, companies and leaders is unacceptable," EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said, adding there was "now a window of opportunity to rebuild trust which we expect our American partners to use". An umbrella agreement being negotiated on EU-US data protection "has to give European citizens concrete and enforceable rights, notably the right to judicial redress in the US whenever their personal data are being processed in the US," Reding said in a statement. At the same time, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said she was satisfied that separate EU-US accords on the transfer of airline passenger and financial transaction data were working properly.
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment aid unexpectedly fell last week, but continued weakness in business spending on capital goods suggested slower economic growth in the fourth quarter. There is also a good chance that the October payroll gain may not have been an aberration," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment increased to 75.1 for November, up from a final reading of 73.2 in October. A separate report from the Commerce Department showed non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dropped 1.2 percent last month.