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Fiat Chrysler hit with $105M fine by NHTSA over failed recalls

Fiat=Chrysler finedFiat Chrysler was officially hit with a record $105 million penalty by the U.S. Department of Transportation on Sunday over nearly two dozen safety recalls it failed to complete, officials said.

The Dept. of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the penalty Sunday, which is part of an agreement that will allow some customers to sell their affected vehicles back to the automaker.


US preparing to release convicted Israeli spy Pollard

PollardThe Obama administration is preparing to release Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. Navy intelligence officer convicted of spying for Israel, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing U.S. officials.

The release would end a decades-long fight between Israel and the United States over Pollard, 60, who was convicted of spying for Israel and sentenced in 1987 to life in prison with a minimum of 30 years, a period that ends this November.


In Fiery Speeches, Francis Excoriates Global Capitalism

Pope FrancisHis speeches can blend biblical fury with apocalyptic doom. Pope Francis does not just criticize the excesses of global capitalism. He compares them to the “dung of the devil.” He does not simply argue that systemic “greed for money” is a bad thing. He calls it a “subtle dictatorship” that “condemns and enslaves men and women.”

Having returned to his native Latin America, Francis has renewed his left-leaning critiques on the inequalities of capitalism, describing it as an underlying cause of global injustice, and a prime cause of climate change. Francis escalated that line last week when he made a historic apology for the crimes of the Roman Catholic Church during the period of Spanish colonialism — even as he called for a global movement against a “new colonialism” rooted in an inequitable economic order.


Psychologists Shielded CIA Torture

cia tortureThe Central Intelligence Agency’s health professionals repeatedly criticized the agency’s post-Sept. 11 interrogation program, but their protests were rebuffed by prominent outside psychologists who lent credibility to the program, according to a new report.

The 542-page report, which examines the involvement of the nation’s psychologists and their largest professional organization, the American Psychological Association, with the harsh interrogation programs of the Bush era, raises repeated questions about the collaboration between psychologists and officials at both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon.


Episcopal church votes to divest from fossil fuels: 'This is a moral issue'

Episcopal church to divest from fossil fuelThe leadership of the Episcopal church has voted to withdraw from fossil fuel holdings as a means of fighting climate change, delivering an important symbolic victory to environmental campaigners.

Two weeks after the pope’s pastoral letter on the environment, the divestment decision by a major US Protestant denomination underscored that climate change is increasingly seen by religious leaders as a deeply moral issue.


Autopsy of Freddie Gray shows 'high-energy' impact

Freddy GrayFreddy Gray suffered a single "high-energy injury" — like those seen in shallow-water diving incidents — most likely caused when the police van in which he was riding suddenly decelerated, according to a copy of the autopsy report obtained by The Baltimore Sun.

The state medical examiner's office concluded that Gray's death could not be ruled an accident, and was instead a homicide, because officers failed to follow safety procedures "through acts of omission."


Unapologetic Rachel Dolezal resigns from NAACP chapter over race 'storm'

Rachel DolezalRachel Dolezal, the civil-rights leader in the middle of a firestorm over accusations that she has been misrepresenting herself as black, has resigned unapologetically from her post at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The story of Dolezal “passing” for a different race quickly went viral on Friday after her parents told a local news station that their daughter, who had publicly cited her African lineage, is actually of Czech and German heritage – with “traces of Native American ancestry”.


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