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Saturday, Mar 25th

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3 million Americans at risk from human-induced earthquakes this year

human made earthquakesThree million Americans, primarily in Oklahoma and Kansas, are at risk from human-induced earthquakes this year, the U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday.

That's the conclusion of a new report that cites wastewater disposal from fracking as triggering the quakes. The number of Americans affected this year is less than last year, when the agency reported 7 million were at risk.

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Salesman-in-chief: What happens when he needs to deliver?

trumpPresident Donald Trump basically told Americans last night that he’s going to make sure we can have our cake and eat it, too—and by the way it will be a spectacular cake, it won’t cost much, and it’s going to help us lose a lot of weight.

Trump used his first speech to Congress last night to lay out a heroic vision of an America where “every problem can be solved.” He promised to ensure clean air and water while getting rid of environmental regulations. He vowed to ratchet down taxes on corporations and the middle class while jacking up spending on the military, immigration enforcement, infrastructure and veterans—and at the same time somehow rescuing America from its crushing national debt.

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Supreme Court mainly rules for black voters in Virginia case

SCOTUSThe Supreme Court is mainly ruling for African-Americans in Virginia who say lawmakers packed 12 legislative districts with black voters to make other districts whiter and more Republican.

The justices said Wednesday that a lower court that upheld the 12 districts used the wrong legal standard when it determined that race did not play too large a role in creating the districts.

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UN: Both sides committed war crimes in Syria's Aleppo

Aleppo war crimesBoth sides in last year's battle for Syria's Aleppo city committed war crimes, including a "deliberate" bombing of a humanitarian convoy by the Syrian government, according to a new United Nations investigation.

The UN Commission of Inquiry's report released on Wednesday said Syrian government and allied Russian forces "pervasively used" unguided munitions to bomb densely populated areas in rebel-held eastern Aleppo between July and its fall on December 22, amounting to the war crime of indiscriminate attacks.
Uncertain future for displaced Syrians from Aleppo

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Ex-British Spy Behind Trump Dossier Reached Agreement With FBI to Be Paid for Work

Christopher Steele once paid by FBIAccording to a report by the Washington Post, Christopher Steele had entered into an arrangement with the FBI to be paid to continue his work on collecting information regarding the alleged ties between Donald Trump and Russia.

Steele, a former MI6 agent, is the author of the now-infamous dossier that alleged the Russian government was attempting to compromise Trump, and that they had been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” him for years. Steele had compiled the dossier while working for a firm that had been hired to compile opposition research on Trump ahead of the election.

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Door knocks in the dark: The Canadian town on front line of Trump migrant crackdown

Canada border town takes in refugeesJaime French was jarred out of bed in Emerson, Manitoba early one morning this month by pounding at her front door, just yards from the U.S. border. A face peered in through the window, flanked in the darkness by others.

Outside were 16 asylum seekers, arriving at one of the first houses they saw after crossing a lightly monitored border between Canada and the United States.

"They banged pretty hard, then 'ring ring ring' the doorbell," said French, a mother of two young girls. "It was scary. That really woke me up."

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Sessions: Justice to limit action against police depts. on civil rights

Jeff SessionsAttorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday his Justice Department will “pull back” from suing police department for violating minorities’ civil rights, according to an NBC report.

"We need, so far as we can, to help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness. And I'm afraid we've done some of that," Sessions said during a meeting with attorneys general from across the country.

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Trump executive order scraps EPA water rule

EPA water protection scrappedPresident Trump signed an executive order Tuesday scrapping a controversial Environmental Protection Agency rule that expanded the agency's jurisdiction over the nation's waterways during the second term of former President Obama.

The regulation, known as the Waters of the U.S. rule, broadened the definition of the type of water body that would fall under EPA's formidable clean water enforcement powers, making everything from streams to ditches and watering holes subject to the EPA's and Army Corps of Engineers' oversight.

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DeVos sparks controversy with comments on black colleges

DeVosPresident Donald Trump’s efforts to bolster relations with historically black colleges erupted in controversy Tuesday after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released a statement equating the history of the schools — founded during an era of racial segregation — to “school choice” policies.

“HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice,” DeVos said in the statement, released Monday night in advance of Trump’s planned signing of an executive order giving the schools more clout. “They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality. Their success has shown that more options help students flourish.”

TVNL Comment:  Just unbelievable.  Choice?  Bubbles make poor environments for Cabinet members.

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