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Thursday, Aug 28th

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FedEx indicted on new criminal charges in online pharmacy case

FedexFedEx Corp faces a new charge of conspiring to launder money in a U.S. criminal case over the company's drug deliveries for rogue online pharmacies despite warnings from law enforcement.

The latest indictment, filed in court on Friday, said FedEx accepted payment from several pharmacies when it knew the revenue was the product of invalid prescriptions.

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Activists plan port shutdowns to block Israeli ship in US and Canada

Activists plan to block Israeli shipsU.S. and Canadian activists are planning a series of actions beginning on Saturday to shut down West Coast ports to prevent a commercial Israeli cargo vessel from docking and unloading goods. The actions come in response to a call from Palestinian and South African unions to hold Israel accountable for what they allege are violations of Palestinians’ human rights — particularly during Israel’s latest offensive in the Gaza Strip, an operation that has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians.

“Palestine is calling us to action! Palestinian laborers [and the] Palestinian General Federation Trade Union have called on workers around the world to refuse to handle Israeli goods,” said a leaflet calling for the actions, collectively called “Block the Boat.”

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Ferguson police chief cedes much of his authority

Ferguson police cheifIn less than a week, the nation's most embattled police chief has ceded much of his authority — first to county police and then to state troopers.

Thomas Jackson, the snowy haired leader of the Ferguson Police Department, has been the public face of the agency at the center of the violent protests over a white police officer's killing of an unarmed black teenager.

Jackson's leadership has drawn wide criticism, both for the aggressive police response to the protesters and for his agency's erratic and infrequent releases of key information.

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Rick Perry indicted on two felonies

Rick Perry indictedGov. Rick Perry was indicted on two felony counts for abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant late Friday by a Travis County grand jury.

The case stems from Perry’s vetoing the $7.5 million biennial funding for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit last year. He threatened to withhold the money unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned.

In announcing the indictment, special prosecutor Michael McCrum of San Antonio said he felt confident of the charges brought against the governor and was “ready to go forward.”

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Boko Haram suspected of abducting more than 50 Nigerian villagers

Boca HaramResidents of a Nigerian village on the shore of Lake Chad say at least 50 residents are missing after a raid by suspected Boko Haram militants.

A witness told the BBC that 26 people were also killed during the raid on the village of Doron Baga on Sunday.  The remote region has poor communication links, meaning news of the raid took days to emerge.

Nigeria has been plagued by attacks by the Boko Haram Islamist group in recent years, particularly in the north-east.

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Notre Dame investigates academic fraud, removes four players

Notre dame fraudNotre Dame has removed four likely starters from its football team in the midst of an investigation into academic fraud, a person with knowledge of the investigation who was not authorized to speak publicly told USA TODAY Sports.

The players are receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive back KeiVarae Russell, defensive lineman Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore, the person said. It is unclear if their removal is permanent or whether they might be able to return to the team.

It also is unclear if the investigation is limited to football.

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Israel bans national service with human rights group B'Tselem in Gaza row

Israel bans service in human rights groupIsrael has banned young people from serving with one of its most prominent human rights groups because of its opposition to the war in Gaza. B'Tselem, which campaigns against Israeli settlements in the West Bank, was informed on Wednesday night that it has been blacklisted as a civilian alternative to military service.

The director of the body responsible for non-military options for Israelis who don't want to serve in the IDF, Sar-Shalom Jerbi, told Channel 2 TV that B'Tselem had "crossed the line in wartime [by] campaigning and inciting against the state of Israel and the Israel Defence Force, which is the most moral of armies".

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Government Invokes 'Privacy' Exemption To Conceal Secrets

Edward SnowdenWhen the National Security Agency wanted to block the public release of former contractor Edward Snowden's emails, it found an unlikely ally: His privacy.

The government cited a federal law protecting privacy rights to deny journalist Matthew Keys' request for Snowden's messages. Experts said Snowden is far from an exception. From Osama bin Laden to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, "privacy" claims are the government's latest excuse to keep its secrets secret.

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ISIS Baffling U.S. Intelligence Agencies

ISIS baffling US IntelIt’s been two months since ISIS took over Iraq’s second-largest city. But U.S. analysts are still trying to figure out how big the group is and the real identities of its leaders.

The U.S. intelligence community is still trying to answer basic questions about the jihadists who tried to wipe out Iraq’s remaining Yazidis and who now threaten to overrun the capital of the country’s Kurdish provinces.

In a briefing for reporters Thursday, U.S. intelligence officials said the government is re-evaluating an estimate from early this year that said the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) had only 10,000 members. These officials also said intelligence analysts were still trying to determine the real names of many of the group’s leaders from records of Iraqis who went in and out of American custody during the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

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