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Wednesday, Jul 01st

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U.S. House mulls arctic drilling

House considers Arctic drilllingDrilling offshore, particularly in arctic regions offshore Alaska, won't do much to wean the United States off foreign oil, a U.S. House committee heard.

A House subcommittee on energy resources held an oversight hearing on reserves thought to be in arctic waters and how they could potentially impact U.S. leverage overseas. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said in early June that moving more domestic oil to the global market could "strengthen the strategic hand of the United States."

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Saudi-led strikes on Yemen convoy kill 31 civilians

Saudi bombs kill 31 civiliansSaudi-led airstrikes hit a convoy of civilians fleeing violence in southern Yemen on Wednesday, killing at least 31 people, medical officials said, making it among the deadliest single attacks since the air campaign against Shia rebels and their allies began nearly three months ago.

The two airstrikes hit a convoy of vehicles loaded with civilians, including women and children, who were fleeing north from the southern city of Aden, which has seen intense clashes in recent months.

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Gillibrand says Obama failed to stop rape in military's ranks after Senate blocked her bill

GillibrandSen. Kirsten Gillibrand said President Obama broke a promise and failed to act to stop rape in the military's ranks in pointed remarks Tuesday after the Senate blocked her bill overhauling the services’ handling of sexual assault.

"I expect more leadership," she said. "And I am hopeful for more leadership from the President. The Pentagon is failing in the mission," she said earlier. "Our Commander-in-Chief is failing in the mission.

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Arizona doctors won't have to say abortions can be reversed

abortion instruction in ArizonaArizona's attorney general won't enforce a disputed section of a new law requiring abortion providers to tell women they can reverse drug-induced abortions until the matter can be sorted in court.

The decision made public Tuesday comes as the state prepares to defend itself in a lawsuit filed by abortion providers.

Critics have said there's no science that shows drug-induced abortions can be reversed, and abortion providers argue it's unconstitutional to require doctors to say something that goes against their medical judgment.

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How One U.S. Soldier Blew the Whistle on a Cold-Blooded War Crime

US soldier exposes war crimeJess Cunningham was a staff sergeant in a mechanized unit of the U.S. Army—Alpha Company, First Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, First Infantry Division—during the intensified fighting that accompanied the surge of American troops in Baghdad in 2007.

This was his second tour in Iraq, and his first with Alpha Company. He had been a high-school football star in Bakersfield, California, before heading off to war. He had excelled in the army, rising rapidly through the ranks. Now 26, he was strong, alert, and accustomed to battle. He had a bright future.

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Senate Votes To Outlaw Torture

Abu GhraibIn a landmark showing, lawmakers Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to outlaw the practice of torture and solidify a noncoercive method of intelligence interrogation, indicating a firm departure from the years of the Bush-era torture program -- a period that many have characterized as one of the darkest chapters in the nation’s history.

The Senate voted 78-21 to tack an amendment onto the fiscal year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act that would forbid the use of torture by any agent of the U.S. government and standardize certain noncoercive interrogation methods across the government’s military and intelligence arms.

TVNL Comment: WTF?  Torture has been outlawed under US domestic, US military, and International law for a very long time.  Read it HERE. Why have those who have carried out torture in our name not been prosecuted as war criminals?  Just asking....

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FDA moves to ban trans fat from U.S. food supply

TransfatsThe Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday finalized a plan to rid the nation’s food supply of artery-clogging trans fats, a move the agency estimates could reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of heart attack deaths a year.

Companies will have three years to remove partially hydrogenated oils from their products.

“Today’s action is an important step forward for public health, and it’s an action that FDA is taking based upon the strength of the science that we have,” said Susan Mayne, director of the agency’s center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

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FBI Looks Into Cardinals Hacking Astros

Baseball team hacking probeThe St. Louis Cardinals, long-regarded as a paragon for on-field play in baseball, are the subject of a federal investigation for allegedly stealing information from a former division rival, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Justice Department prosecutors said the FBI uncovered evidence that unidentified Cardinals employees hacked into the internal servers of the Houston Astros to take information about player personnel, including discussions about trades, statistics, and scouting reports. Those unnamed Cardinals officials have not been placed on leave, suspended or fired, the Times reported.

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Pope draft encyclical calls for swift action on climate change

Pope FrancisThe world could see the destruction of entire ecosystems this century without urgent action on climate change, Pope Francis says in a draft of his keenly awaited encyclical on the environment.

In the Italian version of the 192-page document, posted on Monday by the weekly magazine l'Espresso, the pope again backs scientists who say global warming is mostly man-made and that developed countries have a particular responsibility to stem a trend that will hurt the poor the most.

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