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Wednesday, Apr 16th

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Rick Perry Says Texas Won't Comply With Measures To Reduce Rape in Prison

Rick PerryTexas Gov. Rick Perry (R) refused last week to adopt federal standards aimed at combatting rape in prisons, saying that it would be "impossible" for Texas to comply with the new measures.

In a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on March 28, the governor wrote that though the intention of 2003's Prison Rape Elimination Act is "commendable," the Department of Justice's rules to implement the legislation are "unnecessarily cumbersome" and "counterproductive."

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Chris Christie Bridge Scandal Investigation Clears Big Hoboken Hurdle

chris christieOfficials in Hoboken, New Jersey, on Wednesday approved a measure that would allow a city attorney to cooperate with investigators probing claims of political intimidation by aides to Republican Governor Chris Christie, a likely White House contender.

The Hoboken City Council voted 7-1 to allow City Attorney Joseph Maraziti to disclose private conversations he had with Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who accuses the Christie administration of withholding federal storm recovery money to pressure her.

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NASA Cuts Ties With Russia's Space Agency — Except on the ISS

NASA cuts ties with RussiaNASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency have worked together for years in space, but that relationship may be radically changing as the situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate.

The U.S. will suspend some space-related contact with Russia. However, the countries will continue working together on the International Space Station, where both American and Russian astronauts are currently living together.

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US secretly created 'Cuban Twitter' to stir unrest

Cuban twitter created by USIn July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a U.S. government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba's communist government.

McSpedon and his team of high-tech contractors had come in from Costa Rica and Nicaragua, Washington and Denver. Their mission: to launch a messaging network that could reach hundreds of thousands of Cubans. To hide the network from the Cuban government, they would set up a byzantine system of front companies using a Cayman Islands bank account, and recruit unsuspecting executives who would not be told of the company's ties to the U.S. government.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott's voter purge violated federal law, court rules

Rick scottFlorida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration was found by a federal appeals court Tuesday to have violated federal law with its 2012 voter purge, an attempt to remove non-citizens from voter rolls just prior to the presidential election.

In June of 2012, just prior to August’s statewide primary election, Scott’s Administration attempted to purge the voter rolls of non-citizens through a comparison of the rolls with state and federal databases. But according to federal law, any systematic removal of voters less than 90 days prior to an election is prohibited.

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Veterans push to smoke pot to ease PTSD, other ailment

pot for vetsAfter flying helicopters in Vietnam for 30 months, Perry Parks couldn’t stop the panicked dreams.

“I was flying through wires all the time and I never hit the wire,” said Parks, 71, a retired military commander from Rockingham, N.C. “I’m a helicopter pilot, so wires scare the hell out of you.”

Parks, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, said he took sleeping pills for years after he retired. Then he found a more satisfying alternative: two or three bong hits at least three times a day.

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Bob Alexander: Roy Orbison was Right

It's OverOn my 40th birthday my younger sister gave me a coffee mug with a picture on it of a mouse singing, “Hi Ho … Hi Ho … It’s over the hill I go.” It immediately became my favorite mug I was never going to use. I was going to keep it in pristine condition so I could give it back to her on her 40th birthday. But I almost didn’t get the chance.

When I went to retrieve it after eight long years in storage I found the handle of the mug had snapped off. Now it was time to see if all those Crazy Glue commercials were telling the truth.

I repaired the mug, wrapped it up, and was able to re-gift as well as re-joke. But … if someone had taken a sledge hammer to the mug and reduced it to a fine white powder, no amount of Crazy Glue would help. There would be no doubt that it was irrevocably broken, smashed to bits, and it would take some sort of deranged magical thinking to think that it even could be fixed.

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Alex Baer: Turning Now to Weather...

America sold at auction... In other news, Yoosa (TM), the country formerly known as The United States of America, Amuhrikuh, 'Merica, 'Murricuh, and so on, was sold today to the highest bidder.

Never you mind who.  It's none of your business.

Please report to the Reassignment Station in your neighborhood.  Your new overlords want to give you a thorough looking-over, before they decide on an appropriate wholesale price for your ass.

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Arctic sea ice falls to fifth lowest level on record

Arctic sea ice Arctic sea ice remained on its death spiral on Wednesday, with the amount of winter ice cover falling to its fifth lowest on the satellite record, scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center said.

The scientists said Arctic sea ice extent for March averaged 4.80m sq km (5.70m sq miles). That's 730,000 sq km below the 1981-2010 satellite average.

The latest findings reinforce a trend that could see the Arctic losing all of its ice cover in the summer months within decades.

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