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Wednesday, Jul 30th

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Shaky start likely for Washington state pot sales

Pot sales in washington stateThe nation's second legal recreational marijuana market is opening in Washington on Tuesday, but it might not be what state voters expected when they legalized the sale of heavily taxed pot 20 months ago.

The state's Liquor Control Board was working to issue up to 20 marijuana retail licenses Monday. Stores can open Tuesday if they're ready, but it wasn't clear how many will be. The Liquor Control Board was overwhelmed with nearly 7,000 pot-license applications, and reviewing them has been slow.

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New York City newspaper refers to President Obama as 'N*****' in headline

Racial slur in NY paperA local New York City newspaper is putting itself on the map in a big way thanks an op-ed by author James Lincoln Collier with the title "The [Expletive] in the White House."

In the headline, the WestView News of NYC's West Village used the racial slur to refer to President Barack Obama.

Underneath Collier's piece, which actually argued that "far right voters hate Obama because he is black," the paper ran another op-ed written by African-American columnist Alvin Hall called, "The Headline Offends Me."

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TSA targets mobile phones and electronics in new security policies

TSA to inspect electronicsPassengers using airports that offer direct flights to the US may be forced to switch on their mobile phones and other electronic devices to prove to security officials that they do not contain explosives, it was announced on Sunday.

“During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones,” the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said in a post on its website. It warned: “Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveller may also undergo additional screening.”

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NSA intercepts: ordinary internet users 'far outnumbered' legal targets

NSA interceptsWhen the US National Security Agency (NSA) intercepted the online accounts of legally targeted foreigners over a four-year period it also collected the conversations of nine times as many ordinary internet users, both Americans and non-Americans, according to an investigation by the Washington Post.

Nearly half of those surveillance files contained names, email addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to US citizens or residents, the Post reported in a story posted on its website on Saturday night. While the federal agency tried to protect their privacy by masking more than 65,000 such references to individuals, the newspaper said it found nearly 900 additional email addresses that could be strongly linked to US citizens or residents.

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Fearing Lawsuits, Sheriffs Balk at U.S. Request to Hold Noncitizens for Extra Time

Sheriffs defy fedsSheriffs around the nation are openly rejecting the Obama administration policy of holding noncitizens who are accused or convicted of crimes for extra time, which for years has enabled the federal government to begin deportation proceedings for thousands of immigrants.

The local decisions are limiting the Obama administration’s ability to enforce immigration laws and could significantly decrease the number of immigrants deported each year.

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Train derailment spills Boeing 737 fuselages into river

train derailmentCrews on Sunday will attempt to remove three Boeing 737 fuselages that tumbled down a steep bank and into the Clark Fork River in western Montana after a train derailed.

Montana Rail Link spokeswoman Lynda Frost said Saturday that it's unclear the type of challenge involved because it's the first time the company has faced such a task.

No one was injured when 19 cars from a westbound train derailed Thursday about 10 miles west of Alberton. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

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My push for disclosure ‘destroyed my entire career,’ ex-CIA employee says

jeffrey scudderHis CIA career included assignments in Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq, but the most perilous posting for Jeffrey Scudder turned out to be a two-year stint in a sleepy office that looks after the agency’s historical files.

It was there that Scudder discovered a stack of articles, hundreds of histories of long-dormant conflicts and operations that he concluded were still being stored in secret years after they should have been shared with the public.

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