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Court Says No To Gagging Those Who Reveal Farm Animal Abuse

animal abuse  reports not gaggedA hard-to-watch video, filmed in 2012 by undercover investigators with Mercy for Animals, shows Idaho dairy farm workers viciously abusing cows.

The state's response: It charged the workers with misdemeanors and then caved to the meat and dairy industry with a 2014 law that makes whistleblowing on farms a crime punishable with a $5,000 fine and a year in jail.

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Alex Baer: Creative Cursing -- This Taste Bud's For You

Creative cursingSometimes, when I remember, and when I am trying to be polite (despite being mightily peeved at something or other), I will exclaim "Bolshoi!" instead of shouting the name of the food that comes out of bulls, after the bulls are all done with it.

It's a few semi-tasteful steps removed from the more obvious "Oh, bullcrap!"  Plus, I'd like to think that this small effort on my part helps the people around me keep some calming distance between that particular nitrogen-fixer and their own finer sensibilities.

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Raging California Wildfires Drive 13,000 From Their Homes

California wildfiresFirefighters were working aggressively to regain control after a raging Northern California fire jumped a highway that had served as a containment line for the massive blaze — one of 20 wildfires burning in California.

Cooler weather had helped crews build a buffer Monday between the wildfire and some of the thousands of homes it threatened as it tore through drought-withered brush in Lake County that hadn't burned in years.

But Monday afternoon erratic wind blew hot embers north of Highway 20 ignited several fires across the highway north of the city of Clearlake.

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Senate blocks Planned Parenthood defunding measure

Planned Parenthood defunding blockedRepublican legislation to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood failed to gather enough support in the U.S. Senate on Monday, halting at least for now moves to punish the women's health group for its role in gathering fetal tissue from abortions for medical research.

Senate Democrats succeeded in stopping the bill on a procedural vote. Sixty votes were needed to advance it in the 100-person chamber. It received 53 votes, with 46 senators opposing it.

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Alabama officer kept job after proposal to murder black man and hide evidence

Roy MiddlebrookA police officer in Alabama proposed murdering a black resident and creating bogus evidence to suggest the killing was in self-defence, the Guardian has learned.

Officer Troy Middlebrooks kept his job and continues to patrol Alexander City after authorities there paid the man $35,000 to avoid being publicly sued over the incident. Middlebrooks, a veteran of the US marines, said the man “needs a god damn bullet” and allegedly referred to him as “that nigger”, after becoming frustrated that the man was not punished more harshly over a prior run-in.

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Hate Obamacare? Wanna Fire Gays? Create a Fake Church!

Hate gays?  Create a fake churchFor many Christians, God isn’t just their copilot—he’s their lawyer, too. And he’s a good one, with lots of ways to get around laws and regulations that they’d rather not obey.

Consider two of the most contentious Supreme Court decisions of the last few terms:  King v. Burwell, which preserved Obamacare, and Obergefell, which gave gay couples the right to marry. Both of these cases were high-wattage media affairs and possibly historic moments.

But if you’d prefer not to obey them, with the right amount of religion, that’s not too hard to do.

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FDA approves first 3-D printed pill

3-D pill approvedThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first 3-D printed pill, an epilepsy medication designed to be easier to swallow for adults with swallowing disorders and children.

Although 3-D printing has been used to create devices, implants, prosthetics and tissues for both research and medical procedures, this is the first drug using the technology that has been approved for use.

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How New York's mentally ill get lost in courts, jails and hospitals

NY mentally ill mistreatmentIn a 2014 survey of forensic psychiatric services across the country by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, or NASMHPD, 31 of 40 responding states reported wait times averaging a month or more for patients with criminal charges to get hospital beds.

Washington state’s Department of Social and Health Services called decompensation of restored defendants in jail “a continuing expensive and time-consuming problem” in a 2006 report to the state legislature.

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Israeli arrested after West Bank arson that killed toddler

israeli extremist arrestedIsrael said Tuesday it was interrogating the suspected head of a Jewish extremist group in the first arrest of an Israeli suspect following last week's arson attack in the West Bank that killed a Palestinian toddler and wounded his brother and parents.

According to the Shin Bet security agency, 23-year-old Meir Ettinger was arrested late Monday for "involvement in an extremist Jewish organization."

The agency would not say if he is also suspected in the July 31 arson attack, but it has accused Ettinger of heading an extremist movement seeking to bring about religious "redemption" through attacks on Christian sites and Palestinian homes.

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