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Saturday, Oct 25th

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US launches 22 air strikes on Isis strongholds in Iraq

US airstrikes on ISISA day after the Department of Defense announced the first US death in the campaign against Islamic State (Isis) militants in Iraq, Central Command said 22 air strikes had been carried out in the country on Friday and Saturday.

Marine lance corporal Sean P Neal, one of 1,600 troops supporting Iraqi forces against Isis, died in Baghdad of a “non-combat” injury, the US said late on Friday. The Marines said Neal’s death was under investigation.

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Massive sunspot sending violent flares toward Earth

sunspotSunspot region AR2192 on the solar surface is currently both massive and active, scientists with NASA say. So big, in fact, that the sunspot is visible -- with a properly protected eye -- from the Earth's surface.

Though the sunspot is active, regularly shooting out significantly sized solar flares, it has yet produce a coronal mass ejection, the high-energy burst of plasma that can interfere with communication satellites, disrupt electrical grids, and spawn the awe-inspiring polar light shows known as auroras.

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Iran hangs woman convicted of killing alleged rapist

Iranian woman hangedA 26-year-old Iranian woman convicted of murdering a man she accused of trying to rape her as a teenager was hanged Saturday, the official news agency IRNA said. The sentence was carried out despite international pleas for her life to be spared.

Reyhaneh Jabbari walked to the gallows at dawn in Tehran's Evin prison after failing to secure a reprieve from the murder victim's relatives within the 10-day deadline set by Sharia law, which has been in force since the country’s 1979 revolution.

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Florida Gov. Scott refuses to testify in records lawsuit

Rick ScottFlorida Gov. Rick Scott is holding firm against testifying in a bitter public records lawsuit.

A Tallahassee attorney asked Scott to appear Friday for a deposition. Steven Andrews wants information about private Google email accounts set up by the governor and two former aides. He maintains they were used by the Scott administration to sidestep the state's open records law.

Scott did not show up and was campaigning instead in South Florida.

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Number of Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar tops 100,000

Rohingya exodus fom mayanmarA growing sense of desperation is fueling a mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims from western Myanmar, with the number fleeing by boat since communal violence broke out two years ago now topping 100,000, a leading expert said Saturday.

Chris Lewa, director of the nonprofit advocacy group Arakan Project, said there has been a huge surge since Oct. 15, with an average of 900 people per day piling into cargo ships parked off Rakhine state.

That's nearly 10,000 in less than two weeks, one of the biggest upticks yet.

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NY, NJ announce mandatory Ebola quarantines

NY and NJ governorsThe governors of New Jersey and New York on Friday ordered a mandatory 21-day quarantine for all doctors and other travelers who have had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa.

The move came after a New York City doctor who returned to the U.S. a week ago from treating Ebola victims in Guinea was diagnosed with the lethal disease.

Many New Yorkers and others were dismayed to learn that after he came home, Dr. Craig Spencer rode the subway, took a cab, went bowling, visited a coffee shop and ate at a restaurant.

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T.V. trucks sign of waste in Afghanistan

Waste in afghanistanIn yet another sign of wasted U.S. money in Afghanistan, $3.6 million T.V trucks sit unused in Kabul after a delay of two years.

The State Department contract is only the latest example of a project that has come under fire by the U.S. special inspector general who watchdogs the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

The three trucks were supposed to be used for covering live sporting events, such as soccer, cricket and Buzkashi, which according to Wikipedia is a sport in which “horse-mounted players attempt to drag a goat carcass toward a goal.”

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Why There's a Real Chance My Texas Town Might Ban Fracking

Banning frackingI live on Denton Street, in Denton, Texas, in Denton County, so I know a thing or two about the city of Denton - and its ongoing struggle with the gas drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) within city limits.

I live a little more than a mile from McKenna Park, where, in 2009, Range Resources sparked the city's anti-fracking movement when the company announced plans to erect five gas wells on Denton's Rayzor Ranch development, one of which would be across the street from the park, residential neighborhood and hospital.

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Gunman kills himself after opening fire on US high school

Gunman at high schoolA student opened fire at a school in Washington state on Friday. Police said the gunman was dead but provided no other details on casualties. Marysville-Pilchuck High School was on lockdown as officers evacuated the campus room by room.

A 17-year-old student told NBC News that her brother, a freshman, texted her that a student started shooting in the cafeteria about 10:30 a.m. PDT.

"I was in my classroom and someone pulled the fire alarm and we thought it was a fire drill and we ran out and they told us to go back in a classroom," said the student, Cindy Rodriguez. "We're scared."

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