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Sunday, Feb 07th

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Alex Baer: Tales of Doctor Truebeem

Dr. TrubeemIt would be so much easier if election laws specified a new tag line at the end of every candidate's campaign ad:  a one-line summation of what, exactly, the candidate's overall goal, plan, and aim was all about.

I think you'll admit the current format doesn't help much, where the candidate is heard saying, "I'm M. T. Poseur, [or Ecoli Ebola-Zika, or whoever] and I approved this message."

This gets into trickier ground, though, of course.  Who is to say what, exactly, any candidate really, truly stands for -- what he or she really hopes to accomplish?  It triggers the whole who-watches-the-watchers Orwellian nightmare.

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Lies, Damned Lies And Last Night's GOP Debate Talking Points

GOP Debate fact checkDays before the New Hampshire primary, the top seven Republican presidential candidates stretched some facts in the eighth GOP debate.

Sen. Ted Cruz incorrectly claimed that waterboarding doesn’t meet the “generally recognized” definition of torture. The definition he gave reflects a controversial 2002 Bush administration memo.

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Rescuers in Taiwan search through rubble from earthquake for more survivors

Taiwan earthquakeThe death toll from the magnitude-6.4 earthquake that struck Taiwan climbed to at least 26 people Sunday, and more than 100 remained in the rubble of a 17-story residential building that collapsed, officials said.

In the southeast coastal city of Tainan, one or two survivors at a time were pulled from the ruins of the high-rise building that fell like an accordion in Saturday's earthquake and has become the focal point of the disaster.

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Turkey: Reaching limits but will keep taking in refugees

Turkey: Reaching limits but will keep taking in refugeesTurkey has reached the end of its "capacity to absorb" refugees but will continue to take them in, the deputy premier said Sunday, as his country faced mounting pressure to open its border to tens of thousands of Syrians who have fled a government onslaught.

The United Arab Emirates meanwhile joined Saudi Arabia in saying that it was open to the idea of sending ground troops to Syria to battle the Islamic State group, raising the possibility of even greater foreign involvement in the five-year-old civil war.

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Hijab-wearing professor to leave Christian college

Hijab-wearing Professor leaves Christian collegeA professor at an evangelical university near Chicago who got in trouble after saying Muslims and Christians worship the same God will leave the school, according to a joint statement released by Wheaton College on Saturday night.

Larycia Hawkins, a tenured political science professor, had been scheduled for a disciplinary hearing in five days to determine whether she would be allowed to remain at Wheaton.

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Tap water runs brown in impoverished northeast Louisiana

Brown water in Louisiana“I’m scared to take a bath,” said Ethel Strum, who lives in St. Joseph, a community of barely 1,000 people in northeast Louisiana.

She turned on the tap in the bathroom sink of her tidy one-story home and the water flowed clear for a second before fading to a milky brown. In her kitchen, a few cases of bottled water, which she uses for everything from brushing her teeth to cooking, are stacked on the table.

“I drive to Newellton to shower. It’s a 20-minute drive but I can do it in 12,” she laughed.

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65,000% Spike In Reported Radioactivity After Tritium Leaks At Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

Tritium spike at Indian Point ground waterTwo years after being fined for falsifying safety records, nine months after a transformer exploded at the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor just 37 miles from midtown Manhattan, and two months after Entergy - the plant's operator - shut down the Unit 2 reactor after a major power outage cut power to several control rods (when the company assured that no radioactivity was released into the environment), this afternoon NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said he learned that "radioactive tritium-contaminated water" had leaked into the groundwater at the nuclear facility in Westchester County.

Cuomo, in a letter Saturday to the state Health Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation, called for the probe into the Indian Point NPP after he said Entergy, the plant's owner, reported "alarming levels of radioactivity" at three monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent.

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North Korea fires long-range rocket despite warnings

N. korea fires rocketNorth Korea has fired a long-range rocket, which critics say is a test of banned missile technology.

The country had notified UN agencies in advance that it intended to put an earth observation satellite into orbit.
Both South Korea's military and a US defence official speaking to Reuters news agency confirmed the launch.

It appears that the rocket was fired from a missile base in the north-west of the country and passed over Japan's southern Okinawa islands.

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NY Gov. Cuomo announces regulations to prevent gay 'conversion therapy'

Andrew CuomoNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday announced regulations to prevent "conversion therapy," a practice aimed at changing an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, in the Empire State.

Conversion therapy aims to transform gays and lesbians into heterosexuals. It has been denounced by several leading medical groups, including the American Psychological Association, which says efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy have "serious potential to harm young people because they present the view that the sexual orientation of lesbian, gay and bisexual youth is a mental illness or disorder."

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