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Monday, Jan 26th

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Cops Shot Blacks’ Mugshots as Practice

Cops shot blacks mugshotsUS police officers have been criticised for using mug shots of black suspects for target practice in Florida.

The images used by North Miami Beach Police were discovered by a female soldier who used the firing range after a police training session.  Sgt Valerie Deant recognised her brother as one of the target images, according to NBC Miami.

Police Chief J Scott Dennis said that his officers had used poor judgment but denied racial profiling.

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Fighting rages anew at Ukraine airport, three soldiers killed

Fighting at Ukraine airportFighting raged on Saturday at the main airport of Ukraine's city of Donetsk as separatists resumed attempts to break the tenuous grip of government forces on the complex and Kiev's military said three more Ukrainian soldiers had been killed.

With attempts to restart peace talks stalled, pro-Russian rebels have stepped up shelling attacks to break the resistance of government troops dug in at the airport, itself a wrecked hulk battered by months of war.

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GOP women object to rape clause in 20-week abortion bill

Renee EllmersA group of female GOP lawmakers is trying to pressure the Republican leadership team to make changes to a 20-week abortion ban the House is set to vote on next week.

Led by Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina, the lawmakers are protesting language that requires a rape victim to formally report her assault to police to qualify for an exemption from the legislation’s abortion restrictions.

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Ted Cruz’s control of Senate science panel triggers some anxiety

Ted CruzSen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has a new role in the Republican-controlled Senate, and it’s not about being obstructionist.

Cruz is now the chairman of a key subcommittee that oversees NASA and science and he’s already shaking things up, calling for the space agency to re-focus on exploration instead of other research.

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Guantánamo Diary exposes brutality of US rendition and torture

Gitmo diaryThe groundbreaking memoir of a current Guantánamo inmate that lays bare the harrowing details of the US rendition and torture programme from the perspective of one of its victims is to be published next week after a six-year battle for the manuscript to be declassified.

Guantánamo Diary, the first book written by a still imprisoned detainee, is being published in 20 countries and has been serialised by the Guardian amid renewed calls by civil liberty campaigners for its author’s release.

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US supreme court agrees to hear cases on right to same-sex marriage nationwide

US supreme court to hear gay marriage argumentsThe supreme court on Friday announced it will review four same-sex marriage cases in this session, nearly two years after its landmark decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (Doma) set in course a string of swift victories for the marriage equality movement.

Advocates, opponents and lawmakers have been anxious for a once-and-for-all ruling on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in the US after the supreme court struck down key parts of Doma in June 2013. Months later, the status of state same-sex marriage laws began changing on nearly a weekly basis.

The case will be argued in April and a decision is expected by late June.

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Eric Holder Curbing Federal Government's Role In Civil Asset Forfeiture

Eric HolderAttorney General Eric Holder is curbing the federal government's role in a civil asset forfeiture program involving local and state law enforcement agencies.

Holder says federal agencies will no longer take possession of assets seized by local law enforcement, unless the property includes firearms or and other materials that concern public safety.

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Boy Says He Didn't Go To Heaven; Publisher Says It Will Pull Book

Boy didn't go to heaven....Nearly five years after it hit best-seller lists, a book that purported to be a 6-year-old boy's story of visiting angels and heaven after being injured in a bad car crash is being pulled from shelves. The young man at the center of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, Alex Malarkey, said this week that the story was all made up.

The book's publisher, Tyndale House, had promoted it as "a supernatural encounter that will give you new insights on Heaven, angels, and hearing the voice of God."

But Thursday, Tyndale House confirmed to NPR that it is taking "the book and all ancillary products out of print."

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In U.S. academia, fields that cherish sheer genius shun women

Women shunned certain areasFor academic fields whose members revere a "spark of genius" above all other qualities, there is a disquieting message at U.S. colleges and universities: women need not apply.

That's the findings of research published on Thursday that sought to get to the bottom of why women are under-represented in a range of academic disciplines including some in science and math but also in other areas such as philosophy.

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