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Sunday, Apr 20th

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Louisiana House passes abortion restriction bill

Louisiana House of representativesThe Louisiana House of Representatives on Monday approved a bill to impose new restrictions on abortion clinics, adopting a measure similar to one in other states that have forced clinics to shut down.

Without discussion, the House voted 85-6 to approve the bill, which requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at an adequately equipped hospital within 30 miles of the place where the abortion is performed.

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New Analysis: 9.5 Million Uninsured People Covered Under Obamacare

obamacareAbout 9.5 million Americans who were previously uninsured have gotten health coverage under Obamacare, according to a new analysis.

The Los Angeles Times reported the number, which combines data from an unpublished study by RAND Corp. with other publicly available figures. It's one of the most comprehensive efforts yet to asses the law's impact on the uninsured as open enrollment comes to a close.

The numbers break down like this:

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U.N. court orders Japan to halt Antarctic whaling program

Japan whaling ordered to stopThe International Court of Justice on Monday ordered a temporary halt to Japan's Antarctic whaling program, ruling that it is not for scientific purposes as Japan had claimed.

Australia had sued Japan at the U.N.'s highest court in hopes of ending whaling in the icy Southern Ocean. Australia, which said Japan has slaughtered more than 10,000 whales since 1988, insisted that the Japanese program was a thinly disguised commercial exploit under the cover of scientific research.

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Yemenis affected by U.S. drone strikes to launch victims' union

Yemeni dron victimsFriends and family members of victims of U.S. drone strikes in Yemen are launching a national drone victims’ organization Tuesday to support affected communities and lobby for a change in Yemeni government policy regarding the covert program.

The National Organization for Drone Victims (NODV), with the assistance of UK-based legal charity Reprieve, will conduct investigations of drone strikes and highlight the civilian impact of the U.S.’ controversial drone program in Yemen.

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U.S. stock markets are rigged, says author Michael Lewis

stock market riggedThe U.S. stock market is rigged in favor of high-speed electronic trading firms, which use their advantages to extract billions from investors, according to Michael Lewis, author of a new book on the topic, "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt."

High-frequency trading (HFT) is a practice carried out by many banks and proprietary trading firms using sophisticated computer programs to send gobs of orders into the market, executing a small portion of them when opportunities arise to capitalize on price imbalances, or to make markets. HFT makes up more than half of all U.S. trading volume.

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Senate Report: Torture Didn't Help Capture Osama bin Laden

seante report on tortureFor those who want to defend the CIA's torture program, the link between the interrogation programs and the capture of bin Laden has been both a frequent argument and a crown jewel. But there is no link — at least, not according to congressional aides and experts familiar with the controversial Senate Intelligence Committee report that is due to be released imminently.

It has been regularly suggested that torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed led to information about a figure named Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, who provided a critical link to bin Laden. The Senate report, however, indicates that the al-Kuwaiti information only emerged well after the torture took place, the Associated Press reports. What's more, even then it was of more limited value than has been suggested, and did not not include his real name. The CIA has also suggested that information from the torture of Abu Faraj al-Libi introduced the connection to al-Kuwaiti; the report also discredits that idea.

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Forget about the "1%." Top "0.1% pulling ahead more

wealthiest americansThe "top 1%" might be the primary target of the masses' ire and envy, but it's actually the top 0.1% who are grabbing a bigger slice of wealth.

The average household in the top 1% pulled in earnings of $1,264,065 in 2012, according to a just-released analysis by investment firm Sadoff Investment Research. That's 41 times greater than the $30,997 average income of Americans.

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Albuquerque police face hundreds of protesters

Albuquerque protestsA protest over deadly police shootings turned from peaceful into "mayhem," Albuquerque's mayor said late Sunday, as officers in riot gear clashed with demonstrators.

People are angry over Albuquerque police's involvement in 37 shootings, 23 of them fatal since 2010. Critics say that's far too many for a department serving a city of about 555,000.

The U.S. Justice Department has been investigating the department for more than a year, looking into complaints of civil rights violations and allegations of excessive use of force.

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Diet drinks linked to heart problems in older women

diet sodaA study involving almost 60,000 healthy postmenopausal women correlated diet drinks with increased risk of heart attack, stroke or a cardiovascular event.

"Our findings are in line with and extend data from previous studies showing an association between diet drinks and metabolic syndrome," lead investigator Dr. Ankur Vyas of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics said in a statement. "We were interested in this research because there was a relative lack of data about diet drinks and cardiovascular outcomes and mortality."

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