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Tuesday, Oct 21st

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Ashraf Ghani sworn in as Afghanistan's new president

Ashraf GhaniAfter an exhausting and contentious election process, Ashraf Ghani, a US-educated anthropologist turned reformist politician, has finally been sworn in as president of Afghanistan in the first peaceful transfer of power since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

“I am no better than you,” Ghani told an audience of 1,400 guests, including approximately 200 foreign dignitaries at the Arg, the presidential palace. “If I do something the proper way, support me. If I do something wrong, guide me,” he continued, quoting Abu Bakr, Sunni Islam’s first caliph.

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Trial of 46 alleged jihadists begins in Belgium

Jhadist trial in BelgiumThe Antwerp, Belgium, trial of 46 alleged jihadists who traveled to Syria to fight for the Islamic State begins Monday.

The trial is an indication of the number of people from European countries joining Islamist militant organizations in Syria and Iraq, as well as an exposure of Belgium as a recruiting hub.

The trial of eight arrested in Belgium and 38 still believed to be in Syria is an example of Europe's clampdown strategy, with increased prosecutions and tougher legislation against involvement in uprising such as that of the IS, which is attempting to create a self-described caliphate in the Middle East.

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Turmeric may ward off dementia, heal the brain

TurmericA new study by scientists in Germany has found a that a main ingredient in curry powder, the spice turmeric, can help the brain regenerate neurons and repair itself.

When researchers coated neural stem cells, isolate in petri dishes, in a chemical extracted from turmeric, the cells grew more prolifically into neurons than did control cells untouched by any foreign substances. The same turmeric-derived chemical compound had similar effects when injected into the brains of live rats.

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Elizabeth Warren is calling for an investigation of the Federal Reserve

Elizabeth Warren"This American Life" did a program on Friday on the information obtained by Carmen Segarra from her time as a New York Fed bank examiner in 2012, where she investigated Goldman Sachs and began to notice the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was unwilling to support her allegation that the bank was missing policies regarding conflicts of interest.

Now, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is calling for a congressional hearing to discuss corruption in the Federal Reserve Bank. She has already received support from Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio."These allegations deserve a full and thorough investigation, and American taxpayers deserve regulators who will fight each day on their behalf," Brown said in a statement.

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Ice melt dilutes Arctic sea’s CO2 clean-up role

Ice meltNew scientific research confirms that global warming is melting increasingly larger areas of Arctic sea ice − and reducing its vital function of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

The Arctic ice cap has just passed its summer minimum – and it’s the sixth lowest measure of sea ice recorded since 1978, according to scientists at the US space agency NASA.

For three decades, the shrinking Arctic ice – and the growing area of clear blue water exposed each summer – has been a cause of increasing alarm to climate scientists.

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9/11 victims: Saudi Arabia’s backing of al-Qaida made attacks possible

9/11 and the SaudisAs defense attorneys tried again last week to get Saudi Arabia dropped from a massive federal lawsuit accusing it of complicity in the 9/11 attacks, lawyers for those who survived, and relatives of the dead, filed a sweeping new statement of the evidence they are marshaling for trial.

The 156-page pleading offers the court a fresh account of what’s become known about Saudi Arabia’s alleged ties to al-Qaida since it was initially dismissed from the lawsuit in 2005. An appeals court reinstated Saudi Arabia and its agency, the Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SHC), as defendants late last year.

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'We are always cordial': Westboro Baptists and 'Equality House' forge bizarre neighbourhood truce

Equality HouseFew neighbourly disagreements are as peculiar, or as visible, as the dispute that rages at the end of Southwest Churchill Road, in an otherwise quiet part of Topeka, Kansas.

On one side of the street is the Westboro Baptist church, the insular and fiercely anti-gay group which has gained infamy for its its offensive protests and placard signs. There is an upside-down American flag in the churchyard and billboards informing passing cars that ‘God Hates Fags’, alongside CCTV cameras, threats to trespassers and a warning that homosexuals risk “the vengeance of eternal fire”.

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Child among 15 injured, one critically, in Miami nightclub shooting

Miami shootingFifteen people were wounded in a shooting that sent terrified patrons scrambling from a Miami nightclub early Sunday, police said, adding the youngest victim is 11 years old.

When Miami police and rescue crews arrived at a club called The Spot, around 1am, they said they found chaos among a large crowd of adults and teenagers. Rescuers found wounded people inside and outside the club, reporting that some were too hurt to flee. At least one person was reported in critical condition but the extent of the other injuries wasn’t immediately known.

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Pro-Democracy Protesters Swarm Hong Kong, Violent Clashes With Police

Hong Kong riotsPolice used tear gas, batons and pepper spray against pro-democracy demonstrators in central Hong Kong Sunday, as tens of thousands joined a civil disobedience movement that seeks unfettered elections for the city’s top job.

The demonstrations, which were originally supposed to be confined to the Central district, continued into Monday morning and spread to various neighborhoods, including across the iconic harbor in Kowloon. Tear gas even billowed into the city’s famously efficient subway system.

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