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Tuesday, Oct 21st

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Antonin Scalia: Constitution permits favoring of religion over non-religion

Religion tops non religion: Scalia- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said the separation of church and state -- one of the most important tenets of the Constitution -- is not absolute.

The conservative justice told an audience at Colorado Christian University that the legal battles over whether God can be referenced in the Pledge of Allegiance or prayers can be held before city hall meetings were indicative of a larger fight for religion in public American life.

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Three years later, Pentagon unit still hides Internet voting test results

Internet votingA nonprofit watchdog group is suing an obscure Defense Department unit over its failure for three years to disclose the results of testing on the security safeguards of Internet voting systems that are increasingly being used to cast absentee ballots.

The Pentagon unit, the Federal Voting Assistance Program, has effectively bankrolled many states’ shift to online voting, disbursing tens of millions of dollars in grants for the purchase of equipment that includes Internet balloting options.

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Three women pass Marine Corps endurance test, paving way for possible first female graduates of infantry school

Women pass marine testThree female Marine Corps officers on Thursday passed the grueling combat endurance test that kicks off the service’s screening for infantry officers, paving the way for the first woman to potentially graduate from the program.

The test is conducted at Quantico, Va., and is designed to assess each individual’s ability to withstand exhausting physical conditions and make difficult decisions at the same time. Twenty-four female volunteers have attempted the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course, but none have passed to date. One woman passed the initial endurance test in 2012, but was dropped from the course about a week later due to stress fractures in her foot.

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Colorado school board approves review of history curriculum

Colorado school boardA Colorado school board whose proposed changes to a history curriculum spawned student walk-outs and teacher sick-outs voted on Thursday to move ahead with a modified version of the controversial measure.

The Jefferson County Board of Education in suburban Denver agreed to appoint a committee to review newly revised guidelines for the Advanced Placement history courses in the 84,000-student district, over complaints from parents, teachers and students who voiced their concerns at the Thursday night meeting.

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ISIS Appears to Behead British Captive Alan Henning

Alan HenningA video has surfaced online that appears to show the beheading of British captive Alan Henning by a purported member of the terror group ISIS, who then threatens the life of an American hostage.

“I am Alan Henning. Because of our Parliament’s decision to attack the Islamic State [ISIS], I, as a member of the British public, will now pay the price for that decision,” Henning says in the video, before his apparent executioner speaks.

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UK Drops Charges Against the War Critic It Jailed for Seven Months

Moazzam Begg freedFormer Guantanamo detainee and War on Terror critic Moazzam Begg, who was arrested on dubious terror charges in February, is once again free. Earlier today, British authorities announced that charges against Begg had been dropped in full, and that he would shortly be released from Belmarsh Prison in London.

In a press statement regarding his release, West Midlands police said that:

New material has recently been disclosed to police and CPS, which has a significant impact on key pieces of evidence that underpinned the prosecution’s case….I understand this is going to raise many questions. However, explaining what this newly revealed information is would mean discussing other aspects of the case which would be unfair and inappropriate as they are no longer going to be tested in court.

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BP asks court to reconsider 'gross negligence' ruling

BP ruling challengedBP has asked a US court to reconsider its ruling of "gross negligence" over a 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which boosted its potential fines to around $18bn (£11.1bn).

BP said that Judge Barbier's ruling in Louisiana was based on evidence he had said he would not consider in court.

For this reason, the oil company said the ruling should either be amended or there should be a new trial.

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Sweden To Recognize State Of Palestine

Palestinian flagSweden's new center-left government will recognize the state of Palestine in a move that will make it the first major European country to take the step, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Friday.

The U.N. General Assembly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine in 2012 but the European Union and most EU countries, have yet to give official recognition.

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2 more GM recalls affect half million vehicles

GM recallGeneral Motors on Friday recalled more than half a million vehicles in North America, including new Cadillac crossovers and discontinued Saab sport-utility vehicles to fix potential loose joints and worn threads blamed for three crashes and two injuries.

The two recalls collectively affect 524,384 vehicles in North America, including 379,401 units across the USA.

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