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Tuesday, Mar 31st

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Catholic Church Claims It Can Refuse To Pay Victims Of Sex Abuse Because Of Religious Freedom

Timothy DolanThe Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee sought to insulate $55 million of its funds from lawsuits brought by victims of priestly sex abuse, according to a letter penned by then-Archbishop of Milwaukee Timothy Dolan, so it transferred those funds into a separate trust set up to care for the archdiocese’s cemeteries and mausoleums.

Once the sexual abuse victims sought those funds in a bankruptcy proceeding, however, the archdiocese claimed that it had a religious liberty right not to use that money to compensate victims of abuse.

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Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson to resign

Ferguson Police Chief resignsThe embattled police chief of Ferguson, Missouri, is to resign a week after his department was accused of racial bias in a scathing report by the US government, an aide to the St Louis county executive told the Guardian on Wednesday.

Chief Thomas Jackson will announce he is stepping down at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, according to Alison Blood, the communications coordinator for executive Steve Stenger.

“We have that from several internal sources,” said Blood.

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ATF backs down from ban on 'cop-killing' armor-piercing bullets for AR-15s

ATF backs downThe gun lobby cheered and advocates of gun regulation condemned a decision by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to back down from banning armor-piercing bullets used in AR-15 semiautomatic rifles.

The ATF buckled on outlawing the cop-killing ammo amid more than 80,000 comments on the proposed regulation, overwhelmingly from gun rights advocates convinced the measure was a backroom gun control move by the Obama administration.

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Powdered Alcohol Gets Green Light From Feds

Powdered alcoholA powdered alcohol intended to be mixed up into drinks has gained approval from a federal regulator.

The product, called Palcohol, had received the greenlight from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau briefly last year before the bureau backtracked and said the label approvals had been given in error.

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Milky Way isn't a flat disk, it's corrugated

Milky way corrugatedAccording to a new study by a team of international astronomers, the Milky Way's galactic disk resembles the undulating ripples seen after a pebble is tossed into a pond. In other words, it's not flat -- it's corrugated, like a steel roof.

The study, led by Heidi Jo Newberg, an astronomer at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, N.Y., is a reinterpretation of data collected as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The 2012 survey helped astronomers locate a ring of stars, existing just off the plane of the Milk Way's disk.

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Oil shipments to resume in pipeline that broke under Montana river

Oil shipments continue under Montana RiverA Wyoming company is preparing to resume oil shipments through a pipeline that broke and spewed 30,000 gallons of crude into Montana's Yellowstone River, even as most of the spilled oil remains unrecovered.

Cleanup is on hold near the small city of Glendive, where the water supply for 6,000 residents was temporarily contaminated.

Bridger Pipeline LLC company was to begin restarting a 50-mile section of the line south of the spill site Wednesday, spokesman Bill Salvin said.

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Fukushima victims speak. Will anyone listen?

Fukushima victimsOn March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northeastern Japan triggered a tsunami that led to the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

While immediate health consequences are yet to be determined, more than 159,000 people were evicted from areas deemed too radioactive for human habitation. The World Health Organization has warned about “increased risk of certain cancers” for people in the most contaminated areas.

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Ferguson city manager leaving in response to DOJ report

Ferguson city manager resignsThe city manager of Ferguson, Missouri, has resigned in the wake of a U.S. Justice Department probe that found a range of systemic racially biased practices by the police and municipal court, the city said on Tuesday.

Ferguson City Council voted unanimously at a meeting on Tuesday to accept the resignation of City Manager John Shaw effective immediately. The city manager is the highest-ranking, non-elected municipal official and oversees the police department.

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AP sues State Department, seeking access to Clinton records

Hillary ClintonThe Associated Press filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the State Department to force the release of email correspondence and government documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.

The legal action comes after repeated requests filed under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act have gone unfulfilled. They include one request AP made five years ago and others pending since the summer of 2013.

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