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Wednesday, Nov 26th

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Washington DC Theater J Cancels Middle East Festival, Prompting Censorship Debate

J TheaterThe Jewish theater company in the nation’s capital is struggling to find its footing in the face of increasing efforts by donors and funders to steer it away from dealing with controversies related to Israel.

Theater J, a nationally acclaimed group under the auspices of the Washington DC Jewish Community Center, has canceled its annual Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival. The theatrical festival, which in the past has included works critical of Israeli policy, was asked to accept a rigorous vetting process of artists this year to limit that criticism.

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Ferguson businesses torched in overnight protests

Ferguson eruptsSmoke billowed from burned-out buildings and sidewalks were strewn with broken glass Tuesday morning after Ferguson erupted over a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer in the killing of unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Firefighters were dousing the blackened remains of some businesses and at least one was still ablaze. Some Ferguson stores that weren't burned had smashed display windows, but the streets of the St. Louis suburb were mostly clear.

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Prosecutor: No indictment in Ferguson case

No indictment in FergusonA white police officer will not face charges for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager in a case that set off violent protests and racial unrest throughout the nation, an attorney close to the case said Monday night.

A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson, 28, for firing six shots in an August confrontation that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the family. The decision had been long awaited and followed rioting that resembled war-zone news footage in this predominantly black suburb of St. Louis.

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Flamboyant and flawed former DC mayor dies

Marion BarryPresident Barack Obama and congressional lawmakers mourned the death Sunday of Marion Barry, Washington, D.C.,’s flamboyant and flawed former four-term mayor whose political career survived a highly-publicized 1990 drug arrest after he was caught on videotape smoking crack cocaine.

Barry died early Sunday morning at the age of 78 at Washington’s United Medical Center. No cause of death was given, but Barry had suffered from a host of ailments including diabetes, prostate cancer, and kidney problems.

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12-year-old dies after officer-involved shooting at Cleveland rec center

Toy gun held by 12 yr. oldMetroHealth Medical Center has confirmed that the 12-year-old has died as a result of his injuries. Samaria Rice, the mother of the child, has obtained an attorney, who from this point will be speaking as the family's representative.

Original Story:  Cleveland Police are investigating after an officer-involved shooting at a Cleveland rec center on Saturday afternoon. Cleveland EMS says a 12-year-old boy was shot and taken to MetroHealth Medical Center with serious injuries. According to his mother, Samaria Rice, the boy is now in critical condition after being shot in the stomach. He is currently in surgery.

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US prisoner in solitary for 42 years has conviction quashed

US solitary confinement prisoner freesThe 1974 murder conviction of America’s longest serving prisoner in solitary confinement has been overturned.

But Albert Woodfox, will remain in jail until the state of Louisiana decides whether to contest the ruling.  He could remain incarcerated in a prison cell the size of a parking space for months, if not years, if Louisiana continues to prolong the legal process as it has over the past two decades.

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U.S. and Israeli firms selling spy gear to repressive regimes

spy gear sold by US firmsAmerican and Israeli companies are selling sophisticated surveillance equipment to some of the most despotic nations in the world, according to a report by a British watchdog organization.

Nations like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries with widespread human rights abuses are using the technology to monitor the communications of thousands of ordinary citizens, and they couldn't do so without the products of the technology companies, says the report by Privacy International.

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