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Wednesday, Apr 01st

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Antarctica Recorded Its Hottest Temperature Ever This Week

Antartica hottest week everThe coldest place on Earth just got warmer than has ever been recorded.

According to the weather blog Weather Underground, on Tuesday, March 24, the temperature in Antarctica rose to 63.5°F (17.5C) — a record for the polar continent. Part of a longer heat wave, the record high came just a day after the previous record was set at 63.3°F.

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Northeast Resists More Pipelines, Despite Higher Energy Costs

northeast resists pipelinesThere is near universal agreement that the Northeast has to expand its energy supply to rein in the nation's highest costs and that cheap, abundant, relatively clean natural gas could be at least a short-term answer. But heels dig deep when it comes to those thorniest of questions: how and where?

Proposals to build or expand natural gas pipelines are met with an upswell of citizen discontent. At the end of last year, a Massachusetts route selected by Texas-based Kinder Morgan generated so much venom that the company nudged it north into New Hampshire — where the venom is also flowing freely. During this winter's town meetings, a centuries-old staple of local governance in New England, people in the nine towns touched by the route voted to oppose the project.

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Feds aim to protect low-income users of ‘payday’ loans

payday loansEach month, more than 200,000 needy U.S. households take out what’s advertised as a brief loan.

Many have run out of money between paychecks. So they obtain a “payday” loan to tide them over. Problem is, such loans can often bury them in fees and debts. Their bank accounts can be closed, their cars repossessed.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed rules Thursday to protect Americans from stumbling into what it calls a “debt trap.” At the heart of the plan is a requirement that payday lenders verify borrowers’ incomes before approving a loan.

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Demanding recognition, Negev Bedouin march into Jerusalem

Befouin march on jerusalemRepresentatives of the Joint List of Arab political factions presented a plan for government recognition of Bedouin villages in the Negev to the President’s Office on Sunday, as dozens of demonstrators protested outside Reuven Rivlin’s official residence demanding more equitable planning for some 100,000 Arab residents living in 36 villages in Israel’s south.

The demonstrators arrived in Jerusalem following a four-day march from the unrecognized village of Wadi Ni’m in the Negev, a distance of 130 kilometers (80 miles). They argued that the government-commissioned Prawer Plan — a costly five-year scheme prescribing the relocation of tens of thousands of Bedouins from their makeshift communities to recognized villages — is both unjust and incompatible with the residents’ pastoral lifestyle.

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Malawi to burn $7.5 million worth of ivory to try and deter further elephant poaching

ivory burnedOne of the world's poorest countries is to have a $7.5 million bonfire this week.

Malawi, a landlocked country in south-eastern Africa, will set fire to a huge stockpile of ivory, reports The Independent. Almost four tons of ivory poached from elephants will be set on fire to try and deter poachers.

The pile is estimated to be worth millions in a country which is extremely poor and in the throes of a corruption scandal, when millions of dollars were removed from government funds.

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Fracking Town’s Desperate Laid-off Workers: ‘They Don’t Tell You It’s All a Lie’

Fracking lay offsOnly a year ago, Williston’s shale oil explosion was still gushing jobs. From 2010 to 2014, thanks to the Bakken shale oil patch, it was the fastest growing small city in the nation. Williston nearly tripled in size, from 12,000 to 35,000 people.

But the number of active rigs used to drill new wells in the Bakken dropped to 111 in March, the lowest number since April 2010, according to state figures. Low oil prices have prompted drilling to slow down, and companies big and small have been laying off workers and cutting hours.

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Arab leaders agree to form joint military force to combat jihadis in region

Arab leaders form joint forceArab leaders have agreed to form a joint military force, the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, announced on Sunday on the second and final day of the Arab League summit.

“The Arab leaders have decided to agree on the principle of a joint Arab military force,” Sisi said.

The decision was primarily aimed at fighting jihadis who have overrun swaths of Iraq and Syria and won a foothold in Libya, the Arab League chief, Nabil al-Arabi, said.

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Air Canada plane 'exits' Halifax runway while landing

Air Canada plane exits HalifaxAn Air Canada aeroplane "exited" the runway while landing at Halifax airport, the airline says.  The A320 Airbus was carrying 133 passengers and five crew. A total of 23 were taken to hospital for observation and treatment for minor injuries.

Flight AC624 from Toronto arrived shortly after midnight (04:00 GMT) and reportedly hit a power pylon after landing. There were stormy conditions at the time, with snow on the ground.

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Hamas rocket whiz gets 21 years in Israeli jail

Hamas rocket whiz sentencedThe Beersheba District Court on Thursday convicted Hamas engineer Dirar Abu Sissi and sentenced him to 21 years in jail, four years after Israel nabbed the infamous rocket maker.

Abu Sissi, known by the sobriquet the “father of rockets,” was convicted as part of a plea bargain that saw him charged with conspiracy to commit murder, arms manufacture, membership in a terror organization and possession of weapons.

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