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Wednesday, Aug 20th

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Widely Used Insecticides Are Leaching Into Midwest Rivers

Insecticides leeching into midwest riversA class of insecticides called neonicotinoids, which are used on a lot of big corn and soybean fields, has been getting a pretty bad rap lately.

Researchers have implicated these chemicals, which are similar to nicotine, as a contributor to the alarming decline of bee colonies. That led the European Union to place a on their use, and environmentalists want the U.S. to .

In a published July 24, researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey found that these chemicals are also leaching into streams and rivers in the Midwest — including the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. And that may be bad news for aquatic life in the region, the scientists say.

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Mississippi’s Lone Abortion Clinic Survives Court Appeal

mississippi abortion clinic savedMississippi’s lone abortion clinic will remain open for now, after an appeals court criticized as probably illegal a state law that requires doctors who perform the procedure obtain hospital admitting privileges.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans said enforcement of the law will remain suspended while a suit challenging it moves toward trial. In a 2-to-1 decision, the three-judge panel upheld a lower court’s rejection of Mississippi’s argument that women may still obtain abortions in neighboring states if the law is enforced.

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Control of Detroit water department returned to mayor

Detroit water supplyControl of Detroit's massive municipal water department, which has been criticized by the United Nations and others for widespread service shutoffs to thousands of customers, has been returned to the mayor's office.

The move comes a week after the department said it would temporarily suspend shutoffs for customers who were 60 days or more behind on bills for 15 days, and a few months ahead of the expected handoff of financial control of the bankrupt city from a state-appointed manager back to Detroit's elected leaders.

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Top Ebola doctor dead in African outbreak; local airline suspends flights

Ebola doctor diesA leading doctor who risked his own life to treat dozens of Ebola patients died Tuesday from the disease, officials said, as a major regional airline announced it was suspending flights to the cities hardest hit by an outbreak that has killed more than 670 people.

Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, who was praised as a national hero for treating the disease in Sierra Leone, was confirmed dead by health ministry officials there. He had been hospitalized in quarantine.

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Fracking 'a huge load of hype', say Friends of the Earth

Fracking hypeThe government claims that tight restrictions in the new licences that have been made available to frack for shale gas across vast sheaths of the UK means areas of outstanding natural beauty and national parks will not be drilled, unless there are 'exceptional circumstances'.

A number of incentives to help kick-start the industry have also been included including tax breaks, payments of £100,000 per site plus a 1% share of revenue to local communities.

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Qatar World Cup stadium workers earn as little as 45p an hour

quatar migrantMigrant workers building the first stadium for Qatar's 2022 World Cup have been earning as little as 45p an hour, the Guardian can reveal.

The pay rate appears to be in breach of the tournament organisers' own worker welfare rules and comes despite the Gulf kingdom spending £134bn on infrastructure ahead of the competition.

More than 100 workers from some of the world's poorest countries are labouring in ferocious desert heat on the 40,000-seat al-Wakrah stadium, which has been designed by the British architect Zaha Hadid and is due to host a quarter-final.

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GOP Senate Candidate Caught Saying States Can Nullify Laws

GOP candidat : states can nullify“You know we have talked about this at the state legislature before, nullification. But, bottom line is, as U.S. Senator why should we be passing laws that the states are considering nullifying? Bottom line: our legislators at the federal level should not be passing those laws. We’re right…we’ve gone 200-plus years of federal legislators going against the Tenth Amendment’s states’ rights.

We are way overstepping bounds as federal legislators. So, bottom line, no we should not be passing laws as federal legislators—as senators or congressman—that the states would even consider nullifying. Bottom line.”

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China regulator announces anti-monopoly probe of Microsoft

China targets MicrosoftA Chinese regulator said on Tuesday it is conducting an anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) over its Windows operating system, in the latest in a growing number of competition probes that have unnerved Western firms in China.

China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) was also investigating a Microsoft vice president and senior managers, and had made copies of the firm's financial statements and contracts, the agency said on its website.

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Israel bombs Gaza's only power plant as Netanyahu promises 'prolonged campaign'

Gaza power plant hitIsraeli missiles destroyed Gaza's only power station early Tuesday, the latest in the increasingly volatile conflict between the Israeli government and Hamas.

Hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned citizens the ongoing conflict against Palestine will be part of a long campaign against Hamas, Israel launched 76 strikes Monday into Tuesday, attacking Gaza's only source of electricity for 1.8 million Palestinians and targeting key pillars of infrastructure.

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