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  • CHICAGO, April 13- A flock of 200,000 hens in Wisconsin is the first commercial U.S. chicken operation to become infected with a lethal strain of bird flu, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, widening the impact of a virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of turkeys this year. The chickens were at an egg-laying facility in Jefferson County, Wisconsin,...

  • CHICAGO, April 13- The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday confirmed the first case of a lethal strain of bird flu in a commercial chicken flock, widening the impact of a virus that has already killed hundreds of thousands of turkeys this year. The H5N2 flu strain infected a commercial flock of 200,000 chickens in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, between Madison...

  • WASHINGTON, April 9- A majority of Americans believe businesses should not be allowed to refuse services based on their religious beliefs in the wake of controversies in Indiana and Arkansas over gay rights and religious freedom, a Reuters/ Ipsos poll found on Thursday. Indiana's Republican governor, Mike Pence, triggered a firestorm in his state this month by...

  • CHICAGO, April 8- A U.S. outbreak of a deadly strain of bird flu accelerated on Wednesday with the infection of a sixth turkey flock in Minnesota, the nation's top turkey-producing state, in less than a week. The infected flock of 310,000 turkeys was the ninth case of the H5N2 flu in Minnesota in just over a month and the biggest flock yet to be confirmed with the...

  • CHICAGO, April 7- A lethal strain of bird flu has infected an eighth turkey flock in Minnesota, the nation's top turkey producer, in just over a month, officials said on Tuesday, a day after a team of epidemiologists arrived to investigate how the disease is spreading. Minnesota has detected five cases of the H5N2 flu, which can kill nearly an entire flock of poultry...

  • Senator Rand Paul accused his fellow Republicans on Tuesday of contributing to Washington's dysfunction, launching a 2016 White House bid with a vow to shatter the status quo and defend individual freedoms. He cast himself as an anti-establishment reformer who could break partisan gridlock and win new converts to the party, saying his fellow Republicans...

  • Senator Rand Paul promised to be a different kind of Republican on Tuesday, launching a 2016 White House bid by saying he would stand up for individual freedoms that are being trampled by "the Washington machine." The first-term senator from Kentucky, a libertarian with a reputation for challenging party orthodoxy, criticized Republicans in Congress and the...

  • LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 7- Senator Rand Paul promised to be a different kind of Republican on Tuesday, launching a 2016 White House bid that he said would highlight the conservative principles of reduced government and spending as he vowed to break up "the Washington machine." That puts him behind former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is considered a top contender...

  • LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 7- Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky built a national reputation on his willingness to challenge Republican orthodoxies. And the 52- year-old former eye surgeon who harnessed the anti-establishment energy of the Tea Party movement has been raising money for fellow Republicans, at times upsetting the grassroots activists who have made him a...

  • CHICAGO, April 6- Minnesota, the top U.S. turkey producing state, has found two more commercial turkey flocks to be infected with a lethal strain of avian flu, including one in a previously established quarantine zone, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday. The state in the past month has found that H5N2 flu, which can kill nearly all the birds in a flock...

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark., April 2- Indiana and Arkansas revised on Thursday new religious freedom acts that had drawn criticism from rights groups and U.S. companies that assailed them as discriminatory against gays. Indiana Governor Mike Pence, also a Republican, signed a revised religious freedom law that amended one he signed last week. As pressure built against...

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark., April 2- Lawmakers in the Republican-dominated statehouses of Indiana and Arkansas on Thursday easily approved fixes to religion acts that had met a nationwide storm of criticism because they were seen as allowing for discrimination against gays. After the passage into law last week of Indiana's act, the state was flooded with protests,...

  • (Adds background on Wal-Mart's evolving stance, adds comments. CHICAGO, April 2 (Reuters)- The chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores Inc has emerged as an unlikely voice for gay rights after the Arkansas governor heeded his call on Wednesday to reject a much-criticized bill. That was seen as a major factor behind the governor's decision on Wednesday to ask lawmakers...

  • April 2- Indiana and Arkansas lawmakers on Thursday crafted remedies to religion acts after the measures, which had passed easily in the Republican-controlled statehouses, ran into strong national criticism that they allowed discrimination against gays. In Indiana, lawmakers flanked by gay-rights activists unveiled changes to protect civil liberties...

  • April 2- Lawmakers in Indiana and Arkansas plan remedies on Thursday to religion acts that were sent back to them this week following criticism from rights activists and businesses who said the measures allowed discrimination against gays. The Arkansas act was passed this week in the Republican-controlled statehouse and sent back Wednesday to lawmakers...

  • Walmart emerges as an unlikely social force Thursday, 2 Apr 2015 | 9:17 AM ET
    Douglas McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart.

    Walmart posted a statement asking the governor of Arkansas to reject law that critics say could allow discrimination. The New York Times reports.

  • April 2- Lawmakers in Indiana and Arkansas plan on Thursday to remedy religion acts that were sent back to them this week following criticism from rights activists and businesses who said the measures allowed discrimination against gays. The Arkansas Senate took up the challenge late on Wednesday, sending legislation to the House of Representatives that...

  • The EPA approved Enlist Duo on Oct. 15 with a series of restrictions aimed at addressing potential environmental and health hazards. At that time it said the herbicide could be used in six states- Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The regulatory agency added nine more on Wednesday, all key farming states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota,...

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark., April 1- Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson told lawmakers on Wednesday to revise a bill that rights activists and U.S. businesses said allowed discrimination against gays, and home-state corporate giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc praised his action. Indiana's governor a day earlier said lawmakers should fix a similar Religious Freedom...

  • Religious Freedom debate: Wal-Mart speaks out   Wednesday, 1 Apr 2015 | 4:36 PM ET
    Religious Freedom debate: Wal-Mart speaks out

    Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has asked state lawmakers to recall the Religious Freedom bill and make changes, reports CNBC's Mary Thompson. Insight on the debate, with Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Yale School of Management.