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Thursday, Nov 27th

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Justices back air marshal who blew whistle on cutbacks

Air marshal whistleblowerA former air marshal who leaked information about agency cutbacks had a good day at the Supreme Court Tuesday, while the federal government he served had trouble convincing justices that he deserved to be fired.

The result could turn out to be a rare court victory for government whistle-blowers who expose potential dangers to health or safety, even if the disclosures violate agency rules.

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Fugitive Mexican mayor suspected in abduction of 43 students captured

AbarcaMexican police on Tuesday captured a fugitive former mayor and his wife suspected of being the probable masterminds behind the abduction of 43 student teachers feared massacred in September, officials said.

Police working with a local drug gang in the southwestern city of Iguala abducted the students after clashes there on the night of Sept. 26, sparking a huge manhunt and causing serious embarrassment for President Enrique Pena Nieto.

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UNHCR launches campaign against statelessness

statelessnessThe U.N. Refugee Agency Tuesday launched an ambitious campaign to wipe out statelessness in the next decade with the goal of preventing millions from spending their entire lives without legal documentation.

The goal is to focus attention on people who are not recognized in their countries and do not have birth certificates, identity papers or other documents, and to prevent babies born to refugees from being denied legal papers.

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Russia plans nuclear summit boycott

putinRussia has informed the United States that it will boycott the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, diplomats told The Associated Press on Tuesday, potentially stripping the meeting of one of its key participants and hurting efforts initiated by President Barack Obama to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism.

Officials already had told the AP on Monday that Moscow was absent from last week's initial summit planning session in Washington but had left unclear whether Russia planned to attend the summit itself.

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Communities find little success in resisting fracking infrastructure

Anti frackingAmy Nassif thought petitioning her Pennsylvania school board to vote against drilling near her two children’s school would be enough — but even without the board’s approval, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approved the permits.

“I was completely shocked at the total disregard for the safety of the community,” she said. “They have active-shooter drills at the school, they have drug free zones, but we can’t protect our kids from this.”

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2 Nuclear Commanders Fired, Another Disciplined

ICBM launch padsThe Air Force on Monday fired two more nuclear commanders and disciplined a third, fresh evidence of leadership lapses in a nuclear missile corps that has suffered a rash of recent setbacks, including the firing last year of its top commander.

The most senior officer to be relieved Monday was Col. Carl Jones, the No. 2 commander of the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, in charge of 150 of the Air Force's 450 Minuteman 3 nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles. He was dismissed "for a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership abilities," and has been reassigned as a special assistant to the wing commander.

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Verizon, AT&T tracking their users with ‘supercookies’

Cell phone companies tracking userssVerizon and AT&T have been quietly tracking the Internet activity of more than 100 million cellular customers with what critics have dubbed “supercookies” — markers so powerful that it’s difficult for even savvy users to escape them.

The technology has allowed the companies to monitor which sites their customers visit, cataloging their tastes and interests. Consumers cannot erase these supercookies or evade them by using browser settings, such as the “private” or “incognito” modes that are popular among users wary of corporate or government surveillance.

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Tom Magliozzi, half of Click and Clack radio car mechanics team, dies aged 77

Tom Magliozzi diesTom Magliozzi, the elder brother of the duo known to radio audiences as Click and Clack, died on Monday at 77 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, according to NPR.

Car Talk executive producer Doug Berman said in a note to NPR staff on Monday:

“I have the sad duty to report today that Tom Magliozzi, one of the hosts of Car Talk, passed away this morning due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Hyundai, Kia Fined $100 Million Over Misleading Gas Mileage Figures

EPA chief McCarthyIn a settlement the Justice Department is calling "unprecedented," Korean car makers Hyundai and Kia have agreed to pay a $100 million civil penalty for overstating the gas mileage on 1.2 million vehicles.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the settlement is the largest in Clean Air Act history.

"Greenhouse gas emission laws protect the public from the dangers of climate change, and today's action reinforces EPA's commitment to see those laws through," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a press release.

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