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Monday, Sep 22nd

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Advocate for domestic workers’ rights wins MacArthur ‘genius’ award

Ai-Jen PooIn 2011, a year after the nation’s first domestic workers’ bill of rights became law in New York and a year before she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, Ai-jen Poo was profiled in The New York Times under the headline “The nannies’ Norma Rae.”

It was catchy and recognizable, but it missed the radical nature of her project: Everyone has heard of a unionized factory, but was it possible to organize a dispersed, isolated workforce of nannies, house cleaners and home care attendants?

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CIA and the National Archives Thwart The JFK Act and Obstruct Democratic Accountability

top secret JFKAll records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy ("JFK") are already supposed to be public. That's what Congress intended when it unanimously passed the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 ("JFK Act"). It hasn't happened. The National Archives and the CIA are still withholding thousands of pages of JFK Act records in their entirety, even though it has been more than a half century since the Warren Commission issued its Report on the murder of the President.

NARA's actions violate the law and its intent, and severely erode the principle of democratic accountability, on which America's government is based. This violation directly raises the issue of who writes the law, who rules in the United States: the elected representatives of the people in Congress or the intelligence agencies?

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Darrien Hunt's family and friends remember 'a boy in a man's body'

Darrien HuntA verbal slip-up by his aunt seems to sum up how friends and relatives viewed Darrien Hunt before he was shot dead by police in Utah last week. “He was just like a normal teenager,” Cindy Moss said of her nephew, who was 22.

As they try to understand how Hunt came to be killed after walking around a strip mall in Saratoga Springs with a decorative samurai-style sword, people who knew him are seeking explanations in a youthfulness that they say belied even his relatively tender age.

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Obama insists: No U.S. ground combat troops in Iraq

ObamaPresident Obama doubled down Wednesday on an increasingly questioned pledge: There will be no U.S. ground combat troops back in Iraq.

"I will not commit you, and the rest of our armed forces, to fighting another ground war in Iraq," Obama told troops at the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla.

After a briefing with military leaders at CENTCOM, Obama said forces in Iraq and Syria must fight ground battles against the Islamic State, a jihadist group also known as ISIL and ISIS.

Obama also said the United States — which is conducting airstrikes in Iraq and planning them in Syria — will be joined by a coalition of other nations under threat by the Islamic State.

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Are Routine Scans Causing Cancer?

ct scans. A recent article in the Journal of American Medical Association noted that “a sizeable proportion of patients with advanced cancer continue to undergo cancer screening tests that do not have a meaningful likelihood of providing benefit.” Another published in the September 28, 2010 issue of Health Imaging noted that “as many as 30 percent of diagnostic imaging procedures are inappropriate or contribute no useful information.”

Elsewhere, statistics cited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) estimate that “60 million CT scans and 20 million nuclear medicine scans annually in the US might cause up to 40,000 fatal cancers.”

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Boko Haram: Nigeria teacher training college attacked

Nigeria attack on collegeGunmen have attacked a teacher training college in the Nigerian city of Kano, with officials saying at least 15 people have been killed.

The attackers exchanged fire with police outside the college before running inside.

Another 34 people were injured.

It is not clear who was responsible, although suspicion will fall on militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009.

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Wisconsin voter ID foes ask court to reconsider

voter idCivil rights advocates have officially filed a petition asking a federal appeals court to reconsider a ruling that reinstated Wisconsin's voter photo identification law.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Advancement Project are challenging the Republican-authored law. A federal judge blocked the measure earlier this year but a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Wisconsin election officials could implement the law while that court considers the case. As a result, The state Government Accountability Board, which oversees Wisconsin elections, has been working feverishly to get the law in place in time for the Nov. 4 elections.

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Israel’s N.S.A. Scandal

israel's NSA scandalIn Moscow this summer, while reporting a story for Wired magazine, I had the rare opportunity to hang out for three days with Edward J. Snowden. It gave me a chance to get a deeper understanding of who he is and why, as a National Security Agency contractor, he took the momentous step of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents.

Among his most shocking discoveries, he told me, was the fact that the N.S.A. was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200. This transfer of intercepts, he said, included the contents of the communications as well as metadata such as who was calling whom.

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Celebrity rabbi takes plea bargain over bribery

rabbi guilty of briberyA multimillionaire Israeli celebrity rabbi with a following in the United States has accepted a plea bargain in which he admits to attempting to bribe a senior police official, and could now face a one-year prison sentence, Israel's Justice Ministry said Wednesday.

As part of the plea bargain, the Justice Ministry said Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto will admit to offering bribes and making payments in 2012 in an attempt to receive classified information on a police investigation into him and one of his charitable organizations.

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