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Wednesday, Jul 29th

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Ex-diplomats urge ratification of Iran deal

Ex-diplomats urge ratificationA group of former diplomats sent a letter to Congress on Monday morning, urging members of both chambers not to reject the Obama administration’s controversial Iran deal.

The letter, signed by former undersecretaries of state and former American ambassadors to Israel, states that the group has determined the deal, “will leave Iran no legitimate avenue to produce a nuclear weapon during the next 10 to 15 years.”

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Top companies sign climate change pledge

climate changeLooking ahead to a United Nations climate change summit in Paris later this year, 13 American companies have signed on to a new White House pledge to go green.

Executives from the companies, which include Microsoft, Apple and Coca-Cola, met at the White House Monday to announce the program. By signing the pledge, the companies are expressing support for a strong result from the U.N. talks in Paris this December, along with setting their own goals for sustainability. Together, they will invest more than $140 billion to move toward smaller carbon footprints and produce 1,600 megawatts of new renewable energy.

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Disastrous Sea Level Rise Is an Issue for Today's Public -- Not Next Millennium's

sea level riseIn 2005, I argued that ice sheets may be more vulnerable than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated, mainly because of effects of a warming ocean in speeding ice melt. In 2007, I wrote "Scientific Reticence and Sea Level Rise," describing and documenting a phenomenon that pressures scientists to minimize the danger of imminent sea level rise.

About then I became acquainted with remarkable studies of geologist Paul Hearty. Hearty found strong evidence for sea level rise late in the Eemian to +6-9 m (20-30 feet) relative to today. The Eemian is the prior interglacial period (~120,000 years ago), which was slightly warmer than the present interglacial period (the Holocene) in which civilization developed. Hearty also found evidence for powerful storms in the North Atlantic near the end of the Eemian period.

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35 women who accused Cosby of sexual assault appear on 'New York' cover

New Yorker coverThe latest cover of New York magazine features a black and white image of 35 women who have accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault.

The magazine photographed and interviewed the women for the issue, which was released online Sunday.

Many of the women share similar stories of being young actresses or mentees of Cosby who were drugged by the actor and sexually assaulted. Some didn't speak out until now for fear that no one would believe them.

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Jehovah's Witnesses ‘Hid’ 1006 Sex Abusers

Jehovahs witnesses cove3r pedophilesThe Jehovah's Witness Church in Australia received allegations of child sexual abuse involving more than 1000 of its members over a 60-year period but did not report a single claim to police, a royal commission has heard.

Instead, the church, which has almost 70,000 active members, followed its policy of handling allegations internally.

The opening day of the hearing into the Jehovah's Witnesses at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told that church elders blamed at least two victims for their sexual abuse.

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Fiat Chrysler hit with $105M fine by NHTSA over failed recalls

Fiat=Chrysler finedFiat Chrysler was officially hit with a record $105 million penalty by the U.S. Department of Transportation on Sunday over nearly two dozen safety recalls it failed to complete, officials said.

The Dept. of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the penalty Sunday, which is part of an agreement that will allow some customers to sell their affected vehicles back to the automaker.

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Half of Columbia River sockeye salmon dying due to hot water

sockeye salmonMore than a quarter million sockeye salmon returning from the ocean to spawn are either dead or dying in the Columbia River and its tributaries due to warming water temperatures. Federal and state fisheries biologists say the warm water is lethal for the cold-water species and is wiping out at least half of this year's return of 500,000 fish.

"We had a really big migration of sockeye," said Ritchie Graves of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "The thing that really hurts is we're going to lose a majority of those fish."

He said up to 80 percent of the population could ultimately perish.

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Boy Scouts to lift ban on gay adult leaders

Boy ScoutsThe Boy Scouts of America is expected to end its ban on gay adult leaders on Monday, dismantling a policy that has deeply divided the membership of the 105-year-old Texas-based organization.

The Boy Scouts National Executive Board will consider a resolution that was unanimously approved by the organization’s executive committee on July 13. The organization is urging an end to the ban because of a "sea change in the law with respect to gay rights."

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Cleveland cop pepper sprays peaceful Movement for Black Lives protesters

protesters pepper sprayedIn a message posted to the social medium Twitter on Sunday afternoon by rapper and activist Talib Kweli Greene, a police officer appears to pepper spray a group of protesters at a march to support the Movement for Black Lives (#M4BL).

According to Cleveland.com, the activist group gathered at Cleveland State University this weekend to draw attention to police brutality and racial disparities in American society and within the criminal justice system.

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