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Sunday, Jan 25th

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Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks dies at 83

Ernie BanksEven as the Chicago Cubs lost one game after another, Ernie Banks never lost hope. That was the charm of "Mr. Cub."

Banks, the Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP who always maintained his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite decades of playing on miserable teams, died Friday night. He was 83.

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Supreme Court agrees to review controversial execution drug

Supreme Court to review execution drugsThe Supreme Court is stepping into the issue of lethal injection executions for the first time since 2008, agreeing Friday to take up an appeal filed by death row inmates in Oklahoma.

The justices will review whether the sedative midazolam can be used in executions amid concerns that it does not produce a deep, coma-like unconsciousness. As a result, prisoners may experience intense and needless pain when other drugs are injected to kill him. The order came eight days after the court refused to halt the execution of an Oklahoma man that employed the same combination of drugs.

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Alabama seeks to stay order overturning gay marriage ban

gay marriage The Alabama attorney general is asking a federal judge to stay a ruling that overturned Alabama's ban on gay marriage, as advocates cheer what once seemed an improbable victory in the deeply conservative state.

Attorney General Luther Strange's office asked a federal judge on Friday to put the ruling on hold since the U.S. Supreme Court plans to take up the issue of gay marriage this term, "resolving the issues on a nation-wide basis."

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Scientists Warn We're Ever-Closer To The Apocalypse

apocalypse closerThe world crept closer to doomsday on Thursday.

That's according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which each year updates the hands on a clock meant to symbolize how close we are to the annihilation of the human race, or midnight. For the last three years, the world was five minutes from the end. Today, we're three minutes away.

The two-minute move is symbolic, but it gives a sense of how grim the outlook some of the best scientific minds have for humanity. The decision to move the hands forward, said Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists executive director Kennette Benedict, came about largely due to the threats posed by anthropogenic climate change and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

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How Kerry foiled Boehner's Israel Stunt

Boehner's israel stunt House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) appeared to have pulled off a masterful political victory against the Obama administration Wednesday when he revealed that he had invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on the dangers of the administration's negotiations with Iran.

Coming a day after President Barack Obama threatened to veto new Iran-related sanctions legislation that he said could harm the negotiations, Boehner's move looked like a smart way to reinforce support for such bills -- a priority for the Republican-led Congress -- by showing that the U.S.'s top ally in the region supported them.

Then things started to fall apart.

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Americans Keep Trying to Board With Guns

Americans bring gns on planesA record 2,212 firearms — most of them loaded — were discovered in travelers' carry-on bags at U.S. airports last year, according to 2014 statistics released today by the Department of Homeland Security.

Transportation Security Administration officers found an average of six firearms per day in passengers' carry-on bags or on their bodies. More than 80% of the guns were loaded. The total number of firearms discovered at airport security checkpoints rose 22% from 2013, the DHS statistics show.

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Yemen suffers power vacuum after president, premier quit

YemenYemen drifted deeper into political limbo on Friday after President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi resigned in exasperation at a Houthi rebel takeover of the country, a move that appeared to catch the Iran-backed group off balance.

Hadi, a former general, blamed the Houthis' control of the capital Sanaa for impeding his attempt to steer Yemen toward stability after years of turmoil and tribal unrest, deepening poverty and U.S. drone strikes on Islamist militants.

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Scientists invent 3-D printer 'teleporter'

TeleporterScientists at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, say they've invented the world's first teleporter. Naturally, it's named "Scotty" after Star Trek's enterprising engineer Mr. Scott.

"We present a simple self-contained appliance that allows relocating inanimate physical objects across distance," the researchers wrote in the paper submitted to the Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction conference, held this week at Stanford University. "Users place an object into the sender unit, enter the address of a receiver unit, and press the relocate button."

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Bronx and Havana museums to exchange artworks

Bronx Museum of the ArtsThe Bronx Museum of Art and Cuba's National Museum of Fine Arts have launched an art exchange initiative that will include two major exhibitions.

The cooperation began long before the recent thaw in U.S.-Cuban relations. The Bronx Museum calls it the most ambitious art exchange between U.S. and Cuban museums in more than 50 years.

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