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Fix America in Six Easy Steps!

From campaign finance to political gerrymandering, the retired Supreme Court justice skips hard arguments in his new book in favor of unrealistic, poorly drafted solutions.

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£180m scheme for NI social housing

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A record finance deal worth £180m will kick-start the construction of 1,600 new homes in Northern Ireland.

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Nato suspends Russia co-operation

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Nato suspends all practical civilian and military co-operation with Russia over the annexation of Crimea, describing it as a grave threat to European security.

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Tiny house for two? Yes, this dating site is real

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Every Friday night across the country, a familiar scenario plays out: Someone listens to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” for the 14th time in a row, consumes Nutella by the fistful, and dons old sweatpants with paw prints on the butt, all while thinking, “It might be time to try to get a date.” Why shouldn’t this be happening in a 120-square-foot cottage on wheels? Tiny house people have needs, too. And slowly, a few enterprising souls are popping out of the reclaimed woodwork to fulfill them. Enter Tiny House Dating. At long last, someone thought to outdo FarmersOnly, Purrsonals, and SaladMatch by creating a niche dating site for tiny house people. From the website’s About Me section: We help connect people who’s [sic] values are based (at least in part) around “right-sizing” their lives. This includes We the Tiny House People (of course) and other related folks like minimalists and environmentalists. If this sounds like you, welcome. We’d like to help me you meet someone special. After finding out about this from Lloyd Alter on TreeHugger on Friday, I wanted to see who’s out there on the tiny house dating scene, so I opened an account. My interest in tiny houses is, after all, well-documented. It was slow-going, however, because the website’s capacity was overloaded for hours. Tiny house people, it seems, are flocking in hordes to find love. To make a profile on Tiny House Dating, you’re required to answer some basic questions about yourself, and also provide some details about where you stand in the tiny house movement. For example: How serious are you about tiny houses, on a scale from one to 10? What does tiny house living mean to you? So what is the single tiny house person looking for? I perused some of the profiles to get an idea. As it turns out — as with any dating site — a person’s preferences can get pretty specific. For example: I am searching for a petite and attractive lady too share my life with who is a one man kind of women some one responsible and fun who shares my dream of building a mortgage free homestead and having a quality life based on respect for each other. [sic] It’s not every day that a shared desire for a mortgage-free homestead factors into someone’s image of the perfect mate, but hey — why the hell shouldn’t it? And there’s at least one tiny house designer catering to the single-and-searching as well. I spoke with Joshua Woodsman, founder of Pinup Houses, about what drove him to launch a website for those making their own tiny houses “a dream in progress.” In keeping with the name, the site is festooned with old-timey illustrations of half-naked women. For anywhere from $50 to $120, customers can purchase blueprints named for legendary sex symbols: the Bettie, the Marilyn, or the Sofia, among others. And who is this guy, exactly? He introduces himself with the basics: “Hi, my name is Joshua Woodsman. I’m from Texas and I live in a cabin.” He is also an imaginary person. Joshua Woodsman is an alter-ego invented by a Czech architect to appeal to American audiences, who he tells me are more interested in small-scale living than Europeans. I asked “Joshua” (who declined to share his real name) how he came up with the idea for Pinup Houses, and it turns out that his target audience is pretty much the same as every other business in the United States: sad single people. “First, I tried to imagine the people who would want to build a small cabin. And I saw one single man and his date, in this cabin,” he said. “I tried to focus on this lonely man, and make a good space for him and his date in the plans.” He raises an important question: If you live in a small cabin in the middle of the woods, how do you propose to bring someone back to your cabin deep in the woods without sounding like a serial killer? Alternatively, how do you tell your date that you live in a trailer in someone’s backyard without sounding like a huge loser? Tiny house dwellers need people who understand them and their unconventional living spaces. Dating services for lonely tiny house people: It’s creating the next generation of micro-homesteaders! If ever there were an indication that the tiny house movement has some longevity, this might be it.Filed under: Cities, Living

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Sergey Karaganov: The man behind Putin’s pugnacity

Prescient foreign-policy specialist fears the West and Kiev don’t realize the hell they are unleashing in the former Soviet empire

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Dismal night for Socialists as far-right and conservatives sweep elections

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Front National takes control of 11 town halls in local polls while Hidalgo’s victory in Paris is only bright spot for HollandeParis elected its first female mayor on Sunday night, but the victory for socialist Anne Hidalgo was an isolated piece of good news for President François Hollande’s embattled party as the far-right Front National (FN) appeared on course to win a record number of town halls.”I am the first woman mayor of Paris. I am aware of the challenge,” Hidalgo said in a victory speech after defeating the candidate of the conservative right, former minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet.

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Alexander Downer will be Australias next high commissioner to the UK

Former South Australian Labor premier Mike Rann will be shifted from London to Rome to make way for DownerFormer Liberal foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer has been confirmed as the next high commissioner to the UK.The foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, said former South Australian Labor premier Mike Rann would be shifted from London to Rome to make way for Downer.

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Pair accused of trying to deposit fake bonds in Vatican bank

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Vatican police apprehended an American and a Dutch man who were trying to deposit billions of euros and US dollars in fake bonds in the Vatican bank. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Warmer temperatures can lead to warmer tempers, UN report to say

Top scientists are saying that climate change will complicate and worsen existing global security problems

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Bitter Washington DC mayoral election clouded by corruption claims

Mayor Vincent Gray faces possible federal indictment Muriel Bowser takes slim lead in Democratic primary pollsJust days before voters in Washington go to the polls to select their next mayor, the latest corruption scandal to hit the city boiled over in a television studio as Democratic mayoral candidates exchanged angry taunts during their final broadcast debate.The incumbent, Vincent Gray, faces possible indictment by federal prosecutors over allegations he received $400,000 (£240,000) in illegal campaign contributions from the billionaire city contractor Jeffrey Thompson, who was codenamed uncle Earl by the mayor.

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Republican governors Chris Christie and Scott Walker court Jewish donors

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Big hitters stress Israel backing to Republican Jewish Coalition Billionaire Sheldon Adelson donated more than $90m in 2012 Two of the highest-profile Republican state governors on Saturday called for more aggressive leadership on America’s challenges abroad, emphasising their support for Israel as they courted powerful Jewish donors.New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker also stoked speculation about their own presidential ambitions as they discussed how to reclaim the White House in 2016.

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Ukraine’s ‘Chocolate King’ could edge new-look Yulia for president

Petro Poroshenko, a 48-year-old billionaire, emerges as leadership favourite

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Egypt presidential election set for May 26, 27

Country’s powerful former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is widely expected to win

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Brazil police relocate slums in ‘pacification’ effort ahead of World Cup

Massive complex gets pushed near airport in pre-dawn effort

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Earth Hour around the World

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A look at how the environment initative was recognized

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Number of missing from Washington mudslide drops from 90 to 30

Official death toll hits 18

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Russian foreign minister plays down impact of Western sanctions

Sergei Lavrov says restrictions have led to some disruption but have not been too painful

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