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Sunday, Apr 19th

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U.S. deports former Salvadoran general accused of killings, torture

Salvadorian general deportedThe United States deported former Salvadoran general Eugenio Vides Casanova after a court ruled him responsible for torture and killings during El Salvador's civil war.

Vides Casanova, formerly El Salvador's defense minister and head of the National Guard, was deported and arrived with more than 100 other deportees to El Salvador on Wednesday. He was detained in late March under laws enacted in 2004 to prevent human rights violators from seeking refuge in the United States.

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Rising radon readings linked to fracking

radon and frackingThe odorless radioactive gas known as radon is on the rise in Pennsylvania, and researchers suggest fracking is to blame. Since 2004, the year hydraulic fracturing activity kicked into high gear, radon readings in homes have been spiking.

A new study, conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that 42 percent of radon readings in the state registered above what the federal government defines as safe. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

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Italy court shooting: 'Four dead, man arrested' in Milan

Milan shootingAs many as four people are reported to have died after a man opened fire at the Palace of Justice in the Italian city of Milan before being arrested.

Officials said the gunman, identified by local media as Claudio Giardiello, was a defendant in a bankruptcy case.

The Ansa news agency said he shot a bankruptcy court judge, a lawyer and one other man. The fourth person is thought to have had a heart attack.

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It Is Now Illegal For A Federal Contractor To Fire Someone For Being LGBT

LGBT rightsFor the first time, companies that have contracts with the federal government are now prohibited from firing or discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, thanks to an executive order that takes effect Wednesday.

President Barack Obama signed the order in June 2014 banning workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors and the federal government. The administration took the last six months to provide rules to contractors, and to give companies time to put processes in place. The change affects 24,000 companies employing roughly 28 million workers, or about one-fifth of the nation's workforce.

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Democrats Blast Sen. Chuck Schumer's Threat to Kill Iran Deal

huk ShumerDemocratic constituency groups opposed to war with Iran are furious that New York Democrat and Senate Minority Leader "heir apparent" Chuck Schumer is threatening to scuttle the possibility of a diplomatic agreement with Iran by supporting legislation - the Corker bill - that would allow Republicans in Congress to veto any deal.

MoveOn.org says:  Supporting reckless legislation that undermines President Obama's diplomacy with Iran and risks a dangerous, unnecessary war in the Middle East should disqualify anyone from leading the Senate Democratic caucus...Sen. Schumer needs to withdraw his support from the Corker and Menendez legislation.

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Greenpeace Activists Have Barnacled Themselves to Shell Oil Drilling Rig Bound for Seattle

GreenpeaceGreenpeace reports that this morning, six activists from the Esperanza—the Greenpeace vessel tracking a Shell oil drilling platform called the Polar Pioneer as it travels across the Pacific Ocean—managed to scale the rig and affix themselves to the underside of the main deck.

The six are now tweeting from the rig, located 750 miles northwest of Hawaii.

In 2012, Shell won an injunction that kept Greenpeace activists away from its rigs. This drilling season, Seattle-based activists are also planning to greet the rigs with a flotilla of kayaks in Elliott Bay. The Polar Pioneer is due to arrive in Port Angeles on April 12, according to Marinetraffic.com, and activists expect it to pull into Seattle a few days later.

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Lawyer: Israel to detain Palestinian MP for six months

Khalida JarrarThe Israeli army has placed a female Palestinian legislator under detention for six months without trial, a lawyer for the politician said.

Khalida Jarrar, a senior political leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a left-wing Palestinian faction, is being held for alleged activities in a hostile organisation, lawyer Mahmoud Hassan
said on Monday.

The PFLP is designated a terrorist organisation by Israel and the United States.

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev convicted in Boston Marathon bombing

Boston marathon bombing verdictDzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombing by a federal jury that now must decide whether the 21-year-old former college student should be executed.

Tsarnaev kept his hands folded in front of him and looked down at the defense table as listened to the verdict, reached after a day and a half of deliberations. He was found guilty on charges that included conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction — offenses punishable by death.

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Afghan soldier kills 1 American soldier, wounds 2 US troops

afghan soldiers shhot US troopsAn Afghan soldier opened fire at a group of U.S. troops in the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing an American soldier and wounding at least two others before he was shot dead, a U.S. official said.

The incident happened after a meeting between Afghan provincial leaders and a U.S. Embassy official in the compound of the provincial governor in Jalalabad. All U.S. Embassy staff were accounted for and returned safely to their mission headquarters, the embassy said.

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