Tuesday, Mar 31st

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47 GOP Senators: Iran nuclear deal could be temporary

Freshmen senators send letter to ObamaA letter signed by 47 Republican Senators warned Iran any deal over nuclear weapons could last only as long as the Obama administration.

The open letter, by which Senators are attempting to get involved ongoing talks between Western countries and Iran to curtail Iran's nuclear program, prominently mentioned an agreement without congressional approval could be rescinded by the next President.


Nine foreign oil workers abducted by Islamic State affiliate in Libya

Meeting to adress crisis over oil worker abductionsNine foreign nationals were abducted in Libya by pro-Islamic State militants who stormed an oil field south of Sirte.

Those kidnapped Friday include four citizens from the Philippines, one Bangladeshi identified as Helal Uddin, and one Austrian. The nationality of the three others has not yet been confirmed.


Supreme Court to review how Florida imposes death sentences

US Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court has agreed to review a death sentence imposed by a judge on a Florida inmate though the jury had been divided on punishment.

The justices said Monday they will hear an appeal from inmate Timothy Lee Hurst, who was convicted of killing his manager at a Popeye's restaurant in Pensacola and leaving her body in a freezer.


Oklahoma fraternity closed over racist video

U of Oklahoma frat closedA University of Oklahoma fraternity will close and its members will be suspended after the group's national headquarters says a video showing members participating in a racist chant was posted online.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) said Sunday that an investigation had validated the contents of a video showing people chanting a racial slur against blacks and indicating that blacks would never be admitted to the fraternity. The chant also references lynching.


Senate torture report: An exception in CIA oversight

John KerryThe Senate report on the CIA's post-Sept. 11 interrogations shows how a rigorous examination of a secret agency can expose misconduct, incompetence and bureaucratic spin, even to those who question the investigation's assertion that torture did not work.

The review also highlights how rare such examinations are, and it raises this question: How well run are other CIA programs, such as targeted killing with drones or the secret effort to train and arm Syrian rebels?


Florida banned state workers from using term 'climate change' – report

Florida climate change banOfficials with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the agency in charge of setting conservation policy and enforcing environmental laws in the state, issued directives in 2011 barring thousands of employees from using the phrases “climate change” and “global warming”, according to a bombshell report by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR).

The report ties the alleged policy, which is described as “unwritten”, to the election of Republican governor Rick Scott and his appointment of a new department director that year. Scott, who was re-elected last November, has declined to say whether he believes in climate change caused by human activity.


Why China's Pollution Could Be Behind Our Cold, Snowy Winters

China's air pollutionIt's March. It's freezing. And there's half a foot of snow on the ground. When is this winter going to end?

Many scientists think that climate change might be one cause of this year's "snowpocalypse" in Boston and bitter cold snaps in New York and Washington.  But physicists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been looking into another culprit: air pollution in China and India.

"Over the past 30 years or so, man-made emission centers have shifted from traditional industrialized countries to fast, developing countries in Asia," physicist Jonathan Jiang writes in an email.


FDA Tests Turn Up Dairy Farmers Breaking The Law On Antibiotics

FDA tests show antibiotic use by farmersWhen it comes to the current controversy over antibiotic use on farm animals, milk is in a special category.

Lactating cows, unlike hogs, cattle or chickens that are raised for their meat, don't receive antibiotics unless they are actually sick. That's because drug residues immediately appear in the cow's milk — a violation of food safety rules.

Milk shipments are tested for six of the most widely used antibiotics, and any truckload that tests positive is rejected. So when cows are treated, farmers discard their milk for several days until the residues disappear.


Torture of Palestinian detainees by Israel soared in 2014 – report

Torture of Palestiians by IsraelThe instances of torture of Palestinian prisoners by Israeli services soared sharply in the second half of 2014, after the killings of three Jewish teenagers in June, says data from military courts and anti-torture bodies, collected by Haaretz.

All in all, 51 cases of torture were reported in the second half of last year, according to an attorney representing those accused of security offences. The data was obtained by Haaretz from military courts, and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.


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