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Israel re-arrests Palestinian hunger striker

Palestinian hunger strikerA Palestinian prisoner who nearly died during a 66-day hunger strike resumed his protest Wednesday after he was re-arrested following his release from an Israeli hospital.

The move sparked renewed Palestinian outrage after days of unrest at Jerusalem's most sensitive holy site and a spurt of violence that killed an Israeli motorist on the Jewish New Year. The unrest has raised fears of a new outbreak of heavy violence in the holy city.


Baruch Student Killed in Hazing Incident 'Singled Out,' Authorities Say

Baruch student deathAuthorities said today that Chun "Michael" Deng, the Baruch College student who died during a 2013 hazing incident, had been "singled out" by members of the school's Pi Delta Psi chapter, some of whom now face charges in his death.

"The overall investigation shows that, yes, he was singled out and he was treated harsher than the other pledges," said Chief Chris Wagner, of the Pocono Mountain Regional Police, during a news conference today in Pennsylvania. He would not explain further.


West 'ignored Russian offer in 2012 to have Syria's Assad step aside'

Syria catastropheRussia proposed more than three years ago that Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, could step down as part of a peace deal, according to a senior negotiator involved in back-channel discussions at the time.

Former Finnish president and Nobel peace prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari said western powers failed to seize on the proposal. Since it was made, in 2012, tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions uprooted, causing the world’s gravest refugee crisis since the second world war.


Pope Francis Endorses Iran Nuclear Deal

Pope Francis endorses Iran dealThe Vatican endorsed the Iran nuclear accord Monday as a positive step towards its broader goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.

“We hope that the full implementation of [the nuclear deal] will ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme under the [Non-Proliferation Treaty] and will be a definitive step toward greater stability and security in the region,” Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican's foreign minister, said in a statement delivered at the International Atomic Energy Association in Vienna.


GE to move turbine jobs to Europe, China due to EXIM bank closure

GE sends jobs to Europe, ChinaGeneral Electric Co (GE.N) said on Tuesday it will move 500 U.S. power turbine manufacturing jobs to Europe and China because it can no longer access U.S. Export-Import Bank financing after Congress allowed the agency's charter to lapse in June.

The largest U.S. industrial conglomerate said France's COFACE (COFA.PA) export agency has agreed to support some of GE's global power project bids with a new line of credit in exchange for moving production of heavy-duty gas turbines to Belfort, France, along with 400 jobs.


Feds: Arctic sea ice levels shrink to 4th lowest level

Arctic sea iceFederal scientists said summer Arctic sea ice shrank to its fourth lowest level on record this month, dispelling faint hopes of a recovery.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center announced Tuesday that the Arctic hit its summer minimum last week with 1.7 million square miles of sea ice, down 240,000 square miles from 2014.


FDA halts sales of four R.J. Reynolds cigarette brands

FDA bans some cigarettesThe Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday banned sales of four cigarette brands from R.J. Reynolds because they did not meet the agency’s safety review requirements.

Under FDA rules, companies that launch new cigarettes must show that the products are essentially the same as older products in terms of health risks. The FDA said four brands from R.J. Reynolds failed to show that they don’t raise new safety concerns.


Whistleblowing FAA controllers reveal safety risk that could cause planes to collide

air contrllersFive air traffic controllers have exposed a problem that is putting planes at risk of colliding or causing accidents due to wake turbulence, a federal whistleblower protection office said Tuesday.

The problem occurs when pilots, air traffic control centers or airline dispatchers try to make changes to a flight plan by creating a second plan for the same flight, according to letters sent to the White House and Congress by the Office of Special Counsel, an independent agency.


Old, faulty voting machines put US democracy at risk, report warns

old voting machinesFifteen years after voting problems in Florida left the United States without a clear winner in its presidential election for five traumatizing weeks, a disturbing proportion of voting machines in use across the nation are old and prone to malfunction, according to the findings of a major new study issued Tuesday by the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law.

From counties still using analog modems, dot-matrix printers and software that works only with Windows 2000 to touchscreen machines with surfaces so degraded that votes can be recorded for the wrong candidates, the the 68-page report raises alarms about the condition of election equipment and the potential for Election Day 2000-style failures.


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