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Wednesday, Oct 01st

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Turkey secures release of hostages held by Islamic State

Hostages released to TurkeyTurkish intelligence agents brought 46 hostages seized by Islamic State militants in northern Iraq back to Turkey on Saturday after more than three months in captivity, in what President Tayyip Erdogan described as a covert rescue operation.

Security sources told Reuters the hostages had been released overnight in the town of Tel Abyad on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey after being transferred from the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa, Islamic State's stronghold.

Officials declined to give details of the rescue operation.

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New dinosaur species with giant nose discovered in Utah

New dinosaur As researchers from North Carolina State University and Brigham Young University have discovered, the largest aquiline nose of the Late Cretaceous period most certainly belonged to Rhinorex condrupus, a gentle giant of the duck-billed dino family, or hadrosaurs, that perused estuaries of ancient North America looking for plants and algae to slurp up.

Instead of a giant crest on its noggin, as many hadrosaurs possess, Rhinorex was graced with giant nose. The rest of the dinosaur's body was pretty big too, stretching 30 feet in length and weighing more than 8,500 pounds.

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4 Big Activist Events for New York’s Climate Week

Climate week nycThe People’s Climate March in New York City is the centerpiece of the Big Apple's  Climate Week. But in addition to the march there are several important activist events preceding it, and many events extending past Tuesday’s United Nations Climate Summit.

Some of the other events are officially sanctioned by the Climate March organizers, while others are run by other activist organizations. Many of the vigils, lectures, prayer services, and panels seem very worthwhile, and they’re listed on the Climate March’s events page and the Huffington Post has a generous listing of religious events on its site.  NYC Climate Convergence will hold a series of workshops and teach-ins leading up to the march.

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Obama refuses to grant Ukraine special non-NATO ally status

PoroshenkoThursday was likely a disappointing day for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, whose requests for lethal aid and special security status as a non-NATO ally were both denied by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Poroshenko delivered an impassioned plea for both at a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Thursday.

When asked whether the U.S. would grant the request for special non-NATO ally status, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday, "I'm not familiar with that specific request."

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Artificial sweeteners may lead to diabetes

artificial sweetenersReaching for artificial sweeteners to avoid sugar may be trading one evil for another, a new study suggests.

For some people, artificial sweeteners may lead to type 2 diabetes as directly as eating sugar does, according to the research, published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The benefits and risks of artificial sweeteners have been debated for decades. Some studies show no link to diabetes and others suggest there is one. The new research, from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, finds that differences in gut microbes may explain why some people can handle artificial sweeteners just fine while in an unknown percentage of others the sweeteners lead to diabetes.

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ESPN Report: Ravens Knew Full Ray Rice Story All Along

Ravens knew about RiceJust hours after Roger Goodell gave a press conference in which he said he absolutely believed NFL officials had not seen the full tape of the Ray Rice incident inside the elevator, ESPN dropped a major report claiming that the Baltimore Ravens had a complete picture of the incident along — and assumed Goodell had seen the video tape of the incident.

According to an Outside the Lines investigation, reporters "found a pattern of misinformation and misdirection employed by the Ravens and the NFL since that February night," and that league and team executives seemingly went out of their way to avoid gathering the necessary information on the case.

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CIA curbs spying in Europe after Germany catches official selling secrets to U.S.

CIA curbsThe CIA has curbed spying on friendly governments in Western Europe in response to the furor over a German caught selling secrets to the United States and the Edward Snowden revelations of classified information held by the National Security Agency, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The pause in decades of espionage, which remains partially in effect, was designed to give CIA officers time to examine whether they were being careful enough and to evaluate whether spying on allies is worth running the risk of discovery, said a U.S. official who has been briefed on the situation.

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Supermassive Black Hole Discovered Inside Tiny Dwarf Galaxy

black hole"It is the smallest and lightest object that we know of that has a supermassive black hole," Dr. Anil C. Seth, a University of Utah astronomer and the lead author of a new paper about the discovery, said in a written statement. "It's also one of the most black hole-dominated galaxies known."

The discovery suggests that supermassive black holes may be twice as numerous in the nearby universe as previously thought, Nature reported.

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GlaxoSmithKline to pay £297m fine over China bribery network

GlaxoSmithKlineGlaxoSmithKline has been found guilty of bribery by a Chinese court and has agreed to pay a fine of 3bn yuan (£297m) to the government in Beijing.

At the same time, the former head of its China division, Mark Reilly, and other GSK executives are facing two- to four-year jail terms, according to the state news agency, Xinhua. Reilly was accused of running a "massive bribery network".

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