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Study: The greener a state's legislator, the cleaner the air

Clean airStates where the congressional delegation votes greener tend to have air that's cleaner, spewing less heat-trapping gas, a new study finds.

Researchers at Michigan State University studied decades of voting trends and greenhouse gas emissions state by state. They found a correlation between the voting records of a congressional delegation and carbon dioxide emissions, although one that's nowhere near as big as population or a state's economic health, according to a study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Kayak protesters detained after trying to stop Shell oil rig

Kayak protesterThe U.S. Coast Guard detained two dozen protesters who formed a blockade with kayaks and other vessels Monday to try to stop Royal Dutch Shell's drill rig as it left Seattle on its way to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean.

The protesters were scooped up from the water because they were violating the safety zone around the Polar Pioneer, which departed around 6 a.m., Coast Guard Lt. Dana Warr said. They would be released after receiving violation notices that carry a $500 penalty, he said.


CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation

CIA human experimentsThe Central Intelligence Agency had explicit guidelines for “human experimentation” – before, during and after its post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees – that raise new questions about the limits on the agency’s in-house and contracted medical research.

Sections of a previously classified CIA document, made public by the Guardian on Monday, empower the agency’s director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research”. The leeway provides the director, who has never in the agency’s history been a medical doctor, with significant influence over limitations the US government sets to preserve safe, humane and ethical procedures on people.


Unapologetic Rachel Dolezal resigns from NAACP chapter over race 'storm'

Rachel DolezalRachel Dolezal, the civil-rights leader in the middle of a firestorm over accusations that she has been misrepresenting herself as black, has resigned unapologetically from her post at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The story of Dolezal “passing” for a different race quickly went viral on Friday after her parents told a local news station that their daughter, who had publicly cited her African lineage, is actually of Czech and German heritage – with “traces of Native American ancestry”.


Colorado court rules workers can be fired for medical pot use

colorado pot lawPot may be legal in Colorado, but you can still be fired for using it.

The state Supreme Court ruled 5-1 Monday that a medical marijuana patient who was fired after failing a drug test cannot get his job back.

The case was being watched closely by employers and pot smokers in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana.


The ‘Natural Family’: The Latest Weapon in the Christian Right’s New Global War on Gays

Christian right anti gay planYes, same-sex marriage looks inevitable in the United States. But the Christian Right has a Plan B—and it’s working with Russia to put it into action.

The news looks bad for America’s conservative rear-guard. This month’s decision by the Supreme Court may soon make marriage equality the law of the land. Over three-quarters of Americans support anti-discrimination protection for gays and lesbians. One of our star athletes (and a Republican!) has transitioned her gender to overwhelming (though not universal) applause.


Investigation ‘Workers Are Paying For Cheap Gas With Their Lives’

workerws paying for cheap gas with their livesThe Bakken oil boom has been a serial killer. Big oil companies have largely written the rules governing their own accountability for accidents, potentially putting workers at risk.

In the early evening of Sept. 14, 2011, at a bend in the Missouri River in North Dakota, Brendan Wegner, 21, was scrambling down a derrick ladder when the oil well he was working on exploded. Rescuers found his body pinned under a heap of melted steel pipes. His charred hands were recovered later, still gripping the derrick ladder. It was his first day on the rig.


U.S. archbishop resigns over sex abuse scandal

US archbishop resignsThe archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis and a deputy bishop have resigned after the archdiocese was charged with having failed to protect children from a pedophile priest.

The Vatican said Monday that Pope Francis accepted the resignations of Archbishop John Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Anthony Piche.

Nienstedt is the second U.S. bishop in the Catholic Church to resign as the result of a clergy sex abuse scandal, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.


Mexico Supreme Court continues to allow gay marriage as U.S. deliberates

Mexico SC allows gay marriageAs the U.S. Supreme Court weighs the issue of same-sex marriage, Mexico's high court keeps moving forward on the issue by allowing gay marriages there -- even without officially putting it on the law books.

Currently, laws in most Mexican states do not allow for gay couples to marry, yet members of the LGBT community have been doing just that for years, The New York Times reported Sunday.


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