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IRS to start processing tax returns on Feb. 14

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Valentine's Day will mark the start of tax season for millions of Americans this year.

The Internal Revenue Service had to delay processing returns from some taxpayers because of late changes to the 2010 tax law passed by Congress in December.

The agency said it will start processing returns on Feb. 14 from people who itemize their deductions, those who claim a deduction for college tuition and fees, and schoolteachers who claim a deduction for out-of-pocket classroom expenses.

Other taxpayers can file their returns as soon as they receive all their tax documents from employers, banks and other financial institutions.

The IRS said it needs more time to reprogram its processing systems to take into account the new laws.


GOP health care talk gets Nazi comparison

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Tennessee Democrat is defending his comparison of Republican health care arguments to Nazi propaganda.

Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis made the remarks earlier this week as House lawmakers debated repealing the new health care law. Cohen, who is Jewish, said Republicans are repeating lies and spreading false information, much like Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels did about Jews before the Holocaust.

"Just like Goebbels, you say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually people believe it," Cohen said on the House floor. "The Germans said enough about the Jews and the people believed it and you had the Holocaust."

In a statement released Thursday, Cohen said he never called Republicans Nazis.


Huge rocket launched with classified payload

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) -- The largest rocket ever launched from the West Coast blasted off Thursday with a classified defense satellite on board.

The 235-foot-tall Delta IV Heavy Launch Vehicle lifted off at 1:10 p.m. carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. No payload details were released. The NRO operates satellites that provide information to the Central Intelligence Agency and Department of Defense.


Man held in Kuwait returning to U.S.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia man who says he was beaten and tortured while detained in Kuwait is on his way back to the United States, a government lawyer said Thursday.

Gulet Mohamed, 19, of Alexandria, Va., had been stuck in Kuwait for nearly a month because of his apparent placement on the U.S. government's no-fly list. He said that when he was first detained, he was handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten, whipped on his feet, and interrogated about his recent travels to Yemen and Somalia.

Earlier this week, lawyers for Mohamed with the Council on American-Islamic Relations sued Attorney General Eric Holder and other U.S. officials in federal court, seeking an order that would require the government to allow Mohamed's return to the U.S.

At a hearing Thursday, Justice Department lawyer Paul Freeborne said Mohamed had been released from a Kuwaiti detention facility and was expected to board a U.S.-bound flight. Mohamed was born in Somalia but is a naturalized U.S. citizen who immigrated at age 3.

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