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Saturday, Feb 13th

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Al Jazeera journalist goes missing in Taiz, Yemen

Al Jazeera journalist missing in YemenAn Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent is missing and is believed to have been kidnapped while reporting in the besieged Yemeni city of Taiz.

Hamdi al-Bokari, a Yemeni national, was last seen around 10pm on Monday in the middle of the war-torn central city, according to a statement by Al Jazeera Arabic.

At the time, Bokari was accompanied by two people.

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Why Is the US Military Still Burning Its Explosive Waste in the Open Air?

US military polluting airA 100-foot-long incinerator manufactured in Oklahoma is arriving this week at Camp Minden, a US military facility in northwest Louisiana where a massive and unstable stockpile of explosive artillery propellant known as the M-6 awaits destruction within its metal chamber.

For the residents of neighboring towns and the nearby city of Shreveport, the idea of 15 million pounds of hazardous and explosive waste slowly being fed into the incinerator may be unsettling, but it's far better than the government's original plan to "open burn" the M-6 on trays set out in the open air. Chemicals in the M-6 can produce cancerous fumes, and unlike an open burn, the incinerator has some air pollution controls.

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"Go home": Oregon militia standoff leader jeered at town meeting

Oregon standoff town meetingThe leader of an armed group who took over a national wildlife refuge in southeastern Oregon weeks ago joined hundreds of area residents at a tense community meeting - listening quietly as many loudly chanted at him to "go!"

Ammon Bundy, who has been trying to drum up support for his cause, didn't speak at Tuesday night's meeting in Burns where residents discussed the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge which began earlier this month.

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Study: By 2050 more plastics than fish in sea

plastics in ocean to outnumber fish by 2050Plastic trash will outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050 unless the world takes drastic action to recycle the material, a report warned Tuesday on the opening day of the annual gathering of the rich and powerful in the snow-clad Swiss ski resort of Davos.

An overwhelming 95 percent of plastic packaging worth $80 billion to 120 billion a year is lost to the economy after a single use, said a global study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which promotes recycling in the economy.

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The $43 million Afghani gas station that wasn't

Chuck GrassleyLast October, a top U.S. watchdog produced a doozy of a report, alleging the Pentagon had spent $43 million just to build a compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said it made her “jaw drop.” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) called it a “colossal waste of tax dollars.”

It was one of the biggest headline-generating moves yet by John Sopko, who took over the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction in 2012 and quickly turned it from a relatively quiet outfit to one that frequently and loudly points to fraud, waste and incompetence.

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Scientists: 2015 was Earth's hottest year

2015 hottest year on recordLast year was easily the Earth's hottest on record, federal scientists declared Wednesday — but don't expect the news to change any minds on the presidential campaign trail.

The Republicans' White House candidates still uniformly oppose President Barack Obama's efforts to combat climate change, and some reject the idea that it's even a problem worth tackling. So Wednesday's news opens them up to more attacks from Hillary Clinton and other Democrats who have sought to paint the GOP as anti-science.

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SHELL: We'll cut 10,000 jobs

Shell to cut ten thousand jobsShell will cut 10,000 jobs in its merger with BG Group, and sell $30 billion (£21 billion) worth of assets, to protect its profitability in an era of cheap oil.

The oil producer put out a fourth quarter and full-year update on Wednesday, warning of lean times ahead.

Here's the key quote from the statement on job cuts (emphasis ours):

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Stephen Hawking: Human race is in danger, and it's our fault

Steven HawkingScience superstar Stephen Hawking says humanity is inching closer to demise, and we are to blame.

The physicist made the comments during the annual BBC Reith lecture, and said it’s inevitable that in the next “thousand or ten thousand years,” a disaster will strike the planet.

"By that time we should have spread out into space, and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race,” he said during the BBC lecture.

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Taliban take credit for Pakistani university attack; at least 19 dead

Taliban U attackedAt least 19 students were killed at a university in northwest Pakistan that came under attack Wednesday by armed militants, officials said.

The three-hour attack at Bacha Khan University began about 9:30 a.m. when militants climbed over the back wall of a university guest house. Explosions and gunfire grew intense as security guards fought the militants. The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility.

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