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Friday, May 22nd

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Steinem, Nobel laureates in North Korea for march across DMZ

Women march for peaceA group of female peace activists including Gloria Steinem and two Nobel laureates arrived in North Korea's capital on Tuesday for a march across the Demilitarized Zone that they hope will bring world attention to calls for a resolution to tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The rare crossing of the DMZ, approved by both Koreas, is to take place Sunday.

North and South Korea have technically been in a state of war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. Their border along the DMZ is one of the most heavily fortified in the world and it is highly unusual for crossings to be allowed.

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Takata Agrees to Double U.S. Air Bag Recall to 34 Million

Air bagAir-bag maker Takata Corp. gave in to U.S. regulators on Tuesday, agreeing to what will be the largest automotive recall in history as investigators continue to search for the root cause of a defect that has killed at least six people.

About 34 million cars are now on a list for an air bag replacement, double the number that had already been recalled. With vehicles from 11 different automakers and a severe shortage of repair parts, it could take years for all the cars to be made safe, said Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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FTC Accuses Cancer Charities Of Stealing $187 Million

FTC
The Federal Trade Commission and 58 law enforcement partners from every state and the District of Columbia have charged four sham cancer charities and their operators with bilking more than $187 million from consumers.
The defendants told donors their money would help cancer patients, including children and women suffering from breast cancer, but the overwhelming majority of donations benefitted only the perpetrators, their families and friends, and fundraisers. This is one of the largest actions brought to date by enforcers against charity fraud.
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NRA Rushes to Defense of Domestic Abusers

NRA defends domestic abusersLast year, Louisiana passed a number of anti-domestic violence bills which positioned the state as a leader on the issue. However in 2015 the expansion of these bills has proved to be a challenge, with most opposition coming from the NRA.

Currently in the state, if you abuse a romantic partner that you live with, you are no longer able to carry a firearm. However, if you abuse a romantic partner that you don't live with, you are still allowed to carry a gun. State Rep. Helena Moreno wanted to close this loophole and expand the legal definitions that were associated with domestic abuse, but the NRA was concerned that such legislation would cut back on the amount of citizens toting guns. Due to NRA pressure on her colleagues, she was forced to abandon a number of the new bills' provisions and advance watered-down legislation

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Peabody Energy exploited Ebola crisis for corporate gain, say health experts

Peabody exploited ebola crisisPublic health experts involved in the response to the Ebola crisis have condemned what they described as a ludicrous, insulting and opportunistic attempt to exploit the disease for corporate gain by the world’s largest privately-held coal company.

As part of a PR offensive to rebrand coal as a “21st-century fuel” that can help solve global poverty, it has emerged that at the height of Ebola’s impact in Africa, Peabody Energy promoted its product as an answer to Africa’s devastating public health crisis.

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Texas governor signs bill to ban local bans on fracking

Texas fracking bansThe governor of Texas has seized control of the energy narrative in the state by passing a ban on local measures against fracking, advocacy groups said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that prevents city-level ordinances against hydraulic fracturing. Abbott said the bill does a "profound job" of protecting property owners from the "heavy hand" of local regulation.

"This law ensures that Texas avoids a patchwork quilt of regulations that differ from region to region, differ from county to county or city to city," he said in a statement.

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Supreme Court rules felons can sell, transfer guns

Supree CourtThe Supreme Court ruled Monday that convicted felons may be able to transfer their legally owned guns to someone else rather than surrender them to the government.

In siding with a former U.S. Border Patrol agent in Florida convicted on a drug charge, Justice Elena Kagan said authorities can transfer a felon's weapon to a trusted third party, as long as the court is convinced the felon won't use the weapons.

"A felon cannot evade the strictures of [the law] by arranging a shame transfer that leaves him in effective control of his guns," Kagan said.

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Amnesty International warns over torture practice in Morocco

Amnesty InternationalMoroccan authorities still use torture widely despite a ban on the practice, the Amnesty International rights group said in a report Tuesday documenting the abuse.

Despite the ban and statements against torture by King Mohammed VI, law enforcement authorities still abuse protesters, rape detainees with objects and beat confessions out of suspects, it said, detailing 173 cases of abuse and torture since 2010.

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Ethiopian Jews hold protest in Tel Aviv against racism

ethiopian JewsAbout 1,000 Israeli Ethiopian Jews have held a rally in Tel Aviv to protest against institutional racism in Israeli society.

Monday night's march passed without incident under the watch of dozens of security officers, a police spokesman said.
Demonstrators chanted slogans demanding "social justice" and "the arrest of racist police".

Ethiopian Jews in Israel have staged several rallies against alleged police brutality and racism in recent weeks, and some gatherings have turned violent as they clashed with security forces.

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