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Friday, May 22nd

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Freddie Gray officer had innocent man prosecuted as part of lengthy feud

Brian RiceThe Baltimore police lieutenant charged with the manslaughter of Freddie Gray had an innocent man arrested and prosecuted as part of a years-long personal feud over his love life that city police chiefs were repeatedly warned about.

Brian Rice filed criminal charges against his ex-girlfriend’s husband in 2013, incorrectly accusing him of breaking a court order, according to sealed court documents obtained by the Guardian. Rice tried to have the same man, Andrew McAleer, arrested again two weeks before Gray’s arrest last month.

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Obama's plans for trade deals with Asia and Europe in tatters after Senate vote

Senate rejects trade billBarack Obama’s ambitions to pass sweeping new free trade agreements with Asia and Europe fell at the first hurdle on Tuesday as Senate Democrats put concerns about US manufacturing jobs ahead of arguments that the deals would boost global economic growth.

A vote to push through the bill failed as 45 senators voted against it, to 52 in favor. Obama needed 60 out of the 100 votes for it to pass.

Failure to secure so-called “fast track” negotiating authority from Congress leaves the president’s top legislative priority in tatters.

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US Marine helicopter declared missing in Nepal

US marine helicopterA US Marine helicopter involved in disaster relief efforts in Nepal has been declared missing by the Army.

The team had been working in the vicinity of Charikot, a village that has been hard hit by earthquakes, a spokesman for the US Pacific Command said.

Six US Marines and two Nepali soldiers were aboard the helicopter.

An earthquake stuck Nepal on Tuesday, less than two weeks after an earlier quake killed more than 8,000 people.

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Is The CIA's Case For Torture Unraveling?

Osama bin LadinIn the immediate aftermath of Seymour Hersh’s winding narrative on the killing of Osama bin Laden and an alleged cover-up by the U.S. government, officials, spies and even other journalists have been quick to label the story a sham.

But now, multiple news sources are backing up at least one aspect of Hersh’s controversial account on the 2011 raid: It was a Pakistani tipster who ultimately led U.S. special forces to the fugitive’s Abbottabad compound, not the courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, whose identity was supposedly revealed by CIA detainees.

Which, if true, would mean the key to bin Laden’s location was not, as the agency tells it, torture.

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USA about to get Cuba's lung cancer vaccine

lung canccer vaccine from CubaCloser American ties with one of the world's major cigar exporters could actually be good news in the fight against lung cancer. Cuba has developed Cimavax, an effective lung cancer vaccine, and American researchers can now finally get their hands on it, reports Wired.

After New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited Cuba for a trade mission last month, the Buffalo-based Roswell Park Cancer Institute struck a deal with Havana's Center of Molecular Immunology to develop a vaccine, allowing clinical trials involving Cimavax to begin in the US, Bloomberg reports. Cimavax, which stops tumors from growing, was 25 years in the making and has been available for free to Cuban patients since 2011, Wired reports.

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More Americans moving away from organized religion

Americans losing religionThe share of U.S. residents who identify as Christian has shrunk over the past seven years while adults unaffiliated with organized religion now represent a larger portion of the public, a poll released on Tuesday found.

Between 2007 and 2014, the number of adults who self-identified as Christian fell from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent, or 172.8 million people, driven mainly by drops among Roman Catholics and some Protestants, according to the Pew Research Center poll.

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12 percent jump in homelessness in LA County

LA homelessThe number of homeless people in Los Angeles County jumped 12 percent in the past two years to more than 44,000 amid a sluggish economic recovery that has left the poorest residents of the second-largest U.S. metropolitan area falling farther behind, a study released on Monday found.

Most of those counted weren't staying in homeless shelters. The study also found that the number of tents, makeshift encampments and vehicles with people living in them jumped by 85 percent to around 9,500.

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Noam Chomsky: The Middle East Is on Fire, Thanks to U.S.

Middle east fires - USEarlier this month, Dan Falcone and Saul Isaacson, both high school educators, sat down with Noam Chomsky in his Cambridge, MA office. In a brief conversation, edited and condensed here for clarity, they covered a wide range of topics - the projection of US power abroad and the stories told to justify it; COINTELPRO and domestic repression; the failures of the mainstream media; the West's posture toward Putin; and much more.

As always, we're happy to publish Professor Chomsky's invaluable insights.

Dan Falcone: I was recently in correspondence with a good friend of yours, Richard Falk, and we were discussing Juan Cole's idea of "essentialism" as it pertains to the Muslim world. And this led me to think about how essentialism is present in liberal education.

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Another major earthquake shakes Nepal, killing at least 42

Nepal earthquakeA major earthquake hit a remote mountain region of Nepal on Tuesday, killing at least 42 people, triggering landslides and toppling buildings less than three weeks after the Himalayan nation was ravaged by its worst quake in decades.

The magnitude-7.3 quake hit hardest in districts northeast of the capital and terrified a nation already shell-shocked and struggling after a more powerful quake on April 25 killed more than 8,150 and flattened entire villages, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

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