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Friday, Feb 27th

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The U.S. Media and the 13-Year-Old Yemeni Boy Burned to Death Last Month by a U.S. Drone

Drone death not reportedOn January 26, the New York Times claimed that “a CIA drone strike in Yemen. . . . killed three suspected Qaeda fighters on Monday.” How did they know the identity of the dead? As usual, it was in part because “American officials said.”

There was not a whiff of skepticism about this claim despite the fact that “a senior American official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, declined to confirm the names of the victims” and “a C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment.”

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Guess How Much Of Uncle Sam's Money Goes To Foreign Aid? Guess Again!

US foreign aid per centHow much of the federal budget goes to foreign aid?

What's your best guess? 10 percent? 20 percent? 1 percent? If you're like most Americans, you probably guessed wrong.

In December, the Kaiser Family Foundation polled 1,505 people. Only 1 in 20 knew the right answer: less than 1 percent of the $4 trillion federal budget goes to foreign aid. The average respondent estimated that 26 percent went toward assisting other countries.

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NBC News: Brian Williams suspended for 6 months without pay

Brian WilliamsNBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has been suspended for six months without pay following his false claims about an experience he had during the Iraq war, NBC News president Deborah Turness announced Tuesday night.

"We have decided today to suspend Brian Williams as Managing Editor and Anchor of NBC Nightly News for six months. The suspension will be without pay and is effective immediately," Turness wrote in a memo to staff. "We let Brian know of our decision earlier today. Lester Holt will continue to substitute Anchor the NBC Nightly News."

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Halliburton to cut up to 6,400 jobs as oil price falls

Halliburton to cut 6500 jobsUS oilfield services firm Halliburton has said it will cut up to 8% of its global workforce of 80,000, citing a "challenging market environment" as the oil price continues to tumble.

Halliburton says the cuts will be across all operations of the company.  Shares in Halliburton - the world's second-largest oilfield services company - fell nearly 3%.  The oil price has nearly halved since June as a global supply glut and weak demand push prices down.

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Scientists urge global 'wake-up call' to deal with climate change

climate change warningClimate change has advanced so rapidly that the time has come to look at options for a planetary-scale intervention, the National Academy of Science said on Tuesday.

The scientists were categorical that geoengineering should not be deployed now, and was too risky to ever be considered an alternative to cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

But it was better to start research on such unproven technologies now – to learn more about their risks – than to be stampeded into climate-shifting experiments in an emergency, the scientists said.

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Fewer than half of teachers now covered by unions

less than half of teachers unionizedFor the first time since the rise of teachers unions in the 1980s, the percentage of USA teachers represented by unions in public and private schools has fallen below 50%, suggesting that the demographics of the teaching profession and the shift away from traditional schools are taking a toll on union membership.

In 2014, about 49% of teachers, or about 2.5 million, were covered by unions, down from 50% in 2013 and 53% just a decade ago, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 1984, teachers union coverage was 64%. A teacher in a unionized school district can get some benefits without joining the union.

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Chelsea Manning To Join The Guardian U.S. As Contributing Opinion Writer

Chelsea manningThe Guardian U.S. has hired Chelsea Manning as a contributing opinion writer covering war, gender and freedom of information, Katharine Viner, the publication's editor-in-chief, announced Tuesday via Twitter.

Currently serving a 35-year sentence in federal prison for supplying thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks, Manning -- who was once known as Bradley -- has written on such topics before. In December, she penned an essay for The Guardian titled "I am a transgender woman and the government is denying my civil rights," and in June she wrote a piece for The New York Times blasting the U.S. government for keeping information from the American people.

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History of Lynchings in the South Documents Nearly 4,000 Names

lynching in AmericaA block from the tourist-swarmed headquarters of the former Texas School Book Depository sits the old county courthouse, now a museum. In 1910, a group of men rushed into the courthouse, threw a rope around the neck of a black man accused of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old white girl, and threw the other end of the rope out a window.

A mob outside yanked the man, Allen Brooks, to the ground and strung him up at a ceremonial arch a few blocks down Main Street.

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Kansas GOP Governor Ends LGBT Protection

Kansas governorState workers are no longer protected based on their sexual orientation or gender identity following an executive order by Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday.

His order rescinds a prior order from former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, which expanded the protections. Brownback also issued a separate order which includes language to encourage employment practices of veterans and people with disabilities.

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