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Monday, Apr 27th

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Unlikely allies: Mexican miners and farmers unite over toxic spill

Mexico farmers and miners uniteThe pipes have gone silent. Gone is the hum of water flowing through them to the world’s second-largest copper mine, just south of the U.S. border. Instead, in the normally empty desert here, tents and buses line the highway. Dust and smoke from cooking fires fill the air while hundreds of people listen to speeches and discuss the day’s events.

This plantón, or occupation, which began on March 18, has shut down most operations at the Cananea mine, which consumes huge quantities of water pumped from 49 wells across the desert in order to extract copper concentrate from crushed ore.

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Big Tobacco Sues FDA Over New Packaging Guidelines

big tobaccoThe nation's largest tobacco companies are suing the Food and Drug Administration over recent guidelines that they claim overstep the agency's authority over labeling and packaging for cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Units of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Altria Group Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco filed the lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claiming the FDA's guidance infringes on their commercial speech.

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Coal Is Dying and It's Never Coming Back

Coal is DyingCoal, the No. 1 cause of climate change, is dying. Last year saw a record number of coal plant retirements in the United States, and a study last week from Duke University found that since 2008, the coal industry shed nearly 50,000 jobs, while natural gas and renewable energy added four times that number.

Even China, which produces and consumes more coal than the rest of the world put together, is expected to hit peak coal use within a decade, in order to meet its promise to President Barack Obama to reduce its carbon emissions starting in 2030.

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Obama to Drop Cuba From List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

Obama takes Cuba off terror listPresident Barack Obama notified Congress that he intends to remove Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, less than a week after meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro in Panama.

The move is the most significant act by the administration since Obama began restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba in December after more than a half century of estrangement. Cuba was put on the terrorism list in 1982.

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Man convicted in 1991 murder investigated by former NYPD Detective gets new trial

Hargrave gets new trialA Brooklyn judge tore into the tactics of a tainted NYPD detective when throwing out a conviction for a 1991 murder Tuesday - releasing a man who’s been in prison for over 23 years.

“The finding of this is court is that retired Detective Louis Scarcella was, at the time of the investigation, engaged in false and misleading practices,” said Supreme Court Justice ShawnDya Simpson, as she ordered a new trial for Rosean Hargrave.

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Atlanta educators receive heavy prison terms for roles in cheating scandal

Atlanta educators sentencedAmid stormy scenes in an Atlanta court on Tuesday, 10 corrupt educators who orchestrated a long-running test-cheating system in the city were given heavy prison terms after refusing to take a sentencing deal offered by the judge.

As relatives of the convicted sobbed and lawyers yelled, Judge Jerry Baxter told the court in a raised voice that “hundreds, thousands of children were harmed. This was not a victimless crime … It’s one of the sickest things that has ever happened to this town.”

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Hundreds of migrants feared drowned off Libya

migrants drownSome 400 migrants are feared drowned after their boat capsized off Libya, survivors have told Save the Children.

The Italian coast guard had rescued 144 people on Monday and immediately launched an air and sea search operation in hopes of rescuing others.  Save the Children said that many of the survivors were "young men, probably minors".

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Attacks kill 20 civilians in and around Baghdad

Baghdad attacksAttacks in and around Baghdad killed at least 20 civilians on Tuesday, as Iraqi security forces repelled an attack by the Islamic State group on the country's largest oil refinery, officials said.

Seven people were killed when a car bomb exploded in a commercial area in the town of Mahmoudiyah, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad, a police officer said. The car was parked in a mainly Shiite section of the town near a bakery and went off as people were standing in line to buy bread.

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Iran Deal Reached In Senate; Read The Details

Iran bill passes SenateA tentative deal has been reached by senators on a bill to apply congressional oversight to a nuclear deal with Iran.

Under the deal, the president would still be required to submit any final agreement before Congress and Congress would continue to have a say over whether he can lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for restrictions on Iran's nuclear program.

But the new deal, hammered out between Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, would reduce the time frame the Senate has to consider the lifting of sanctions -- from 60 days to 52 at most -- and would keep demands on Iran limited primarily to its nuclear program and not, for example, against its sponsorship of terrorism.

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