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Former Student at Elite Prep School, Acquitted of Felony Sexual Assault

Owen Labrie acquittedA former New Hampshire prep school student accused of raping a freshman girl as part of a campus tradition was acquitted Friday of the most serious charges against him.

Owen Labrie, now 19, was cleared of three counts of felony sexual assault, each of which carried up to 20 years in prison. He was convicted of misdemeanor sexual assault and a separate felony charge that carries up to seven years.

Labrie sobbed in court as the verdict — reached by a jury of three women and nine men — was read.

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Another Huge Sewage Spill, Another Beach Closure In Hawaii

Sewage spill in Hawaii- For the second time in a week a popular Hawaii beach was closed Thursday after sewage from a treatment plant was discharged into the ocean.

A million gallons of treated but not yet disinfected wastewater was discharged from the East Honolulu Wastewater Treatment plant, closing Sandy Beach and its surroundings. The closure comes a day after beaches near Waikiki were reopened following a similar issue.

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NASA: Sea Level Rise Likely To Get Much Worse

Sea level riseSea levels worldwide rose an average of nearly 3 inches (8 cm) since 1992, the result of warming waters and melting ice, a panel of NASA scientists said on Wednesday.

In 2013, a United Nations panel predicted sea levels would rise from 1 to 3 feet (0.3 to 0.9 meters) by the end of the century. The new research shows that sea level rise most likely will be at the high end of that range, said University of Colorado geophysicist Steve Nerem.

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Snowden may get freedom prize at Norway border

Norway border Snowden prizeThe Norwegian academy which gave Edward Snowden a free speech prize is planning to hold a "symbolic ceremony" for the whistleblower at the country's far-northern border with Russia.

The Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression, which awarded the NSA whistleblower its Bjornson prize earlier this year, said that, as Norway's government is still giving no assurances that it will protect Snowden, it could be forced to hold the ceremony at the border.

"An award ceremony like that would without doubt be very special," Hege Newth Nouri, the academy's head, told state broadcaster NRK.

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Savannah State University student dies in campus shooting

Student shot to death Students at Savannah State University in Georgia were mourning Friday after a student was shot to death in the school's student union building.

Christopher Starks, a junior from metro Atlanta, died at a local hospital after an altercation Thursday night at the union, according to Loretta Heyward, a spokeswoman for the school.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement Friday that the shooting "appears to be an isolated incident."

The shooter has not been identified, according to the GBI.

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Al-Jazeera English defendants await verdict in Egypt trial

Al Jazeera journalistshree journalists on trial in an Egyptian court on terrorism-related charges are awaiting its verdict, hopeful that they will be acquitted after lengthy proceedings criticized worldwide by press freedom advocates and human rights activists.

On Friday, a day before the verdict, Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, who was Al-Jazeera's acting Cairo bureau chief, said he was particularly hopeful because senior Egyptian officials had agreed to meet his lawyer Amal Clooney, in Cairo.

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Racist flier urges Detroit suburb to vote for white candidates

Racist fliers in MachiganFliers urging voters to elect white candidates have outraged residents of Southfield, a predominantly black Detroit suburb. The fliers also praise George Zimmerman for his slaying of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, calling the youth a “thug."

It remains unknown who distributed the leaflets, which appeared over the weekend, but police are looking for who distributed the offending papers. Southfield is a predominantly black community.

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Refugee boat sinkings claim at least 100 off Libya, hundreds more missing

Lybia migrants drownThe bodies of scores of refugees have been recovered by Libyan authorities responding to two off-coast sinkings of smuggling ships thought to be carrying hundreds of people.

A Red Crescent official told the Associated Press that 105 people have so far been confirmed dead, but it is feared that the total could rise as hundreds are still missing. On Friday, Libyan authorities were observed removing bodies from the waters off the coastal city of Zuwara — a launch pad for overcrowded refugee ships heading to Europe.

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Appeals court reverses ruling that found NSA program illegal

NSAA federal appeals court has ruled in favor of the Obama administration in a dispute over the bulk collection of phone data on millions of Americans.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday reversed a lower court ruling that said the program likely violates the U.S. Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches.

But the impact of the ruling is uncertain, now that Congress has passed legislation designed to replace the program over the next few months.

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