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Friday, Mar 06th

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Senate fails to override Obama's veto of pipeline bill

Keystone XL pipelineThe Senate on Wednesday failed to override President Barack Obama's veto of a bill to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, the first of many confrontations between the Republican-controlled Congress and the White House this year over energy policy.

The 62-37 vote is expected to be one of many veto showdowns between Republicans and Obama in his final term. Already, the White House has issued more than a dozen veto threats on legislation.

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Jaw bone discovered in Ethiopia is oldest known human lineage remains

jaw bone oldest homo fossilA lower jaw bone and five teeth discovered on a hillside in Ethiopia are the oldest remains ever found that belong to the genus Homo, the lineage that ultimately led to modern humans.

Fossil hunters spotted the jaw poking out of a rocky slope in the dry and dusty Afar region of the country about 250 miles from Addis Ababa.

The US-led research team believes the individual lived about 2.8m years ago, when the now parched landscape was open grassland and shrubs nourished by tree-lined rivers and wetlands.

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Darren Wilson will not face federal charges in Michael Brown shooting

darren wilsonDarren Wilson, the white police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, led to months of unrest and revived a debate on race and law enforcement in the US, will not face federal criminal charges.

The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that after a six-month inquiry it has concluded no civil rights charges should be brought against Wilson for killing Michael Brown. A grand jury in St Louis decided last November not to indict Wilson on state charges.

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Slashing a Safety Net: The Demolition of Workers’ Comp

worker's compOver the past decade, state after state has been dismantling America’s workers’ comp system with disastrous consequences for many of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer serious injuries at work each year, a ProPublica and NPR investigation has found.

The cutbacks have been so drastic in some places that they virtually guarantee injured workers will plummet into poverty. Workers often battle insurance companies for years to get the surgeries, prescriptions and basic help their doctors recommend.

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11 big profitable companies pay no tax

11 big profit companies pay no taxYou’re probably figuring out how much you owe the tax man for 2014 about now. The answer for a handful of big profitable companies is zilch.

There are 11 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500, including tire maker Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT), electronic component maker Eaton (ETN) and restaurant chain operator Darden Restaurants (DRI) that paid no income tax in calendar 2014 despite reporting a profit during the year, according to a USA TODAY review of data from S&P Capital IQ.

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Rikers Island inmates stop sexual assault of guard

Rikers IslandA group of inmates at Rikers Island prison in New York saved a female guard from being raped after she was trapped inside a watch post with another inmate who was attacking her.

The inmates tore away the plexiglass surrounding the watch post, allowing one slender inmate to slip in and unlock the door from the inside. Several inmates then entered the post and physically stopped the attack before the guard could be raped.

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UK scientists work out weight of Sophie the Stegosaurus

StegosaurusScientists at a British museum have worked out the living weight of Sophie, one of the world's most complete Stegosaurus skeletons.

London's Natural History Museum said Tuesday that Sophie, a young adult when it died around 150 million years ago, weighed around 1.6 tons (1,600 kilograms) and its body mass was about the same size as a small rhinoceros.

The scientists worked out the dinosaur's body mass after creating a 3-D digital version of its skeleton, calculating the volume of flesh around the bones, and comparing the data with information from similar-sized modern animals.

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GOP Idaho lawmakers object to Hindu prayers

Hindu prayer given IdahoThree lawmakers refused to attend the Idaho Senate's daily invocation after objecting to the offering of a Hindu prayer.

Rajan Zed, guest chaplain, gave a lengthy prayer in both English and Sanskrit on Tuesday that focused on selflessness and peace. Senators from both sides of the aisle shook his hand and thanked him for coming.

However three lawmakers, all Republican, only came back onto the floor once the prayer was over: Sens. Steve Vick of Dalton Garden, Sheryl Nuxoll of Cottonwood and Lori Den Hartog of Meridian.

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Zionist Group's Vote Could Bare Israel's Secret Funding of Settlements

West Bank settlement fundingIt’s an unwritten arrangement Diaspora Jewish leaders and Israel have kept for decades — though few Jews know about it: The government of Israel uses one of world Jewry’s main Zionist funding instruments to hide money that it channels secretly to exclusively Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The funding body is the World Zionist Organization, set up to represent all Jews who support the concept of a Jewish state. For more than a century, the WZO, founded by Theodor Herzl at the first Zionist Congress, has served to gather the Zionist movement’s members under one nonpartisan umbrella.

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