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Friday, Mar 06th

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Five cars still on fire in Illinois following oil train derailment carrying ND crude

train fireThe rail cars that split open and burst into flames during a western Illinois oil train derailment this week had been retrofitted with protective shields to meet a higher safety standard than federal law requires, according to railroad officials.

The fire continued to burn Friday, a day after the derailment in a rural area south of the city of Galena. No injuries were reported, but the accident was the latest in a series of failures for the safer tank-car model that has led some people calling for even tougher requirements.

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Federal Rule To Extend Medical Leave To Same-Sex Spouses In All States

Medical leave extended to same sex couples in all statesLegally married spouses in same-sex couples soon will be able to take unpaid time off to care for a spouse or sick family members even if they live in a state that doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.

The final rule issued by the Department of Labor takes effect March 27. It revises the definition of "spouse" in the Family and Medical Leave Act to recognize legally married same-sex couples regardless of where they live. Prior to that, only couples that lived in a state that recognized same-sex marriage could take advantage of the act's benefits.

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Dirty water kills more women than AIDS and breast cancer: study

Dirty water kills more women than AIDS or breast cancerDiseases spread through dirty water and poor sanitation are the fifth biggest killer of women worldwide, causing more deaths than AIDS, diabetes or breast cancer, researchers say.

Nearly 800,000 women die every year because they lack access to safe toilets and clean water, said the development organization WaterAid, which analyzed data from the Seattle-based Institute of Health Metrics research center.

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Ferguson judge behind aggressive fines policy owes $170,000 in unpaid taxes

Ronald BrockmeyerThe judge in Ferguson, Missouri, who is accused of fixing traffic tickets for himself and colleagues while inflicting a punishing regime of fines and fees on the city’s residents, also owes more than $170,000 in unpaid taxes.

Ronald J Brockmeyer, whose court allegedly jailed impoverished defendants unable to pay fines of a few hundred dollars, has a string of outstanding debts to the US government dating back to 2007, according to tax filings obtained by the Guardian from authorities in Missouri.

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DNA evidence clears Nevada woman who spent 30 years in prison

Nevada woman freed after 30 yearsProsecutors are dropping the case against a Nevada woman who spent more than 30 years in prison for a 1976 murder before a judge ordered a new trial based on recently discovered DNA evidence, the district attorney said on Friday.

Washoe County district attorney Chris Hicks told reporters that there will be no retrial of Cathy Woods in the fatal stabbing of Michelle Mitchell on the edge of the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno.

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New Jersey Sen. Menendez to face federal corruption charges: report

Robert MenendezThe Justice Department is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, alleging that the congressman used his office to benefit the business of a donor and friend, reports said Friday.

The senator has been under investigation since at least 2013 over allegations that he helped a donor, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, secure contracts with the government of the Dominican Republic and protected that same donor during a U.S. investigation of Medicare fraud.

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Nasa's Dawn probe achieves orbit around Ceres

CeresThe US space agency's Dawn probe has gone into orbit around Ceres, the largest object in the Solar System between Mars and Jupiter.

A signal from the satellite confirming its status was received by ground stations at 13:36 GMT.  Ceres is the first of the dwarf planets to be visited by a spacecraft.  Scientists hope to glean information from the object that can tell them about the Solar System's beginnings, four and a half billion years ago.

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Millions at risk from 'Freak' encryption bug

Freak-  encryption bugMicrosoft has issued a security warning about a bug that could let attackers spy on supposedly secure communications.

Called "Freak", the bug was found in software used to encrypt data passing between web servers and web users.

Initially the flaw was thought only to affect some users of Android and Blackberry phones and Apple's Safari web browser.  Microsoft's warning suggests millions more may be at risk of losing data.

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How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Ring

Thatcher covered pedophile ringA newspaper editor was handed startling evidence that Britain’s top law enforcement official knew there was a VIP pedophile network in Westminster, at the heart of the British government. What happened next in the summer of 1984 helps to explain how shocking allegations of rape and murder against some of the country’s most powerful men went unchecked for decades.

Less than 24 hours after starting to inquire about the dossier presented to him by a senior Labour Party politician, the editor was confronted in his office by a furious member of parliament who threatened him and demanded the documents. “He was frothing at the mouth and really shouting and spitting in my face,” Don Hale told The Daily Beast. “He was straight at me like a raging lion; he was ready to knock me through the wall.”

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