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Saturday, Dec 20th

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Maldives capital in crisis as water supply dries up

Maldives out of waterThe Maldives, a tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean, has run out of water. A popular tourist destination surrounded by pristine seas and turquoise-blue ocean vistas, the archipelago has declared a state of emergency after a fire at its only desalination plant led to the shortage that has affected the 130,000 inhabitants of the capital, Male.

Residents of Male are receiving bottled and desalinated water provided by neighboring countries via public taps and mobile vehicles, according to a statement issued by the United Nations on Monday.

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NYPD misconduct claims at record highs

NYPD misconduct complaintsComplaints of alleged police wrongdoing in New York City have hit a record level of 5,601 — a 150 percent increase from 2006 — and when the claims were settled or went to trial they have cost the city over $315 million dollars from 2006 to 2012, according to latest figures released by the city.

The numbers reflect concerns spotlighted in recent days by rising public anger over incidents including the fatal police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri, and the police chokehold death of New York City resident Eric Garner in July. In both cases, grand juries recently declined to indict the police officers involved, triggering major nationwide protests by demonstrators accusing police of excessive force and racism.

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U.S. bases, embassies prepare for violence with release of Senate torture report

war criminalsU.S. forces and diplomatic missions overseas braced on Monday for the release of the public version of a long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report into the CIA’s use of torture after a U.S. intelligence community warning of a “heightened potential” for a “violent response,” U.S. officials said.

The report’s roughly 500-page executive summary, which the White House said would be unveiled on Tuesday, excoriates the CIA, concluding that it didn’t gain significant intelligence or the cooperation of detainees by using the harsh interrogation methods, had wrongly subjected some people to the procedures and misled the White House and Congress about the results.

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Lies, Secrets and Silences: Fracking Costs Jobs and Lives

FOX liesFive Stars: Fracking Misstatement of the Day from FOX

In its otherwise unusually excellent coverage of the surge in fracking bans in six states (PA, OH, TX, NY, CA and CO) FOX News, in More Municipal Bans on Fracking Pose Setbacks to Domestic Energy Boom, credits the shale gas and oil boom with having already created “millions” of jobs in this cagily crafted lead sentence:

The surge in domestic-energy production that has created millions of new jobs and abundant natural gas and oil is now facing a potential setback, with cities across the country imposing bans on the widely-used deep-drilling process known as fracking.

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Extinction Rate Rivals That of Dinosaurs, 2014 Likely Hottest Year Ever

Polar bearsRecent studies show that current animal extinction rates from anthropogenic climate disruption now rival the extinction that annihilated the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Once again, this month's survey of the planet shows how climate disruption is continuing to intensify.

"The supreme reality of our time is ... the vulnerability of our planet."
- John F. Kennedy

Recent studies show that current animal extinction rates from anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) now rival the extinction that annihilated the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

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Chevron Courts Liability as Leading Producer of Greenhouse Gases

Chevron Chevron Corp. (CVX) has produced more greenhouse gases than any other fossil-fuel company, according to a study released as global climate talks continued today in Lima.

Chevron edged out state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co. for the amount of historical emissions produced by their operations since the dawn of the industrial age, according to the report released in Lima by the Climate Accountability Institute, a Snowmass, Colorado-based research and advocacy group. Exxon Mobil (XOM) Corp. came in third, with the top 20 fossil-fuel companies accounting for almost a third of all greenhouse-gas production since 1751.

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US believed FBI mole passed secrets to IRA in Thatcher murder plot, files reveal

FBI mole in IRA plotThe US government suspected that a mole inside the FBI was passing secrets to Irish republican militants who repeatedly plotted to assassinate Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s and 90s, files released to the Guardian showed on Monday.

A series of investigations by federal agents into alleged plots to murder Thatcher during visits to the US are detailed in hundreds of pages of FBI files involving the former prime minister, which were made public following a freedom of information request made after her death.

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The Koch brothers eclipse the RNC

Koch brothersThe Koch brothers and their allies are pumping tens of millions of dollars into a data company that’s developing detailed, state-of-the-art profiles of 250 million Americans, giving the brothers’ political operation all the earmarks of a national party.

The move comes as mainstream Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, are trying to reclaim control of the conservative movement from outside groups. The Kochs, however, are continuing to amass all of the campaign tools the Republican National Committee and other party arms use to elect a president.

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U.S. Supreme Court rejects BP challenge to Gulf spill settlement

BP challengeThe U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected BP's challenge to its multibillion-dollar settlement agreement over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which the oil giant complained has allowed payouts to some businesses that are unable to trace their losses to the disaster.

The court's decision not to hear the London-based company's appeal is the latest setback for BP, which is trying to limit payments over a disaster that killed 11 people and triggered the largest U.S. offshore oil spill.

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