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Tuesday, Sep 02nd

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How the Fracking Industry Undermines Labor

frackingIs there a salary worth risking your health or even your life? Big Oil and Gas might think so, but the ex-industry workers with whom we spoke aren’t so convinced.

Today, Food & Water Watch released Toxic Workplace: Fracking Hazards on the Job, a research brief that exposes the dangers of working in the fracking industry. Subject to long hours on the job, sloppy safety regulations and reporting, lack of injury compensation and close contact with hazardous chemicals, former industry laborers agree that the fracking workplace is a toxic one. As we reflect on the social and economic successes of the labor movement over this holiday weekend, it becomes more evident that the fracking industry may have missed the memo.

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Big Food to divulge chemical info

Big Food to reveal chemicalsFood companies are trying to beat the federal government’s push to make chemicals in food more transparent.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents America’s biggest food companies, announced a major new initiative Wednesday that will give the Food and Drug Administration access to a large database of safety information for chemicals commonly used in processed foods, from Twinkies to almond milk.

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GOP poll of women: Party 'stuck in past'

GOP study on women's supportA detailed report commissioned by two major Republican groups — including one backed by Karl Rove — paints a dismal picture for Republicans, concluding female voters view the party as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past.”

Women are “barely receptive” to Republicans’ policies, and the party does “especially poorly” with women in the Northeast and Midwest, according to an internal Crossroads GPS and American Action Network report obtained by POLITICO. It was presented to a small number of senior aides this month on Capitol Hill, according to multiple sources.

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Militants In Syria Detain 43 UN Peacekeepers

Syrian warAn armed group detained 43 U.N. peacekeepers during fighting in Syria early Thursday and another 81 peacekeepers are trapped, the United Nations said.

The peacekeepers were detained on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights during a "period of increased fighting between armed elements and the Syrian Arab Armed Forces," the office of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement. It said another 81 peacekeepers are "currently being restricted to their positions in the vicinity of Ar Ruwayhinah and Burayqah."

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Arab East Jerusalem seethes with protests and raids

Arab est JerusalemViolent protests in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem have been raging nightly beyond the spotlight on the Gaza war, leading to a crackdown by Israeli police in which hundreds of Palestinians have been detained.

Street clashes with police in riot gear, military-style raids on homes late at night and stone-throwing at Israeli vehicles have marked the most serious outbreak of violence in Jerusalem since a Palestinian uprising a decade ago.

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Range where instructor killed by girl drew concerns

Shooting rangeThe Bullets and Burgers gun range at Arizona Last Stop fell silent this week.

No high-powered rounds could be heard at the biker bar a mile down the road, no tourists were allowed to try firing a fully automatic rifle, and no downrange neighbors feared a stray bullet. The range has closed indefinitely.

It was the week Lance Krig had both hoped for and feared since 2012. On Monday, a 9-year-old New Jersey girl would lose control of an Uzi and fatally shoot her firearms instructor.

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WHO: Ebola outbreak accelerates, could infect 20,000 people

Ebola outbreakThe Ebola outbreak could infect more than 20,000 people within nine months, and efforts to halt its spread could cost up to half a billion dollars, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

In an assessment released Thursday, the U.N. agency said the epidemic "continues to accelerate" with more than 40 percent of reported cases occurring within just the last three weeks.

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Russia 'directly involved' in Ukraine fighting, widens assault

Russia invades UkraineRussian forces have seized the coastal town of Novoazovsk and several villages near the border in Ukraine, and are now openly involved in the fighting, Kiev said Thursday.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called on the United Nations to convene an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council and the European Council to address was he said was a Russian invasion.

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N.D. gets federal grant to address crimes against women in boom towns

ND oil field The boost in North Dakota's economy from the oil boom has been met with a corresponding increase in crimes against women, Sen. John Hoeven said.

Hoeven, R-N.D., said the state received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Justice Department to help prosecute crimes against women in the Bakken region of the state.

"The rapid growth of western North Dakota's economy and population has also brought challenges, including crimes against women," Hoeven said in a statement Tuesday. "These grants are one of the law enforcement resources we're working to provide for the Bakken [area], as well as a larger drug enforcement and FBI presence in the region."

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