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Thursday, Oct 23rd

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U.S. threatened Yahoo with daily $250K fines over user data

Yahoo dataThe U.S. government threatened Yahoo with daily fines of $250,000 for refusing to hand over user data as part of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, Yahoo said Thursday.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review released more than 1,500 pages of previously secret documents related to Yahoo's 2007 challenge to the government's demand for data, the company's general counsel Ron Bell said on Yahoo's Tumblr page.

No documents were available immediately, but Yahoo is in the process of making them all public, he said.

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Texas textbooks tout Christian heritage

Texas textbooksTexas students may soon be reading in their history textbooks that the American system of democracy was inspired by Moses, segregated schools weren’t all that bad and taxes imposed for programs like Social Security haven’t measurably improved society.

Those passages are among dozens of biased, misleading or inaccurate lessons identified on Wednesday by a panel of scholars commissioned by a liberal advocacy group to analyze dozens of new history, geography and civics textbooks up for review by the state Board of Education.

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Obama authorizes air strikes in Syria

Obama Isis policyPresident Barack Obama told Americans on Wednesday he had authorized U.S. air strikes for the first time in Syria and more attacks in Iraq in a broad escalation of a campaign against the Islamic State militant group.

Obama's decision to launch attacks inside Syria, which is embroiled in a three-year civil war, showed the seriousness of the threat American officials see from Islamic State. A year ago, the president shied away from air strikes against Syria's government for its use of chemical weapons against Syrians.

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Report: NFL knew of Ray Rice video in April

Roger GoodellHeads continue to roll in light of the latest Ray Rice video coming out, and the next t roll could be that of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

That is, if he in fact did see the video of Rice hitting his then-fiance, something he's denied seeing to this point.

The Associated Press is reporting that a law enforcement official did in fact send copy of the Ray Rice tape to an NFL executive back in April.

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Missouri execution contested over drug secrecy and racism claims

Missouri executionLawyers and civil rights advocates are scrambling to stop the execution a black death row inmate in Missouri who was sentenced to death by an all-white jury for his role in a double murder.

Barring last-minute intervention from Missouri governor Jay Nixon or the courts, Earl Ringo, 40, will be injected with a massive dose of lethal drugs at one minute past midnight local time on Wednesday morning. The pending execution has kicked up a storm of controversy, both over the secrecy that the state has imposed over its lethal injection procedures and the racial overtones in the case.

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Professor fired for Israel criticism urges University of Illinois to reinstate him

professor SalaitaSteven Salaita, a university professor whose appointment at the University of Illinois was withdrawn last month after he was critical of Israel on Twitter, spoke publicly for the first time on Tuesday, saying he should be reinstated on the grounds of academic freedom.

“I am a passionate advocate for equality, a fair and open-minded instructor, and highly collegial. No legitimate evidence exists for any claims or insinuations to the contrary, which have severely damaged any reputation and my prospects for future employment,” he said.

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Justice Department Memo Provides the CIA's Legal Justification to Kill a US Citizen

drone"This white paper sets forth the legal basis upon which the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) could use lethal force in Yemen against a United States citizen who senior officials reasonably determined was a senior leader of al-Qaida or an associated force of al-Qaida."

So begins a 22-page, heavily redacted, previously top-secret document titled "Legality of a Lethal Operation by the Central Intelligence Agency Against a US Citizen," which provides the first detailed look at the legal rationale behind lethal operations conducted by the agency. The white paper [pdf below] was turned over to VICE News in response to a long-running Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department.

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