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Sunday, Aug 30th

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California drought is up to 25 percent worse because of climate change

california droughtIf there were any doubts that global warming has exacerbated California’s four-year drought, a new study puts them to rest by quantifying the impact for the first time: Rising temperatures are worsening the drought by up to 25 percent.

While natural weather cycles are largely responsible for the historic drought, man-made emissions of greenhouse gases are intensifying the severity of the drought by raising air temperatures, according to a report by the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

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Palestinian Prisoner Ends Hunger Strike After Court Suspends Detention

Oalestinian hunger striker releasedalestinian detainee Mohammed Allan ended his 65-day hunger strike against his detention without trial on Wednesday after the Israeli Supreme Court suspended his arrest warrant, his lawyer said.

Allan has sustained brain damage as result of his hunger strike and is hospitalized in Israel in critical condition. The court said that in his current condition he poses no threat and therefore suspended his arrest warrant.

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Chelsea Manning loses prison privileges for violating rules

Chelsea Manningonvicted national security leaker Chelsea Manning was found guilty Tuesday of violating prison rules and will receive three weeks of recreational restrictions at the Kansas military prison where she's serving her 35-year sentence, her attorney said.

The transgender Army private was accused of having a copy of Vanity Fair with Caitlyn Jenner on the cover and an expired tube of toothpaste, among other things. Her attorney, Chase Strangio of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a news release that Manning was convicted of all charges after a closed four-hour disciplinary board hearing in which she had no counsel.

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Volcano warning near nuclear plant raising concerns in Japan

Volcano warning near FukushimaJust under a week after the first nuclear power plant re-opened in Japan, critics are voicing conerns about safety. Oh, and there's a volcano.

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011, all of Japan's nuclear reactors were shut down. To reopen, plants must pass new safety requirement. Plants must have an upgrade plan, an engineering work plan and receive pre-service inspections. These upgrade plans must include disaster preparedness — one plant in Hamaoka built a 70-foot-high, mile-long tsunami seawall in December in order to comply with the new regulations.

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The Real Clinton Email Scandal: Our Ridiculous Classification Rules

Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account for official State Department business was a mistake, but the revelation that Clinton’s emails contain upwards of 305 messages with potentially “classified” information is far less scandalous than the headlines make it appear. The most troubling part of this story involves the rules governing official secrets, not Clinton’s conduct as Secretary of State.

As a former Department of Justice official who regularly dealt with classified information, I am glad a team of officials from the FBI, the intelligence community and other agencies is not currently reviewing every email I sent and received while I worked in government. If they did, they would likely find arguably classified information that was transmitted over unclassified networks—and the same thing is undoubtedly true for other senior officials at the White House, the State Department and other top national security agencies.

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State inquiries into Planned Parenthood turn up no evidence of wrongdoing

Planned ParenthoodPlanned Parenthood appears to be weathering scrutiny by state legislatures that began in the wake of undercover “sting” videos by anti-abortion activists, as investigations in states across the country have repeatedly turned up no evidence of wrongdoing.

Some state officials undertook the investigations even though Planned Parenthood affiliates in their state don’t perform abortions. Others started investigations or defunded the organization even though fetal tissue donation was against the law in their jurisdiction.

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Mike Huckabee blunders his way through Israel press conference

Mike Huckabee in IsraelRepublican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee delivered a confused and garbled press conference in Jerusalem during a brief campaign stop, which included a controversial fundraising visit to a settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories.

At times taking positions to the right of Israel’s government, the former governor of Arkansas at one stage described Russia as the “Soviet Union” – when referring to its plans to supply Iran with S-300 anti-aircraft missiles – before correcting himself.

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Cancer risk 'even from light drinking'

Cancer risk from even light drinkingEven light and moderate drinking - up to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men - could increase the risk of cancer, say researchers.

The work in the British Medical Journal looked at two large US studies involving more than 100,000 adults.  The clearest link was for breast cancer.

Experts say the findings reinforce the health message that people should limit how much they drink and have some alcohol-free days.

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What's in the Ashley Madison dump?

Ashley MadisonIt appears that hackers have released 10 gigabytes of data stolen from Ashley Madison, a dating website for married people.

Hackers claim to have distributed the personal information on 33 million accounts via the dark web and it is now being pored over by security researchers, among others.  Many, including security expert Brian Krebs, believe the dump is genuine.

What data has been released?

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