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Saturday, Jul 26th

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Saudi Arabia jails human rights activist for 15 years

Walid abu al-KhairA Jeddah court sentenced prominent Saudi rights lawyer Walid abu al-Khair to 15 years in prison on Sunday on charges that included seeking to undermine the state and insulting the judiciary, the state news agency reported.

Abu al-Khair had been on trial on sedition charges that included breaking allegiance to King Abdullah, showing disrespect for authorities, creating an unauthorized association and inciting public opinion.

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Israeli police arrest six over Mohamed Abu Khdeir killing

Arrest made in Palestinian deathIsraeli police have arrested six Jewish suspects in the abduction and murder of a Palestinian teenager in East Jerusalem last week.

Sources said the detained suspects belonged to an extremist Jewish group. Investigators into the killing of 17-year-old Mohamed Abu Khdeir have said they believe the crime was "nationalist" in motivation.

Some sources suggested those arrested had previous criminal records and may be linked to a well-known group of football hooligans.

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NSA intercepts: ordinary internet users 'far outnumbered' legal targets

NSA interceptsWhen the US National Security Agency (NSA) intercepted the online accounts of legally targeted foreigners over a four-year period it also collected the conversations of nine times as many ordinary internet users, both Americans and non-Americans, according to an investigation by the Washington Post.

Nearly half of those surveillance files contained names, email addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to US citizens or residents, the Post reported in a story posted on its website on Saturday night. While the federal agency tried to protect their privacy by masking more than 65,000 such references to individuals, the newspaper said it found nearly 900 additional email addresses that could be strongly linked to US citizens or residents.

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The Anti-Gay Archbishop Who Can’t Stay Out of Trouble

John NienstedtThere may be something to be said for the theory that anger and hate stem from an individual recognizing in others a quality that they themselves possess, but don’t want to. One of the Catholic church's most vocal opponents of homosexuality is currently under investigation after allegations that he had multiple sexual relationships with priests, seminarians, and other men.

Minnesota archbishop John Nienstedt, 67, has spent years advocating against gay marriage. In 2013, speaking to a starry-eyed crowd at the Napa Institute, he said: “Today, many evil forces have set their sights on the dissolution of marriage and the debasing of family life. Sodomy, abortion, contraception, pornography, the redefinition of marriage, and the denial of objective truth are just some of the forces threatening the stability of our civilization.”

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Israeli police seek to extend US teen's detention

aerican teen detained by israelIsraeli police say an American teenager who was detained during violent protests over the killing of a Palestinian youth has been brought before a court.

Spokeswoman Luba Samri says police are asking the Jerusalem district court on Sunday to extend the detention of 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir.

Abu Khdeir's parents say their son, who goes to school in Florida, was beaten by Israeli police during clashes over the killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir who Palestinians say was killed by Israeli extremists in a revenge attack. The two young men are cousins.

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The Giant Methane Monster That Can Wipe Out the Human Race

Methane monsterThere's something lurking deep under the frozen Arctic Ocean, and if it gets released, it could spell disaster for our planet.  That something is methane.

Methane is one of the strongest of the natural greenhouse gases, about 80 times more potent than CO2, and while it may not get as much attention as its cousin CO2, it certainly can do as much, if not more, damage to our planet.

That's because methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and there are trillions of tons of it embedded in a kind of ice slurry called methane hydrate or methane clathrate crystals in the Arctic and in the seas around the continental shelves all around the world.

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Fearing Lawsuits, Sheriffs Balk at U.S. Request to Hold Noncitizens for Extra Time

Sheriffs defy fedsSheriffs around the nation are openly rejecting the Obama administration policy of holding noncitizens who are accused or convicted of crimes for extra time, which for years has enabled the federal government to begin deportation proceedings for thousands of immigrants.

The local decisions are limiting the Obama administration’s ability to enforce immigration laws and could significantly decrease the number of immigrants deported each year.

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TransCanada’s Donation to Town Means Silence on Pipeline

TransCanadaTransCanada Corp. (TRP) provided an Ontario town along the proposed Energy East pipeline route with cash to buy a rescue truck on conditions that include the municipality not comment on the company’s operations.

TransCanada gave Mattawa C$30,000 ($28,200) under its community engagement program, according to an agreement appended to the agenda of the town council’s June 23 meeting. The city agreed to “not publicly comment on TransCanada’s operations or business projects” for five years as part of the agreement, the document showed.

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Six arrested as Southern California demonstrators clash over immigration

Arrests in immigration protestsSix people were arrested on 4th July after demonstrators from dueling sides of the immigration debate clashed outside a US Border Patrol station in Murrieta, California, where a convoy of busses carrying some of the Central American migrants flooding the US-Mexico border was expected to arrive.

This was the second demonstration this week, after protestors blocked buses carrying migrant children and adults, forcing them to be rerouted.

Murrieta police lieutenant Jon Flavin told the Guardian that police arrested six people on Friday. Early Friday morning a protestor was arrested for disobeying a police officer, according to police.

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