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Monday, Mar 02nd

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Bush White House’s Repeated Torture Denials Led CIA Torturers to Seek Repeated Reassurances

bush torture denialsThe Bush administration was so adamant in its public statements against torture that CIA officials repeatedly sought reassurances that the White House officials who had given them permission to torture in the first place hadn’t changed their minds.

In a July 29, 2003, White House meeting that included Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, CIA Director George Tenet went so far as to ask the White House “to cease stating that US Government practices were ‘humane’.” He was assured they would.

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Gas explosion, fire destroy NJ Point Pleasant Beach house

gas explosion Pt.Pleasant NJ The victim, a 47-year-old man, suffered injuries affecting 40 to 50 percent of his body, Della Fave said. He was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center and transferred to Saint Barnabas Burn Center for treatment. The man was later listed in stable condition.

The victim was identified as Kurt Wagner, a spokeswoman for the Burn Center of the Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston confirmed. He works as a deck hand for the commercial fishing boat, Tina, docked at the Point Pleasant Beach Fisherman's Dock Cooperative.

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Phenomenal success for new film that criticises China's environmental policy

China pollution videoIt has been compared to Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s seminal work that shaped US environmental policy. Chai Jing, a former Chinese state television reporter, has produced a widely seen video documentary weaving her personal concerns for her daughter with a damning indictment of China’s toothless environmental policy.

Since its release online on Saturday, Under the Dome has notched up some 100m views on major Chinese video portals such as Tencent and Youku. It has also prompted 280 million posts on Sina Weibo, a microblogging site.

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Three Houston-area children in four days accidentally shoot themselves

three houston area children shoot themselvesThree young children have been shot accidentally in the Houston area in the past four days, two fatally from self-inflicted gunshots.

In the latest incident, a six-year-old boy was taken to hospital in critical condition after being shot by his five-year-old brother on Monday morning in north-east Harris County, police told reporters.

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U.S. judge rules Nebraska same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

Nebraska same sex marriage ban unconstitutionalA federal judge on Monday ruled Nebraska's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional in a decision that could allow same-sex couples to marry in the state within a week.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon issued a preliminary injunction in the case brought by seven same-sex couples in the state, calling Nebraska's ban an "unabashedly gender-specific infringement of the equal rights of its citizens."

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O’Reilly’s Own Video Shows No ‘War Zone’

O'Reilly video shows no war zoneThroughout the controversy set off by a recent Mother Jones article about Bill O'Reilly's mischaracterizations of his wartime reporting experience, the Fox News host has angrily insisted that "everything" he has said about his journalistic track record has been accurate.

But his accounts have been contradicted by O'Reilly's former colleagues and other eyewitnesses—and, it turns out, by O'Reilly's own reporting at the time. Mother Jones has obtained the CBS News report O'Reilly filed at the end of the Falklands war. It makes no reference to the dramatic and warlike action—soldiers "gunning down" Argentine civilians with "real bullets"—O'Reilly has claimed he witnessed.

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Lumber Liquidators stock plummets after 60 Minutes investigation over toxic flooring

lumber liquidatorStocks of Lumber Liquidators have plummeted after a 60 Minutes report accused the company of selling Chinese-made laminate flooring containing toxic amounts of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

Although the company's domestic-made laminate flooring met health and safety standards, almost of its products made in China did not, according to a report by 60 Minutes on CBS.

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Scientists photograph light as particle and wave

light particle and waveLight behaves both as a particle and as a wave. Since the days of Einstein, scientists have been trying to directly observe both of these aspects of light at the same time. Now, scientists at EPFL have succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot of this dual behavior.

Quantum mechanics tells us that light can behave simultaneously as a particle or a wave. However, there has never been an experiment able to capture both natures of light at the same time; the closest we have come is seeing either wave or particle, but always at different times. Taking a radically different experimental approach, EPFL scientists have now been able to take the first ever snapshot of light behaving both as a wave and as a particle. The breakthrough work is published in Nature Communications.

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Iraq launches major offensive to recapture Tikrit from ISIL

Iraq offensiveGovernment forces backed by allied Shia and Sunni fighters have begun a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The offensive is part of the biggest military operation in the Sunni-majority province of Salahuddin since last June, when ISIL fighters, exploiting sectarian resentments of the Shia-led government, seized vast swaths of northern Iraq and advanced towards the capital, Baghdad.

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