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Thursday, Oct 30th

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Congress Still Has No Idea How Much the NSA Spies on Americans

CongressThe biggest lie Americans are told about the NSA is that it is subject to "strict oversight." Listening to President Obama, Senator Dianne Feinstein, or most any high-ranking official in the national-security bureaucracy, one gets the impression that the Senate and House intelligence committees are keeping careful tabs on the most technologically empowered spy agency in human history.

The truth is that Congress is alarmingly ignorant about NSA spying. It's not all the national-security state's fault. There are too many issues for every legislator to master them all; surveillance policy is a particularly complicated; and national security is an area many in Congress undermine checks and balances by deferring to the president.

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Plane crashes into building at Kansas Mid-Continent Airport

kansas airport accidentA small plane has crashed at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport, sending up huge plumes of black smoke that can be seen for miles around the city.

KSN has confirmed from the FAA that a twin engine Beechcraft King Air lost an engine on takeoff from Wichita’s Mid-Continent airport and crashed into the two-story FlightSafety International building located on South Airport Road. The plane was trying to return to the runway.

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Sweden recognizes Palestinian state

Sweden recognizes Palestinian stateSweden officially recognized the Palestinian state Thursday, calling it a crucial step in encouraging other countries to do so.

The action is largely symbolic and is intended to support a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Sweden joins Malta and Cyprus as European nations recognizing Palestine; Britain currently has a motion in Parliament to recognize Palestine.

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Republican ISIL fear-mongering amplifies extremists' message, experts say

ISIS and the GOPIn one frame of the video, a masked fighter for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) brandishes a knife, with a beheaded American journalist just beyond view. In another, the Mosque of the Prophet Jonah disappears into a cloud of dust. A crowd of masked gunmen hold Kalashnikovs aloft. Dramatic music plays in the background.

But this isn’t a recruitment video for ISIL. It’s a campaign ad for Allen Weh, who is running against Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., in the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

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Showdown imminent over nurse's quarantine in Maine

Kaci HickoxState police plan to monitor the movements and interactions of a nurse who vowed to defy the state's quarantine for health care workers who treat Ebola patients, but troopers cannot take her into custody without a judge's permission.

State officials were seeking a court order to detain Kaci Hickox for the remainder of the 21-day incubation period for Ebola that ends on Nov. 10.

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Shutdown of Al-Aqsa mosque a 'declaration of war,' say Palestinian leaders

al Qsa MosqueThe Palestinian leadership has slammed the Israeli shutdown of the Al-Aqsa mosque in the aftermath of the shooting of a Palestinian suspected would-be assassin as a 'declaration of war.'

Israeli police on Thursday killed a 32-year-old Palestinian suspected of having tried hours earlier to kill a far-right Jewish activist – incidents that have heighten tensions in an already tense Jerusalem, and led to clashes.

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Court won’t force Georgia to find 40,000 missing voters

Michelle NunnTens of thousands of Georgia residents have submitted all required documentation, but have still not received a voter registration card, and so will be denied a chance to participate in Tuesday’s important midterm election.

And there’s likely nothing they can do about it.

Yesterday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Christopher Brasher denied a petition from voter rights advocates that would have forced the Georgia Secretary of State to process an estimated 40,000 voter registration forms now missing from a public database.

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Alex Baer: Armageddon Out of Here

TV coverageMoney makes decisions Sanity never would. Fear, too. This adage applies to an awful lot of things, most of them pretty awful -- like politics and Ebola. These are awful and also awe-filled, but not in a good way. The critical difference between politics and Ebola? It's possible to somewhat survive devastating, ignorant decisions by the country in politics, even Bush-league decisions. Ebola, on the other hand, starts at death, and goes downhill from there.

Both are bad systems, way out of control. Both operate in a wide range, anywhere from figuratively to literally lethal. Both score lower than body lice in approval ratings. Both clog up your TVs and radios. Plus, there are more similarities at fighting the two than you might first think.

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Scientists grow miniature human stomachs from stem cells

Sceintists grow human stomachsScientists have grown miniature human stomachs from stem cells as a way of studying gastric diseases such as ulcers and stomach cancer and in the future creating tissue to repair patients’ stomachs.

The mini-stomachs are grown in petri dishes from stem cells. Fully formed, they are the size of a pea and shaped like a rugby ball. They are hollow with an interior lining that is folded into glands and pits like a real stomach.

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