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Animas River fouled by 1 million gallons of contaminated mine water

Animas RiverA spill that sent 1 million gallons of wastewater from an abandoned mine into the Animas River, turning the river orange, set off warnings Thursday that contaminants threaten water quality for those downstream.

The Environmental Protection Agency confirmed it triggered the spill while using heavy machinery to investigate pollutants at the Gold King Mine, north of Silverton.


Secular blogger killed in Bangladesh; fourth this year

Blogger hacked to death in BangladeshAssailants believed to be Islamist militants entered an apartment building posing as potential tenants and killed a secular blogger in Bangladesh's capital on Friday, in the fourth such deadly attack this year, police said.

Police official Mustafizur Rahman identified the victim as 40-year-old Niloy Chowdhury and said he was hacked to death in his apartment. The motive was not immediately clear.


Recordings: Michigan Republican Created His Own Gay-Sex Hoax

Michigan rep affair revealedState Rep. Todd Courser planned the distribution of a fictional email alleging he had sex with a male prostitute in a bid to conceal his relationship with Rep. Cindy Gamrat, according to audio recordings obtained by The Detroit News.

Courser, a Lapeer Republican, said on one recording the email was designed to create “a complete smear campaign” of exaggerated, false claims about him and Gamrat so a public revelation about the legislators’ relationship would seem “mild by comparison.”


Truck bomb in Afghan capital kills 15, wounds hundreds

Kabul truck bombA truck bomb exploded near an army compound in the center of the Afghan capital on Friday, killing at least 15 people and wounding close to 250, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's office said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, which shook the center of Kabul and ripped through homes and shops, and was heard from miles around the city. Sources told Al Jazeera that the target of the attack had been a nearby Afghan military base.


Pfizer and Flynn Pharma accused of overcharging by CMA

Pfizer and Flynn Pharma overchargePharmaceutical firms Pfizer and Flynn Pharma have been accused by the UK's competition watchdog of charging "excessive and unfair" prices for an anti-epilepsy drug.

Phenytoin sodium capsules, used by 50,000 people in Britain, are made by Pfizer and sold by Flynn.  Pfizer said it was co-operating with the Competition and Markets Authority.


The DOJ 'Intended To Discourage' A Historic Medical Marijuana Bill

DOJ discourages medical marijuanaAn internal Department of Justice memo leaked this week reveals that in the days leading up to last year's historic passage of a federal medical marijuana protections measure, the DOJ passed around "informal talking points" to members of Congress that were "intended to discourage passage" of the statute due to concerns about overreach -- concerns that would later turn out to be incorrect.

In May 2014, the House passed an appropriations amendment, introduced by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Sam Farr (D-Calif.), that blocked the DOJ from using funds to target state-legal medical marijuana operations. These historic protections for medical marijuana patients and providers were eventually signed into law by President Barack Obama as part of a larger federal budget bill.


U.S. says Israel rebuffing talks to beef up security cooperation

Israel rebuffing security talksIsrael has repeatedly rebuffed offers by the United States to discuss boosting security cooperation in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal, Obama administration officials said Thursday.

The Israeli cold shoulder is the latest measure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wrath over the nuclear accord, underscoring the unprecedented tensions that have grown between the United States and its closest ally in the Middle East.


Alex Baer: Eyes, Oys, and Ayes

GOP debateLies are marketing's best friends, just as Desire is the single best pal consumption ever had.  Combine Lies and Desire, along with a hurried, staggering set of lunges and lurches to pick up any dangling or loose minutes or seconds in the evaporating days of our lives, and you've got a toxic cocktail -- one we call American Life.

We are about to have more American Life on Thursday, during a gathering not of eagles, but of turkeys, vultures, and turkey vultures.  (It used to be a dog-eat-dog world in politics.  Now, it is about rabid dogs biting one another, and themselves, and chewing their feet, chasing their tails, then springing out into the audience in search of unguarded jugulars.)


Pennsylvania attorney general charged in grand jury leak

Risa FermanPennsylvania's attorney general was charged Thursday with leaking secret grand jury information to strike back at her critics, then lying about it under oath, in a case that could spell the downfall of the state's highest-ranking female politician.

Kathleen Kane leaked the material to a political operative to pass it on to the media "in hopes of embarrassing and harming former state prosecutors she believed, without evidence, made her look bad," Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.


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