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Thursday, Oct 23rd

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Border agent seen punching teen went unpunished

border agent punched teenFor nearly eight months after federal investigators saw videos of a U.S. Border Patrol agent punching a teenager in the stomach, the agent continued to work and went unpunished.

The agent, Aldo Arteaga, a nearly 10-year veteran, is now facing an assault charge in Santa Cruz County.

Arteaga was charged last week with felony aggravated assault, which applies in Arizona when an adult is accused of assault on a minor under age 15. But the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor Thursday because the teen Arteaga is seen punching was 15 years old during the Jan. 30 incident. The boy was deported to Mexico that same day.

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Earthquake Rattles Wichita, Tulsa; 4.4-Magnitude Tremor Felt Widely in Kansas, Oklahoma

Tulsa earthquakeA 4.4-magnitude earthquake rattled a large part of Kansas and Oklahoma Thursday afternoon, just one day after residents had been ducking for cover from tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 1:01 p.m. CDT. The epicenter was 7 miles east-southeast of Harper, Kansas, or about 43 miles southwest of Wichita, Kansas. There have been no immediate reports of damage. Wichita television station KAKE-TV said officials near the epicenter in Harper County, Kansas, reported no known damage.

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Judge Rebukes US Government, Keeps Gitmo Force-Feeding Hearing Open

Force feedingA federal judge has knocked down the government’s attempt to hold a secret hearing in a case challenging the military’s practice of force-feeding Guantanamo detainees who are on hunger strike.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler called the government’s desire to close the proceedings “deeply troubling,” and chastised the Department of Justice for appearing to “deliberately” make the request “on short notice.”

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JP Morgan says 76 million households affected in largest ever data breach

JP Morgan breachJP Morgan Chase, one of the largest banks in the US, said on Thursday that a massive computer hack affected the accounts of 76 million households and about seven million small businesses, making it one of the largest of its kind ever discovered.

The attack was under way for a month before it was discovered in July, and when it was disclosed in August, the bank estimated that about one million accounts had been compromised. But the latest information revealed on Thursday showed the attack was vastly more serious than earlier thought.

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Appeals Court Allows Texas To Enforce Harsh Abortion Restrictions

Rick PerryA federal appeals court Thursday allowed Texas to immediately begin enforcing tough new abortion restrictions that will effectively close all but seven abortion facilities in America's second most-populous state.

A panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans stayed a lower judge's ruling while it considers the overall constitutionality of key portions of Texas' sweeping 2013 abortion law, which Republican Gov. Rick Perry and other conservatives say is designed to protect women's health.

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U.S. Special Ops Readied Syria Attack in June

Special OpsMonths before the U.S. started bombing Syria, American commandos made detailed plans to hit al Qaeda planners there. But the targeting packages weren’t even sent to the White House.

In late June, the U.S. military and the U.S. intelligence community had concluded that a shadowy network of al Qaeda veterans in Syria were planning to attack airliners flying to the United States.  

Within the American government, the threat was considered serious enough that the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command—the Pentagon’s elite hunter-killers—prepared detailed targeting packages for the group, with the specific locations of the group’s leaders. But those plans never made it to the White House, according to senior U.S. intelligence and Pentagon leaders.

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Pentagon rules out transferring secret Bagram detainees to Guantánamo

BagramThe Pentagon has ruled out transferring its most secretly held detainees from Afghanistan to Guantánamo Bay, an official told the Guardian, and is signalling it wants to resolve their years-long plight by the new year.

While US military officials scramble to figure out what to do with an estimated 13 non-Afghan detainees they hold without charge on the outskirts of Bagram airfield, “none of the detainees will be transferred to Guantánamo Bay,” Lt Col Myles Caggins, the Pentagon’s detentions spokesman, told the Guardian.

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Complaints allege sex abuse at Texas immigration lockup

Texas immigration centerAttorneys have filed complaints with federal immigration officials alleging sexual abuse and harassment at a South Texas immigration lockup that houses women and their children.

Lawyers with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the University of Texas Law School are representing immigrants who were held at the 500-plus-bed facility in Karnes City, which was converted from an all-male detention center Aug. 1.

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Up to 100 people being monitored in Dallas for Ebola

Ebola in USUp to 100 people in Texas are now being screened for potential exposure to Ebola, with four relatives of the first U.S. case ordered to stay in their Dallas home and not have any visitors until at least Oct. 19, local and state health officials said Thursday.

Not all of those people had direct contact with the patient, a Liberian national named Thomas Eric Duncan. None are showing any symptoms of infection, officials said. About 12 to 18 are being more closely monitored because they did have direct contact with Duncan, and four have been quarantined.

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