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Tuesday, May 24th

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Israel renews detention of Palestinian scientist

Palestinian astrophysicist detained without chargesIsrael’s military has renewed the detention without charges of a renowned Palestinian astrophysicist, asserting he posed a “significant” security threat.

Imad Barghouthi, a professor at Jerusalem’s Al-Quds University who once worked on NASA-funded projects in the United States, was arrested in late April by Israeli security forces at a checkpoint near the village of Nabi Saleh, west of Ramallah in the West Bank.

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Atheist group’s anti-Noah’s Ark billboard rejected

Ark EncounterA group of atheists based in Northern Kentucky raised $10,000 for a billboard protesting the soon-to-open Ark Encounter amusement park, a place where Christian scripture is taken so literally that a Noah’s Ark replica is being built using ancient measurements called “cubits.”

But two billboard companies have rejected the Tri-State Freethinkers’ interpretation of the story of Noah’s Ark as one of “genocide and incest.”

The proposed billboard design shows a Noah’s Ark with people drowning around it and the words “Genocide and Incest Park: Celebrating 2,000 years of myths.”

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28% of US bees wiped out this winter, suggesting bigger environmental issues

Bees being wiped outMore than a quarter of American honeybee colonies were wiped out over the winter, with deadly infestations of mites and harmful land management practices heaping mounting pressure upon the crucial pollinators and the businesses that keep them.

Preliminary figures commissioned by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) show that 28% of bee colonies in the United States were lost over the 2015-16 winter. More than half of surveyed beekeepers said they suffered unsustainable losses during the winter.

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New Jersey judge orders naming of Bridgegate scandal co-conspirators

BridgegateA federal judge in New Jersey on Tuesday ordered the release of a list of unindicted co-conspirators in the criminal case against two former allies of Republican Governor Chris Christie in a 2013 scandal involving lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.

U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton in Newark ruled in favor of several media organizations that sought the list, saying the public interest in seeing names linked to "Bridgegate" outweighed the privacy interests of those named.

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CDC labs repeatedly faced secret sanctions for mishandling bioterror germs

CDCA laboratory operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is among the handful of facilities that have secretly had their permits suspended in recent years for serious safety violations while working with bioterror pathogens, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY after winning a Freedom of Information Act appeal.

The CDC's own labs also have been referred for additional secret federal enforcement actions six times because of serious or repeated violations in how they've handled certain viruses, bacteria and toxins that are heavily regulated because of their potential use as bioweapons, the CDC admitted for the first time on Tuesday. Before USA TODAY won access to records of the lab suspension, the CDC had repeatedly refused to answer questions about its own labs' enforcement histories.

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World's carbon dioxide concentration teetering on the point of no return

CO2 concentration The world is hurtling towards an era when global concentrations of carbon dioxide never again dip below the 400 parts per million (ppm) milestone, as two important measuring stations sit on the point of no return.

The news comes as one important atmospheric measuring station at Cape Grim in Australia is poised on the verge of 400ppm for the first time. Sitting in a region with stable CO2 concentrations, once that happens, it will never get a reading below 400ppm.

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Donald Trump Won’t Release Tax Returns (Surprise, surprise)

Trump won't release tax returnsDespite pressure, the billionaire also doesn't expect to release his tax returns before November, citing an ongoing audit of his finances. He said he will release them after the audit ends. But he said that he wouldn't overrule his lawyers and instruct them to release his returns if the audit hasn't concluded by November.

"There's nothing to learn from them," Trump told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. He also has said he doesn't believe voters are interested.

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Quietly, Vietnam hosts arms gathering attended by U.S. companies

Vietnam arms conferenceVietnam hosts a defense symposium this week attended by top American arms manufacturers, ahead of a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama and as Washington weighs whether to lift an arms embargo on its former enemy.

Secrecy has surrounded the event staged by the communist country and attended by firms including Boeing (BA.N) and Lockheed Martin (LMT.N). It coincides with the biggest arms buildup in the country since the Vietnam War.

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Navy SEAL in training dies during water exercises in California

Navy Seal dies in trainingA 21-year-old Navy SEAL student from Florida died during his first week of underwater demolition training in California, the U.S. Navy said.

James Derek Lovelace of Crestview, Fla., died on Friday. The Navy said safety observers noticed Lovelace was having difficulty during water familiarization exercises before pulling him out of the pool. Resuscitation efforts and first aid were attempted unsuccessfully after he lost consciousness.

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