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Wednesday, Oct 22nd

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New York doesn't like fracking, NRDC finds

anti frackingThose taking part in a survey commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council said they support a fracking ban in New York, the group said Tuesday.

"People here know that fracking is a snake oil cure for economic woes, one that comes with steep costs -- in the form of water pollution, air contamination, health issues and destroyed communities," advocacy director Kate Sinding said in a statement.

A survey of 802 likely voters in September found nearly 80 percent supported a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the state.

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Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to inventors of blue LEDs

Shuji NakamuraOver 20 years after their invention, the team of Japanese scientists behind blue colored light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, has been recognized with the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Found in everything from light bulbs to televisions to cellphones, LEDs are typically clustered in trios of red, blue and green. While the invention of red and green LEDs came easy by comparison, blue LEDs, the fundamentally necessary final ingredient to white-emitting energy efficient lights.

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Record $4.5M fine pursued against gas driller

EQT companyPennsylvania environmental regulators are pursuing a record $4.5 million fine against a gas driller over what they describe as a major case of pollution from a leaking waste pit.

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Tuesday it is seeking the penalty against EQT Corp. Acting DEP Secretary Dana Aunkst says EQT has been uncooperative during the investigation and "fails to recognize the ongoing environmental harm" from its leaking impoundment in Duncan Township, Tioga County.

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Hong Kong activists, government agree to talks

Hong Kong protestsHong Kong protest leaders have agreed to hold talks with the pro-Beijing government as their numbers dwindled and they faced growing pressure to end their sit-in.

On Tuesday morning, only a hundred or so protesters remained in the
central business district, significantly down from the tens of thousands that massed over the weekend.

Hong Kong's embattled leader Leung Chun-ying insisted late last week that government offices reopen on Monday so some 3,000 civil servants could return to work or, he warned, the government would "take all necessary actions to restore social order."

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Supreme Court Rejects Appeal From Teacher Fired For Promoting Creationism

creationsimThe Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of an Ohio public school science teacher who was fired for promoting the theory of creationism and refusing to remove religious materials from his classroom.

The justices on Monday let stand an Ohio Supreme Court ruling that found the Mount Vernon school district had grounds to fire John Freshwater in 2011 for insubordination for keeping religious books and a poster of a praying president.

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'Deadly fire' at Iran military explosives facility

Tehran explosionA fire and explosion at a military explosives facility near the Iranian capital Tehran has left at least two people dead, reports say.

The semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (Isna) said the fire was in an "explosive materials production unit".

A pro-opposition website reported a huge blast near the Parchin military site, south-east of the capital, but this was not confirmed.

Parchin has been linked to Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

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Hewlett-Packard to split into two public companies, lay off 5,000

hewlett packardHewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) said it would split into two listed companies, separating its computer and printer businesses from its faster-growing corporate hardware and services operations, and eliminate another 5,000 jobs as part of its turnaround plan.

HP said its shareholders would own a stake in both businesses through a tax-free transaction next year. Each business contributes about half of HP's revenue and profit.

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U.S. criticized by observer groups for Syrian civilian casualties

syrian civilian casualtiesAir strikes conducted by the U.S. late last month against extremist militant positions in Syria killed several civilians, two observer groups said.

Human Rights Watch reported that American strikes on Sept. 23 in the village of Kafr Deryan in northern Idlib killed seven civilians.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which gathers information from sources on the ground in the war-torn country, said that air strikes by the U.S. against an Islamic State logistics hub in Manbij early last week actually hit a grain silo, killing several civilians.

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Missing students' remains possibly found in mass grave in Mexico

Mexican policeA search for 43 missing students in Mexico may have reached a grisly conclusion as investigators examine the remains found in mass graves in a remote area of Guerrero state.

The missing students from Escuela Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa were preparing to become teachers when their bus was attacked by gunmen in Iguala on Sept. 26. Three students and three others were killed in the ambush.

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