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Thursday, Mar 05th

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‘Megadrought’ Coming to U.S.

madrought coming to USThe long and severe drought in the U.S. Southwest pales in comparison with what’s coming: a “megadrought” that will grip that region and the central Plains later this century and probably stay there for decades, a new study says.

Thirty-five years from now, if the current pace of climate change continues unabated, those areas of the country will experience a weather shift that will linger for as long as three decades, according to the study, released Thursday.

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George W. Bush Is Intervening in Iraq—Again

GW BushLate in the evening of Sunday, January 18, an eleven-member delegation of tribal leaders from Iraq’s western Anbar Province arrived in Washington, D.C. Just as their plane was touching down, Islamic State units back in Iraq attacked the compound of one of the delegation’s senior leaders, Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha, killing nine Iraqi police officers and wounding 28 of the sheik’s guards. A nearby Iraqi military unit failed to respond to repeated calls for help.

The brutal attack underscored the purpose of the Anbar delegation’s visit: The tribal leaders believed that they could defeat the Islamic State—but only if the Obama administration would agree to ship them weapons directly, bypassing Iraq’s untrustworthy Ministry of Defense.

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Military approves hormone therapy for Chelsea Manning

Chelsea ManningIn a first for the Army, Chelsea Manning, the convicted national-security secrets leaker, has been approved for hormone therapy for transition to a woman at the Army's Fort Leavenworth prison, according to a memo obtained Thursday by USA TODAY.

Manning remains a soldier as well as an inmate.

"After carefully considering the recommendation that (hormone treatment) is medically appropriate and necessary, and weighing all associated safety and security risks presented, I approve adding (hormone treatment) to Inmate Manning's treatment plan," Col. Erica Nelson, the commandant of the Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks in Kansas, wrote in a Feb. 5 memo.

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf halts death penalty

Gov. of Pa.halts death penaltyTewly elected Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in the state, calling the current system of capital punishment "error-prone, expensive and anything but infallible."

Wolf said Friday the moratorium will remain in effect at least until he receives a report from a legislative commission that's been studying the topic for about four years.

Pennsylvania has 183 men and three women on death row

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At least 19 killed in attack on Shi'ite mosque in Pakistan

mosque blast in PakistanAt least 19 people were killed on Friday in the Pakistani city of Peshawar in a gun and bomb attack on a Shi'ite mosque, the latest sectarian violence to hit the South Asian nation.

Radical Sunni Islamist groups often target mosques frequented by minority Shi'ites, whom they see as infidels.

Police said armed men broke into the mosque, where people were attending Friday prayers, and opened fire, following which three explosions were heard inside the building.

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Nearly two dozen Marines injured in training exercise

Marines injured in training accidentMilitary officials say 22 Marines have been treated for exposure to fire retardant gas at a Southern California desert base after an extinguishing system accidentally went off in an assault vehicle during a training exercise.

Base spokesman Dave Marks says an equipment malfunction caused the release of halon Thursday afternoon at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms. There was no fire or explosion.

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Mexico condemns deadly police shooting in Washington state

Mexico condepmns US police shootingOfficers killed a man accused of hurling rocks in the fourth fatal police shooting since last summer, a death that is shaking this agricultural city of 68,000 in southeastern Washington and drawing criticism from as far away as Mexico.

The killing Tuesday of orchard worker Antonio Zambrano-Montes sparked protests after witnesses said he was running away when he was shot in a busy intersection in Pasco, a city about 215 miles southeast of Seattle.

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David Carr, New York Times Media Columnist, Dies at 58

David CarrDavid Carr, the New York Times columnist who examined America’s changing media landscape, has died. He was 58.
He collapsed in the office and was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital where he was pronounced dead, the Times reported on Thursday.

Talented and candid, Carr practiced his craft at a level his colleagues aspired to. “The Media Equation” column he wrote was a must-read during a time of great turmoil in the media business, covering newspapers, television networks, social media, large cable companies and the start-ups trying to upend their business. He reached the top of his profession after a self-publicized struggle with addiction to crack cocaine.

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High civilian death toll in Gaza house strikes

civilian deaths in GazaThe youngest to die was a 4-day-old girl, the oldest a 92-year-old man. They were among at least 844 Palestinians killed as a result of airstrikes on homes during Israel's summer war with the Islamic militant group, Hamas.

Under the rules of war, homes are considered protected civilian sites unless used for military purposes. Israel says it attacked only legitimate targets, alleging militants used the houses to hide weapons, fighters and command centers. Palestinians say Israel's warplanes often struck without regard for civilians.

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