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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is putting climate change deniers in the same category as those who insist the Earth is flat.

Speaking in Indonesia today, Kerry says climate change may be the world's "most fearsome" weapon of mass destruction ther is and that urgent action is needed to combat it.

In a speech to Indonesian students, civic leaders and government officials in Jakarta, Kerry accused climate change deniers of using shoddy science and scientists to delay measures needed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

He also argued that everyone and every country must take responsibility and act immediately.

Kerry argued that the cost of inaction to environments and economies will far outweigh even the significant expense of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that trap solar heat in the atmosphere and contribute to the Earth's rising temperatures.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are determined to cast an election-year spotlight on Republican opposition to raising the minimum wage and overhauling immigration laws.

To try to accomplish that, Democrats are planning to rely on an infrequently used and rarely successful tactic.

It's known as a "discharge petition."

It requires the minority party — Democrats, in this case — to persuade some two dozen Republicans to defy their leadership, join Democrats and force a vote on setting the federal minimum wage at $10.10 an hour.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says Democrats will push the wage issue when Congress returns from break Feb. 24.

Forcing a vote on immigration could occur in a few months.

The odds are daunting for Democrats in what clearly is political maneuvering ahead of this fall's elections.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Opponents of same-sex marriage are scrambling to find effective responses, in Congress and state legislatures, to a rash of court rulings that would force some of America's most conservative states to accept gay nuptials.

Some gay-marriage foes are backing a bill introduced in Congress that would leave states in charge of their marriage policies, though it stands little chance of passing. They're also endorsing bills in statehouses — some intended to protect gay-marriage bans, and others to assert a right, based on religious freedom, to have nothing to do with gay marriages.

Federal judges have voided part or all of the same-sex marriage bans in Utah, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Virginia. Each ruling has been stayed pending appeals, and a final nationwide resolution may be a few years away.

Read more...

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