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Friday, Apr 25th

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Ever Wonder Why Your Local TV News Stations Run the Same Damn Stories?

cable newsEverybody knows that most local TV newscasts kind of suck. On television, if it bleeds it leads, and if it's cheesy and trite it wins the night. Local news is a reliable source for late-night comedians—and The Simpsons has been lampooning it forever.

Yet despite all of the genre's shortcomings, local TV news still manages to reach 9 in 10 American adults, 46 percent of whom watch it "often." It may come as a surprise to you internet junkies, but broadcast television still serves as Americans' main source of news and information. Which is why it matters that hundreds of local TV news stations have been swept up in a massive new wave of media consolidation: It means that you, the viewer, are being fed an even more repetitive diet of dreck.

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U.S. New York police arrest veterans protesting at Vietnam War Memorial

Veterans arrested NYCThree military veterans were arrested at New York City’s Vietnam Memorial after taking part in a protest that activists said was part of an attempted revival of the Occupy movement, a push that began Friday with events planned worldwide.

About 100 protesters at the New York memorial shouted “shame” and “no justice, no peace” as police loaded the three veterans and two other protesters into the back of a van.

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U.S. Protesters rally across U.S. for immigration reform

immigration reformThousands of undocumented immigrants and their supporters rallied across the United States on Saturday as part of a national day of action called “Two Million Too Many" – activists’ latest effort to urge President Barack Obama to use his executive powers to scale back deportations.

Protesters gathered outside government offices and detention facilities where undocumented immigrants are transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation.

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Kansas lawmakers OK bill to void local gun rules

Kansas bars gun lawsKansas legislators gave final approval Saturday to a bill that would nullify city and county gun restrictions and ensure that it's legal across the state to openly carry firearms, a measure the National Rifle Association sees as a nationwide model for stripping local officials of their gun-regulating power.

The House approved the legislation, 102-19, a day after the Senate passed it, 37-2. The measure goes next to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. He hasn't said whether he'll sign it, but he's a strong supporter of gun rights and has signed other measures backed by the NRA and the Kansas State Rifle Association.

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Judge tosses lawsuit over drone deaths of Americans

drone strike suit tossedRepresentatives of three Americans killed in drone strikes in Yemen in 2011—including Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Anwar Al-Awlaki—cannot pursue a lawsuit alleging that the killings violated their constitutional rights, a federal judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer dismissed a suit brought on behalf of Al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman and alleged AQAP propagandist Samir Khan. Civil liberties groups filed the litigation on behalf of family members of the dead Americans, arguing that they were unconstitutionally deprived of life without due process of law and that the Obama Administration illegally maintained a so-called "kill list" of Americans targeted for death at the hands of U.S. government operations overseas.

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22 million years later, hummingbird evolution still soaring

sword-billed hummingbirdA new exhaustive family tree of hummingbirds -- published today in the journal Current Biology -- reveals the remarkable 22-million year evolutionary journey from a single common ancestor to today's assemblage of 338 different species.

It's the story of a tiny bird which begins in Europe 22 million years ago. After making its way to Asia and North America, and the delicate creature suddenly and rapidly flourishes in South America -- its family radiating out into 140 new species amongst the varied terrain and thin air of modern-day Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.

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Rep. Steve King thinks Dreamers who want to join military should be deported

Peter KingRep. Steve King, R-Iowa, says that instead of allowing children of undocumented immigrants to join the military, the U.S. should tell them, "We have a bus for you to Tijuana."

"As soon as they raise their hand and say, 'I'm unlawfully present in the United States,' we're not going take your oath into the military, but we're going to take your deposition and we have a bus for you to Tijuana," said King. "That's the law."

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Climate meeting to discuss future of fossil fuels

fissil fuelsAfter concluding that global warming almost certainly is man-made and poses a grave threat to humanity, the U.N.-sponsored expert panel on climate change is moving on to the next phase: what to do about it.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, will meet next week in Berlin to chart ways in which the world can curb the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are overheating the planet.

It is also trying to give estimates on what it would cost.

In the third report of a landmark climate assessment, the IPCC is expected to say that to keep warming in check, the world needs a major shift in investments from fossil fuels - the principal source of man-made carbon emissions - to renewable energy.

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Senate’s findings on CIA interrogations likely to become roadmap for litigation

CIA interrogationsscathing and still-secret Senate report on harsh CIA interrogations and detentions threatens to drag President Barack Obama into a legal thicket he’d rather avoid.

With its findings that the CIA flagrantly abused some detainees and held some without legal authorization, the Senate Intelligence Committee report now headed for the White House could become a roadmap for future litigation. At the very least, it confronts officials with uncomfortable choices.

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