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Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history

Industrial farmingAnimals are the main victims of history, and the treatment of domesticated animals in industrial farms is perhaps the worst crime in history. The march of human progress is strewn with dead animals.

Even tens of thousands of years ago, our stone age ancestors were already responsible for a series of ecological disasters. When the first humans reached Australia about 45,000 years ago, they quickly drove to extinction 90% of its large animals. This was the first significant impact that Homo sapiens had on the planet’s ecosystem. It was not the last.


Mormon church issues call for calm as 'blood moon' sparks apocalypse fears

Blood moonA rare confluence of a lunar eclipse and a supermoon to happen this weekend has prompted such widespread fear of an impending apocalypse that the Mormon church was compelled to issue a statement cautioning the faithful to not get caught up in speculation about a major calamity.

Sunday night’s “blood moon” and recent natural disasters and political unrest around the world have led to a rise in sales at emergency-preparedness retailers.


At Philly's Independence Mall, Pope Francis Offers His Definition Of Religious Freedom

Pope FrancesPope Francis addressed thousands of people gathered at Philadelphia’s historic Independence Mall on Saturday afternoon, just feet away from the building where the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution were adopted.

In his speech, the pope tied America's founding to the cause of religious freedom, championing diversity and “compassion for those in need.”


U.S.-trained Syrian rebels gave equipment to Nusra: U.S. military

Nusra front fightersSyrian rebels trained by the United States gave some of their equipment to the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in exchange for safe passage, a U.S. military spokesman said on Friday, the latest blow to a troubled U.S. effort to train local partners to fight Islamic State militants.

The rebels surrendered six pick-up trucks and some ammunition, or about one-quarter of their issued equipment, to a suspected Nusra intermediary on Sept. 21-22 in exchange for safe passage, said Colonel Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, in a statement.


New York governor calls for national gun control in eulogy for aide

Andrew CuomoNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo renewed his call for national gun control legislation on Saturday as he delivered a eulogy for the top state attorney who was fatally wounded by a stray bullet in Brooklyn earlier this month.

State officials and family members gathered at Brooklyn's Emmanuel Baptist Church in a private service for Carey Gabay, 43, who was struck in the head at a pre-dawn outdoor celebration on Sept. 7 before the annual West Indian Day parade, an event plagued by violence in recent years.


Judge: Mentally disabled immigrants may return to U.S., reopen deportation cases

Border patrolHundreds of mentally disabled immigrant detainees deported after representing themselves in immigration court may return to the United States for a second chance to contest their expulsion, a judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee approved a class-action lawsuit settlement, clearing the way for immigrants with "serious mental disabilities" to request their cases be reopened. If approved, the United States will pay for transportation in some cases.


China vows billions of development dollars, debt forgiveness

Xi JinpingChina's president on Saturday pledged billions in aid and said Beijing will forgive debts due this year in an effort to help the world's poorest nations, as world leaders begin to seek the trillions of dollars needed to help achieve sweeping new development goals.

President Xi Jinping spoke at a global summit that on Friday launched the goals for the next 15 years.

Xi and others spoke as the U.N. gathering began to shift focus from development to the high-powered General Assembly meeting that begins Monday with speeches by Xi, President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the first morning alone.


Depths of heroin addiction: US sets record high for opium abuse

Heroin use up in USFrom 2002 to 2013, heroin dependence and abuse in the United States increased 90 percent, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in July. The rate of fatal overdoses quadrupled since 2000. Moreover, the number of Americans who said they’d used the drug in the last year went up by 65 percent; that means more than half a million people in the U.S. take heroin.

Notably, heroin use has been climbing among all demographic groups, including women, non-Hispanic whites, and the more affluent. Still, the growth in addiction has been most pronounced among white males between 18 and 25 years old.


Israeli soldiers attack journalists on West Bank

Israeli soldiers attack journalists on West Bank A dramatic video has emerged showing Israeli soldiers make an unprovoked assault on two journalists working for Agence France-Presse during a demonstration on the West Bank.

According to AFP’s bureau chief, Thomas Cox, the two men – Andrea Bernardi, an Italian videographer working for the organisation, and Abbas Momani – had arrived in the village of Beit Furik near Nablus on Friday to cover a demonstration that followed the funeral of a Palestinian who had died after being shot by Israeli security forces a week ago.


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