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Wednesday, Oct 22nd

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German downturn casts shadow over world economy

German economy turns downwardAs if the global economy didn't have enough troubles, it looks like Germany, Europe's traditional growth engine, risks falling into recession — or growth so weak it holds back the entire euro currency union's weak recovery.

Europe's largest economy has seen a run of lousy numbers for factory orders, industrial production, exports and business confidence. All that's bad news because exporting industrial goods such as machines and cars is the heart of Germany's globally linked economy.

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Antarctic sea ice shows record growth, climate change likely cause

antarctic sea iceThe growth of sea ice is not evidence against the effects of climate change, but rather the consequence of it.

Antarctic sea ice is seeing a rapid period of growth this year, but that doesn't mean the Poles are safe from climate change, says NASA.

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Global Frackdown on Saturday Calls for Worldwide Ban on Fracking

Global ban on frackingGlobal Frackdown is an international day of action calling for a ban on fracking. This year’s event on Saturday, Oct. 11 will send a message to elected officials across the globe that the future should be powered by clean, renewable energy, not dirty, polluting fossil fuels.

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Malala and Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Peace PrizePakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian child rights campaigner, have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize.

At the age of just 17, Malala is the youngest ever recipient of the prize.  The teenager was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in October 2012 for campaigning for girls' education. She now lives in Birmingham in the UK.

The Nobel committee praised the pair's "struggle against the suppression of children and young people".

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Courts Block Voter ID Laws in Texas, Wisconsin

Voter Id lawsA federal judge likened Texas' strict voter ID requirement to a poll tax deliberately meant to suppress minority voter turnout and struck it down less than a month before Election Day — and mere hours after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a similar measure in Wisconsin.

The twin rulings released Thursday evening represent major and somewhat surprising blows to largely Republican-backed voter identification rules sweeping the nation that have generally been upheld in previous rulings.

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Tensions flare in St. Louis after off-duty cop shoots teenager

St. Louis shootingAngry protests spilled out of Ferguson, Mo., and into greater St. Louis Wednesday night after a white off-duty police officer chased and shot a black high school student named Vonderrit Myers, Jr., whom police allege fired at the officer first.

The shooting in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis, a dozen miles south of Ferguson, is likely to only exacerbate a very rough stretch for greater St. Louis, an aging river city struggling to reckon with a deep legacy of racial segregation and oppression.

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Lego To Scrap Shell Deal After Arctic Drilling Protests

LEGODanish toy maker Lego said Thursday it won't renew a deal allowing Shell to hand out Lego sets at its gas stations in some 30 countries, following a viral campaign protesting Arctic drilling.

Environmental activists Greenpeace launched in July a video showing an Arctic landscape with a Shell drilling platform made of Lego bricks covered in oil.

Lego CEO Joergen Vig Knudstorp said the protest "may have created misunderstandings among our stakeholders," adding the company didn't want to be embroiled in the environmental campaign.

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Bionic arm restores sense of feeling

bionic armAdvances in bionic hands have restored a sense of touch to two patients for more than a year, report US scientists.

The men can now delicately pluck the stalks out of cherries.

Sensors on the artificial hand are used to send signals directly to the nerves, the study, published in Science Translational Medicine, said.

Meanwhile, a Swedish team has made a separate breakthrough in artificial limbs - anchoring bionic arms directly on to the bone to improve control.

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Where the Hell Is the Surgeon General?

Dr. Vivek MurthyWe’ve got an Ebola crisis on our hands—and no surgeon general to deal with it. Blame the NRA, but Obama and the Senate Democrats, too.

When the Sunday morning TV shows needed to talk to an official with the Obama administration about the deadly Ebola virus on American soil, longtime senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer was sent out to reassure the American people.

Don’t get me wrong. Dan’s a nice guy, but when there is a health crisis in this country, I want to hear from a doctor, not a political guy with no health experience at all.

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