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Wednesday, May 27th

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Republicans put plans to reauthorize Patriot Act on hold after court ruling

US SenateSenate Republicans have conceded they may have to temporarily suspend plans for a long-term reauthorization of the Patriot Act after a court ruling against its use by the National Security Agency dramatically turned around the prospects for surveillance reform in Washington.

Three US appeal court judges threw the existing plan – to extend the NSA’s power to collect bulk metadata from American phone records for five years – into chaos on Thursday when they ruled that it was unlawful even under the old legislation.

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Scientists May Have Just Found A Solution For Deadly Superbugs

Superbig resistance A computer program designed by two scientists could one day be a weapon in the fight against antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Using complex algorithms, biologist Miriam Barlow of the University of California, Merced and mathematician Kristina Crona of American University in Washington, D.C. were able to prevent and actually reverse antibiotic resistance in a lab setting.

The discovery is exciting because antibiotic-resistant infections are some of the most pressing research concerns in modern medicine. These mutated bacteria, such as MRSA, C. diff and more, have the power to turn back the clock on all of the advances we've made since the advent of antibiotics.

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World celebrates end of World War II in Europe, 70 years ago

WWII in europe end celebratedThe world celebrated the end of a world war Friday, noting the 70th anniversary of V-E Day, the end of World War II in Europe.

On May 8, 1945, Allied troops formally accepted the terms of Germany's unconditional surrender of its military forces, as submitted by Karl Dönitz, president of the German government and successor to Adolf Hitler, who had committed suicide on April 30. The surrender was signed on May 7 in Reims, France and on May 8 in Berlin, Germany, and the Allies called the event V-E Day, for "Victory in Europe." Cities across the world partied and celebrated in a manner befitting of New Year's Eve.

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Vaccination against measles may have other benefits

measles vaccineA new study suggests the measles shot comes with a bonus: By preventing that disease, the vaccine may also help your body fight off other illnesses for years.

It’s long been known that contracting measles weakens the immune system for weeks or months, putting people, especially children, at increased risk for potentially fatal infection by a host of germs.

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Video shows white Del. officer kicking black man in face

Thomas Webster kicks black man in faceA police dashcam video released Thursday shows a black suspect being kicked in the face by a white police officer who was charged this week with assault.

The video, recorded in August 2013, was released by Dover police after a federal judge ruled last week that it was no longer considered confidential. The judge’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the suspect by the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Pakistan helicopter crash kills foreign diplomats

pakistani helicopter crashA Pakistani military helicopter carrying foreign diplomats in the mountainous region of Gilgit-Baltistan has crashed, killing at least seven people, the military said.

The dead included two pilots, a crew member, Norwegian Ambassador Leif Larsen, Philippines Ambassador Domingo Lucenario Jr and the wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors to Pakistan.

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Cameron's Conservatives win big in surprise UK election

UK electionThe Conservative Party swept to power Friday in Britain's parliamentary elections, winning an unexpected majority that returns Prime Minister David Cameron to 10 Downing Street in a stronger position than before.

In announcing his majority Conservative government, Cameron signaled a conciliatory tone, paying tribute to his former coalition partner, Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg, and the opposition Labour Party's Ed Miliband. Both resigned as leaders of their parties Friday after disappointing election results.

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Military whistleblowers have long wait for justice – if it comes

Military whistleblowers still wait for justiceChristine Russell, a Navy Reserve lieutenant, sums up her experience as a whistleblower as six years of frustrating inaction by the military.

“There was a lot of stalling,” said Russell, who now lives in San Diego but filed her complaint when she was stationed in Kuwait in 2009. “Admirals retired and transferred during all of the delays.”

A newly released congressional watchdog report demonstrates that the problem is not isolated to Russell’s case.

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Former Bush Official With Ties To CIA Torture Program Now Advises Obama Interrogators

CIA torture programA government psychologist who helped craft policies central to the CIA’s torture program is now advising an FBI-led interrogation project, according to a series of emails revealed in a new independent report.

The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group is the Obama administration’s response to the now-defunct CIA effort. Its members are dispatched to question terror suspects. Dr. Susan Brandon leads the HIG’s research committee, which studies and recommends the most effective methods of noncoercive interrogation.

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