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Wednesday, Nov 26th

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Fracking: The Downside of the Boom

Fracking downsideIn early August 2013, Arlene Skurupey of Blacksburg, Va., got an animated call from the normally taciturn farmer who rents her family land in Billings County, N.D. There had been an accident at the Skurupey 1-9H oil well. “Oh, my gosh, the gold is blowing,” she said he told her. “Bakken gold.”

It was the 11th blowout since 2006 at a North Dakota well operated by Continental Resources, the most prolific producer in the booming Bakken oil patch. Spewing some 173,250 gallons of potential pollutants, the eruption, undisclosed at the time, was serious enough to bring the Oklahoma-based company’s chairman and chief executive, Harold G. Hamm, to the remote scene.

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12-year-old dies after officer-involved shooting at Cleveland rec center

Toy gun held by 12 yr. oldMetroHealth Medical Center has confirmed that the 12-year-old has died as a result of his injuries. Samaria Rice, the mother of the child, has obtained an attorney, who from this point will be speaking as the family's representative.

Original Story:  Cleveland Police are investigating after an officer-involved shooting at a Cleveland rec center on Saturday afternoon. Cleveland EMS says a 12-year-old boy was shot and taken to MetroHealth Medical Center with serious injuries. According to his mother, Samaria Rice, the boy is now in critical condition after being shot in the stomach. He is currently in surgery.

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Gaza man shot dead by IDF near Israel border

Gaza farmer killed by IDFIsraeli forces have shot dead a Palestinian in the north of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian medics and officials say, the first such case since a 50-day war ended in August.

The victim was identified as Fadel Mohammed Halawa, 32.  He was reported to have been farming or searching for birds that nest close to the boundary with Israel.

Israel's military said it had fired warning shots before shooting at two people approaching the security fence.

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Suicide bomber kills 40 at volleyball match in Afghanistan

Suicide bomber kills 40 at Afghan volley ball gameA suicide bomber attacked spectators at a crowded volleyball match in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing at least 40 people, a provincial official said.

Mukhles Afghan, spokesman for the governor of Paktika province, said at least 50 more were wounded in the attack in Yahya Khel district, where residents had gathered to watch a tournament final.

He said most of the casualties were civilians.

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Israeli Cabinet approves nationality bill

netanyahuIsrael's Cabinet has approved a contentious bill that officially defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

The bill still needs to be passed in parliament to become a law, but Sunday's vote looks to further inflame tensions with Arab Israelis and Palestinians. It could also shake up Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government due to the fierce opposition of two of his more centrist partners.

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The Never-Ending Replay of November 22, 1963

JFK assassinationyear ago this week, no one could escape the wall-to-wall coverage of the Kennedy assassination’s 50th anniversary. Every major U.S. network and many in other countries produced documentary programs and segments about President John F. Kennedy’s administration and his untimely death. Almost all newspapers, magazines, and websites published special editions or wide-ranging stories. Even Dallas came to terms with history and held its first-ever commemoration of the city’s most tragic day.

After the intense 2013 hoopla, it’s a good bet there won’t be much fuss about this Saturday’s 51st anniversary. Yet one effect of the previous November’s concentrated focus on JFK is that people have come forward with new information. None of it, at least that I’ve seen, dramatically re-writes the story of the assassination, but useful details have been added.

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Japan earthquake collapses homes, causes injuries

Japan earthquakeA strong earthquake in the mountainous area of central Japan that hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics destroyed more than half a dozen homes in a ski resort town and injured at least 30 people, officials said.

The magnitude-6.8 earthquake struck Saturday near Nagano city shortly after 10 p.m. (1300 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake's magnitude at 6.2. Since the quake occurred inland, there was no possibility of a tsunami.

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Saudi man released from Guantánamo in rebuke of Republican opposition

Saudi man released from GitmoThe Obama administration announced the release of another Guantánamo Bay detainee on Saturday, rebuking recent calls from congressional Republicans to stop the transfers entirely.

A Saudi man who has spent 12 years at the wartime detention facility, Muhammed Murdi Issa al-Zahrani, will return to Saudi Arabia and enter the kingdom’s rehabilitation program. The transfer brings the detainee population of a prison Barack Obama has vowed for six years to close down to 142 men, 72 of whom the Pentagon considers pose little enough threat as to be eligible for transfer.

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Tortured and Raped by Israel, Persecuted and Imprisoned by the United States

Chicago coalition pro PalestineOn November 10, leading Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh, 67, was jailed after being found "guilty" of immigration fraud.

The US government claims Odeh lied on an immigration application when she said she had never been arrested, convicted or imprisoned.
Odeh is accused of concealing that she was charged by the Israeli military with bombing a supermarket when she was 22.

The charge is based on a "confession" obtained by rape and torture at the hands of members of the Israeli military (IDF) more than 40 years ago. Odeh, who moved to the United States in 1995 and serves as the associate director of the Chicago Arab American Action Network (AAAN), was alleged to have "confessed" to the bombing charges imposed by the Israeli military court.

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