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Saturday, Apr 19th

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Senate Passes Unemployment Benefits Extension

US SenateThe Senate approved a bipartisan unemployment benefits extension Monday, with six Republicans joining Senate Democrats to clear the measure.

The measure passed 59 to 38 with all Democrats in attendance voting for the bill. The five Republicans who helped negotiate the measure — Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rob Portman of Ohio — joined the Democrats voting in favor of the bill along with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

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Three-Quarters Of World Bank-Backed Projects Still Don't Evaluate Climate Risks: Report

World Bank GroupThe World Bank is still failing to take climate change into account as it makes decisions about the projects it finances, according to a new report from the nonprofit World Resources Institute. The impacts of climate change were only taken into consideration in a quarter of all projects the bank approved between January 2012 and June 2013.

World Resources Institute looked at a selection of projects that would reasonably be expected to undergo some sort of climate impact assessment. The World Bank has in recent years put a greater emphasis on climate change under its new president, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, and argued in a landmark 2013 report that climate change "could seriously undermine poverty alleviation in many regions." But as WRI's report finds, 75 percent of projects still include no assessment of climate risks.

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International Rwandans mark 20th anniversary of genocide

Rwanda memorial

Thousands of Rwandans gathered Monday for a somber remembrance on the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, when close to a million people were butchered over the course of a 100-day period while the international community stood by, largely silent.

President Paul Kagame and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon together lit a flame at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center, which estimates that 1,000,050 Rwandans perished in three months of machete and gunfire attacks mostly aimed at the country's minority Tutsi population by extremist Hutus.

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Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline accused of bribery in Iraq

ClaxoSmithKline accusedDrugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, already facing corruption accusations in China, is now investigating allegations of bribery in Iraq, the British company said on Sunday.

The latest controversy centers on claims that the company hired government-employed physicians and pharmacists in Iraq as paid sales representatives to improperly boost use of its products.

"We are investigating allegations of improper conduct in our Iraq business. We have zero tolerance for unethical or illegal behavior," a company spokesman said.  The investigations are ongoing.

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U.S. Supreme Court rejects appeal on New Mexico gay rights case

US Supreme CourtThe U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from a studio that refused to photograph a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony, letting stand a New Mexico high court ruling that helped spur a national debate over gay rights and religious freedom.

The justices left in place a unanimous state Supreme Court ruling last year that said Elane Photography violated New Mexico's Human Rights Act by refusing to photograph the same-sex ceremony "in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races."

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VA releases findings on deaths, injuries from delayed tests

Veteran's AdministrationThe Department of Veterans Affairs Monday released its findings on deaths and injuries that occurred as a result of delayed tests and treatments.

Going back to 1999, the VA identified three patients in the Sunshine Healthcare Network, which includes Florida, south Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who died from malignancies as the result of delays in treatment.

Two were from the North Florida/South Georgia VA Health System and one was from the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center, according to the VA.

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Thousands of Jerusalem Arabs without water

Palestinians in Jerusalem Tens of thousands of Palestinians living in east Jerusalem have been without running water for more than a month, victims of a decrepit and overwhelmed infrastructure and caught in a legal no-man's land caused by the divisions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The residents of the Shuafat refugee camp are technically part of the Jerusalem municipality. But they live outside the massive West Bank separation barrier that Israel has built. So Israeli services are sparse, yet Palestinian authorities are barred from operating there or developing the water system.

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Mickey Rooney, Actor Who Charmed Audiences For More Than 80 Years, Dies

Mickey Rooney dead at 93Mickey Rooney, the legendary actor who got his first Hollywood role at the age of six and starred in more than 200 films over the course of a turbulent career, has died. He was 93.

Charlene Rooney tells the that her father-in-law died of natural causes Sunday at the Los Angeles home he shared with her and her husband, Mark Rooney.

The actor was a box-office powerhouse in the 1930s and 40s. On , Becky Vlamis says it was Mickey Rooney's work in the Andy Hardy series that "showcased his Rooney's youthful, wholesome appeal and catapulted him into stardom. He starred in 16 Andy Hardy pictures altogether. During that same period, MGM dreamed up another teen franchise —starring Rooney and the young Judy Garland as a plucky song and dance act."

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Obama To Sign Executive Orders On Equal Pay

equal pay executived orderPresident Barack Obama will sign two new executive orders on equal pay for women Tuesday, Politico reports. The executive actions coincide with "Equal Pay Day" -- the date that symbolizes how far into 2014 women must work to earn the same amount of money men earned last year.

Both executive orders mirror provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Congress has twice failed to pass. One would prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who share their salary information with each other. The provision is inspired by Lilly Ledbetter, the namesake of the first bill Obama signed on equal pay in 2009, who worked for nearly 20 years at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. before discovering that men in her same job with equal or lesser experience were earning significantly more money than she was.

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