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Wednesday, Sep 02nd

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New EPA Rules Will Aim To Cut Methane Emissions By 40 Percent

EPA rules limit methanehe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose regulations on Tuesday aimed at cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent over the next decade from 2012 levels, a source familiar with the issue said on Monday.

The regulations on methane are one part of the Obama administration's strategy to curb greenhouse gases and combat climate change.

The targets in Tuesday's proposal are in line with a January announcement by the Obama administration that it wanted to reduce oil and gas industry methane emissions by up to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025, the source said.

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IRS hack far larger than first thought

IRS hackedA hack of the Internal Revenue service first reported in May was nearly three times as large as previously stated, the agency said Monday.  Thieves have accessed as many as 334,000 taxpayer accounts, the IRS said.

In May, the IRS reported that identity thieves were able to use the agency's Get Transcript program to get personal information about as many as 114,000 taxpayers.

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White House Announces Program to Combat Rise in Heroin Deaths

Heroin addictionIn response to a rise nationally in fatal heroin overdoses, the White House on Monday announced a plan aimed at emphasizing treatment rather than prosecution of addicts.

The program would initially be funded for $2.5 million by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy through five "High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas" and cover 15 states, administration officials said Monday.

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Two women pass Army Ranger School, become first female graduates

First women rangers graduateTwo women have passed the Army’s Ranger School, becoming the first females to complete the grueling combat training program and earn the right to wear Ranger tabs on their uniforms.

The Army’s Ranger headquarters in Fort Benning, Georgia, says the women and 94 men passed the tough 62-day course that tests their ability to overcome fatigue, hunger and stress during combat operations.

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Palestinian ex-prisoner questions Israeli force-feeding law

Force feeding challenged by PalestinianFormer Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan has carried out several hunger strikes in prison to protest an Israeli policy that allows detainment without charge or trial.

Adnan, 37, who was recently detained for alleged ties to Islamic Jihad, was freed in July after his 54-day hunger strike ignited protests across the Palestinian territories and garnered international attention, including pressure from various human rights groups.

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Former Fairfax Co. officer indicted in John Geer shooting

Adam Torres indictedA former Fairfax County police officer has been indicted for murder in the fatal 2013 shooting of John Geer, who was shot and killed on his doorstep while standing with his hands raised Adam Torres, who is no longer with the police department, has been indicted by a special grand jury. Torres turned himself in Monday night and is being held without bond.

"I am quite happy that they did things in an expeditious way because they could've taken six months to come to a decision," said Don Geer, John Geer's father. "I figured that eventually justice would prevail, although it took longer than I would've liked."

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How Dick Cheney Kicked off an Era of Cancer Clusters and Eco-Disasters from Fracking

Dick cheneyThis past Saturday, marked a notable 10th anniversary. But it was certainly nothing to celebrate. Ten years ago, President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The giant energy bill included massive giveaways for the fossil fuel, nuclear and ethanol industries and provided only token incentives for renewables and improved energy efficiency.

But the most infamous piece of the law was what is now commonly known as the “Halliburton Loophole,” an egregious regulatory exemption that ushered in the disastrous era of widespread oil and gas fracking that currently grips our nation.

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Jeff Bezos defends Amazon after NYT exposé of working practices

Jeff bezosAmazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos has defended his company after allegations of employee cruelty made by the New York Times.

In a rare communication from the 51-year-old, Bezos told staff to carefully read the “very long” article and compared it with a “very different take by a current Amazonian” in an internal all-staff email.

Bezos said: “The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day. But if you know of any stories like those reported, I want you to escalate to HR.”

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BDS Fight Moves From Campus to Corporate Boardrooms — and Stakes Rise

Orange bdstephane Richard skipped the circumspection and told the Egyptian journalist what he really thought about doing business with Israel.

“Believe me,” said the CEO of the French telecom giant, Orange S.A., “our intention is to withdraw from Israel. I would cancel the contract tomorrow if I could.”

“Tomorrow” came a few weeks after that June 4 interview when Orange announced it had renegotiated its contract with its Israeli licensee, Partner Communications. The company insists its decision turned on internal business factors only, but facts are stubborn things: After 17 years in Israel, Orange will cut ties with Partner sometime in the next two years, 10 years short of the terms of the original contract, according to the New York Times.

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