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WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal officials have filed a formal complaint charging that Wal-Mart violated the rights of protesting and striking workers last year.
 
The National Labor Relations Board says Wal-Mart illegally fired, disciplined or threatened more than 100 employees in 14 states for participating in legally protected activities to complain about wages and working conditions.
 
The labor board's general counsel first laid out the charges last November, but held off on filing a complaint while trying to work out a settlement with Wal-Mart. The company has insisted its actions were legal and justified.
 
The complaint will go before an administrative law judge. If Wal-Mart is found liable, it could be required to award workers back pay, reinstatement and reverse any disciplinary action.
Read more...
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The federal prosecutor who helped convict former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is being asked to investigate the apparent political payback scandal involving New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration.
 
The New Jersey Assembly tapped former assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar, who helped convict Blagojevich of corruption, as special counsel Wednesday.
 
The special counsel will advise a legislative committee investigating a plot that shut down lanes to the George Washington Bridge for four days in September.
 
The shutdown caused massive traffic jams in the town of Fort Lee. The plot apparently was hatched as a political vendetta, possibly against the town's Democratic mayor for not endorsing the Republican governor's re-election.
 
Four members of Christie's circle have been fired or resigned.
 
Christie, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, has apologized.
Read more...
   BAGHDAD (AP) - Authorities say a bomb blast at a funeral north of Iraq's capital has killed at least 16 people, the deadliest of a series of attacks that have killed at least 37.
   The funeral attack happened Wednesday in the town of Buhriz, about 60 kilometers (35 miles) north of Baghdad. Police say 16 people were killed in that blast inside a mourning tent, while at least 26 were wounded.
   Two medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.
   Iraq remains gripped by violence as al-Qaida-linked militants took control of two cities in Anbar province, west of Baghdad. A series of bombings in the capital Wednesday killed at least 21 people.
 
Read more...

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