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URGENT: Video shows beheading of second American journalist

DUBAI (Reuters) - The Islamic State militant group released a video purporting to show the beheading of U.S. hostage Steven Sotloff, the SITE monitoring service reported on Tuesday. A masked figure in the video also issued a threat against a British hostage, a man the group named as David Haines, and warned governments to back off "this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State", the monitoring service said. (Reporting by William Maclean, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Wisconsin lawmakers have federal budget clout

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U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC (Reuters)
U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC (Reuters)

UNDATED (WSAU)  Paul Ryan gets most of the headlines, but Wisconsin also has six other members on the House and Senate budget committees. The total of seven is the most of any state – including California, which has five times as many Members-of-Congress.

Fox Valley Republican Reid Ribble says Wisconsin may not get a direct benefit from having so many of its lawmakers on the budget panels. But he says they get a better understanding of how the federal government operates that they don’t get on other panels. Ryan, last year’s G-O-P vice-presidential nominee from Janesville, has authored his party’s budget blue-prints for the last three years. And he gets most of the praise, as well as the heat, from his plans to slash spending and turn Medicare into a voucher program with new coverage limits.

In the Senate, Wisconsin is the only state to have both its members on the budget panel – Republican Ron Johnson and Democrat Tammy Baldwin. Johnson has used the post to try-and-carry out his campaign promise to reign in federal spending. Baldwin is the polar opposite of Johnson politically. Still, she agrees that at least some spending cuts are needed as part of a balanced approach that includes tax hikes.

The Republican House and Democratic Senate have passed their budget plans, and President Obama’s package is due out April 10th.

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