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Wednesday, May 25th

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Texas board of education vote is critical for conservatives – and US schools

Texas school board electionThe question of how extreme is too extreme for Texas Republican voters may be answered on Tuesday evening, when voters are expected to favor a woman who believes that Barack Obama was a drug-addicted male prostitute, in an election that could put her on the brink of one of the most influential positions in the state’s education system.

Even amid the roiling rhetoric and outrageous claims that have infected American politics in recent months, Mary Lou Bruner has provided some standout soundbites that have surfaced during her bid to win her district’s Republican nomination for a place on the Texas state board of education.

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Chemical Reform Law Falls Short in Protecting Public Health, Environment

Chemical reform act insufficientPassage of the first legislation to regulate toxic industrial chemicals in 40 years ought to be cause for celebration, and it is—for the companies that make those toxic chemicals.

As for the rest of us, we should be mad as hell.

Despite the best efforts of many lawmakers to redeem legislation that originated in the c-suites of the chemical industry, on balance the law Congress will send to the president’s desk continues to place chemical company interests above the public interest.

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BMX Legend Dave Mirra Had CTE When He Died

Dave MirraBMX icon Dave Mirra, who died in February, suffered from the type of chronic brain damage that has shown up in the brains of dozens of football players, a University of Toronto neuropathologist has concluded. Multiple neuropathologists confirmed the diagnosis.

Mirra is the first action sports athlete to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease that can lead to dementia, memory loss and depression. He died on Feb. 4 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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Family of Tony Gwynn files wrongful death lawsuit against tobacco industry

Tony Gwynn The family of Hall of Fame baseball player Tony Gwynn has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the tobacco industry.  Gwynn died in 2014 at the age of 54 of salivary gland cancer -- a condition caused in large part by his 31 years using smokeless tobacco.

The lawsuit filed Monday in San Diego Superior Court seeks to hold Altria Group, Inc., the tobacco giant formerly known as Philip Morris, and other parties accountable for Gwynn’s death.

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Former NFL player Bubba Smith had brain disease CTE when he died

Bubba Smith had CTEBubba Smith, a Pro Bowl defensive end who transitioned to acting after his NFL career, suffered with the debilitating brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) when he died researchers announced on Tuesday.

Researchers at the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank said Smith had Stage 3 CTE (Stage 4 is the most advanced) at the time of his death at age 66 in 2011. Smith was the 90th former NFL player out of the 94 brains studied where CTE was detected.

TVNL Comment:  When will they ever learn?  Just asking....

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Investigators play down explosion theory in EgyptAir crash

Explosion theory dismissed in EgyptAir crasPart of a plane chair among recovered debris of the EgyptAir jet that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea is seen in this handout image released May 21, 2016 by Egypt's military. Egyptian Military/Handout via Reuters

The head of Egypt's forensics authority dismissed a suggestion on Tuesday that the small size of the body parts retrieved since an EgyptAir plane crashed last week indicated there was an explosion on board.

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Two more found dead on Everest, bringing total to six

Mt. EverestThe last four days near the world's tallest peak have been extraordinarily deadly, as perhaps six climbers have now reportedly succumbed on the perilous mountain -- with two more found Monday.

The first of the six, Phurba Sherpa, a 25-year-old Nepalese guide, died on Mount Everest Thursday after a fall. In the days following, a Dutch climber, an Australian woman and an Indian man also died.

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Greek police begin clearing 8,000 migrants from Idomeni refugee camp

Greek police begin emptying refugee campGreek police began clearing about 8,000 people from the Idomeni refugee camp Tuesday morning near the Greece-Macedonia border.

The thus-far peaceful sweep of what is regarded as Europe's largest camp for those migrating to Europe from the Middle East and North Africa comes after George Kyritsis, a government spokesman, promised "no violence would be used."

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Baseline sought for British fracking efforts

Fracking in UKA British geological organization said it was working to set an environmental baseline to serve as a basis for weighing the impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

The British Geological Survey said its work with its university counterparts would set a baseline for water and air quality, as well as seismic activity, associated with a shale gas reserve in North Yorkshire. Third Energy U.K. Gas Ltd. submitted an application last year to use hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking, at one well site.

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