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Thursday, Aug 25th

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Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas make gymnastics history in comeback

Aly RaismanAly Raisman and Gabby Douglas weren’t seeking a told-you-so moment. The gold medals around their necks are satisfying enough, thank you.

But the gymnasts did hear the questions early in their comebacks, skepticism of trying for a second Olympics at their age.  Never mind that both are relatively young — Raisman is 22 and Douglas is 20. In gymnastics, and particularly in U.S. gymnastics, one Olympics is usually all the women get.

But the pair got not only a second Games but a second trip to the podium, becoming the first American gymnasts to be part of two gold-medal winning teams.

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102,000 Louisiana flood victims register for federal aid

Louisiana floodMore than 102,000 Louisiana residents affected by last week's floods have registered for federal aid, the governor's office said.

Richard Corbo, communications director for Gov. John Bel Edwards, said $30 million in federal funding has already been approved to repair and replace thousands of homes and buildings damaged by the flooding.

The flood, which killed at least 13 people, is receding, with parishes across the state varying in their recovery efforts.

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Turkey wedding blast blamed on child suicide bomber

Wedding deathsMore than 50 people have been killed and scores more wounded in a suicide attack at a wedding ceremony in Turkey's southeastern province of Gaziantep, near the Syria border.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that "Daesh is the likely perpetrator of the attack", using the Arabic name for ISIL, also known as ISIS.

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Rights groups say Israel behind death threats campaign

Israel tagets rights groupsThe threats have come via emails, phone calls, and once with flowers delivered directly to the front door.

Amid months of sustained intimidation, harassment and threats, Palestinian human rights defenders are coming forward to denounce a campaign that they say aims to "plant fear" into their efforts to hold Israel accountable for human rights violations.

"This is a very organised and advanced campaign," said Shawan Jabarin, director of Al Haq, a prominent Ramallah-based Palestinian human rights organisation.

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Rights groups say Israel behind death threats campaign

Israel tagets rights groupsThe threats have come via emails, phone calls, and once with flowers delivered directly to the front door.

Amid months of sustained intimidation, harassment and threats, Palestinian human rights defenders are coming forward to denounce a campaign that they say aims to "plant fear" into their efforts to hold Israel accountable for human rights violations.

"This is a very organised and advanced campaign," said Shawan Jabarin, director of Al Haq, a prominent Ramallah-based Palestinian human rights organisation.

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Alex Baer: Working to Live It Up (and Down)

Alex Baer" working to Live it UpThere are still some things in life worse than working for a living.  That's not immediately clear, when the alarm clock has triggered its doomsday, crash-dive klaxon, just when, in your dream, you were headed toward a bulkhead in your pina-colada-submarine... while doing underwater calisthenics with bulked-up dolphins in swim caps.

Another of the things worse than working?  Staying up too late, watching Olympic athletes, and getting too little sleep, finding in the morning that someone has swapped out your brain with moldy linguini and damp sawdust.  This was probably when you dreamed about synchronized snowball fights, and got up in the night, groggy, and turned the A/C blizzard down from arctic eternity to moderately crunchy eyebrows.

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Report: Trump's Companies $650M In Debt

Trump debtOn the campaign trail, Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, has sold himself as a businessman who has made billions of dollars and is beholden to no one.

But an investigation by The New York Times into the financial maze of Mr. Trump’s real estate holdings in the United States reveals that companies he owns have at least $650 million in debt — twice the amount than can be gleaned from public filings he has made as part of his bid for the White House. The Times’s inquiry also found that Mr. Trump’s fortunes depend deeply on a wide array of financial backers, including one he has cited in attacks during his campaign.

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Ex-regulators back Obama in fracking rule court appeal

Ex-regulators back fracking rulesA bipartisan quartet of former high-level Interior Department officials is supporting the Obama administration in its federal court fight defending a regulation on hydraulic fracking.

The officials — who served under presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama — said a Wyoming judge was wrong in June when he struck down Interior’s fracking regulation and ruled that the department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) does not have authority to regulate the process at all.

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Hillary Clinton won't have to testify about emails for group's lawsuit, judge rules

HillaryFormer U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not have to provide a deposition as part of a lawsuit brought by a conservative judicial group that seeks information about her use of a private email account, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The group, Judicial Watch, was hoping the judge would order Clinton's testimony after filing a request for its Freedom of Information Act suit last month.

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