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Thursday, Sep 18th

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Two men convicted in 1993 kidnapping of Brooklyn teen see guilty verdicts overturned

1993 conviction overturnedTwo men who’ve spent more than 15 years in prison after being convicted in 1993 of kidnapping a 16-year-old Brooklyn girl saw their guilty verdicts overturned Wednesday when a state appeals court ruled cops withheld evidence that might have cleared them and then lied about it.

Everton Wagstaffe and Reginald Connor, both sentenced to up to 25 years in prison, had always maintained they were innocent in the kidnapping and death of Jennifer Negron.

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BBC team under attack in southern Russia

BBCA BBC team has been attacked in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan.

They had gone to investigate reports of Russian servicemen being killed near the border with Ukraine.

The team's cameraman was beaten up and the camera smashed during the attack. The recorded material left in the car had been deleted, the team found after returning from the police station.

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US airman re-enlists after air force drops 'so help me God' requirement

US airman re-enlistsThe US air force has allowed an atheist airman to re-enlist after initially refusing to process the his paperwork, because he refused to sign an oath that contained the phrase “so help me God”.

The service announced the policy reversal after the American Humanist Association threatened to file suit by 19 September .

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The hidden leaks of Pennsylvania's abandoned oil and gas wells

Pennsylvania well leaksLaurie Barr spent a recent Saturday like she spends a lot of her weekends: trodding through the thorny and damp woodlands of rural north-western Pennsylvania, juggling a point-and-shoot camera, a GPS navigator, a cell phone, and, most importantly for the mission at hand, a methane detector.

“I found one!” Barr yelled from deep in the woods to her two friends – fellow abandoned oil and gas well enthusiasts who were decidedly more hesitant to walk off the pre-cut path.

“Here’s the spot they killed the last abandoned well hunter,” Barr joked from somewhere deep in the woods. Then Barr did something she’s done hundreds of times in the last three years – she leaned over a foot-wide hole in the ground and waved around the gas detector until it began beeping. First the beeps were slow, then rapid.

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US school districts given free machine guns and grenade launchers

MRAP armored  vehicleSchool police departments across the US have taken advantage of free military surplus gear, stocking up on mine-resistant armoured vehicles, grenade launchers and scores of M16 rifles.

At least 26 school districts have participated in the Pentagon’s surplus program, which is not new but has come under scrutiny after police responded to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, with teargas, armour-clad military trucks and riot gear.

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Islamic State shows captive British journalist in new video

John CantlieA man identified as British journalist John Cantlie has purportedly appeared as a captive of Islamic State militants in a video posted by the organization's supporters online.

The Islamic State group, which controls territory in Syria and Iraq, has already beheaded two American journalists and one British aid worker in recent weeks in what it said was reprisal for U.S. air strikes against it in Iraq.

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U.S. Marine Killed in Afghan Insider Attack

Afghan armyA MARSOC Marine was killed in Afghanistan this week in an apparent insider attack.

Sgt. Charles C. Strong, 28, of Suffolk, Virginia, was killed Sept. 15, in Herat province, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command confirmed. Strong was a critical skills operator attached to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to a news release, and had served in the Marines since 2003.

A former military police officer with two deployments to Iraq and a previous tour in Afghanistan, Strong joined MARSOC in 2013, officials said.

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Crest agrees to stop putting plastic microbeads in your toothpaste

microbeadsToothpaste is supposed to help clean your teeth and get rid of leftover food. But for some Crest toothpaste users, that leftover food is just being replaced with tiny microbeads -- making smiles look spotty and gums speckled, not sparkling white and debris-free.

Crest says that won't be the case for long, however, as the maker of Crest toothpastes, Procter & Gamble, announced today that it will cease including the microbeads in their products and that all toothpastes containing the tiny polyethylene plastic balls will be off the shelves within six months.

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Massive Calif. wildfire threatens thousands

California wildfiresFire crews in California's rugged Sierra Nevada battled to gain the upper hand on Wednesday against a blaze that threatened at least 2,000 homes and has displaced hundreds of residents as flames roared for a fifth day through dry timber and brush west of Lake Tahoe.

The so-called King Fire, the most menacing of 11 major wildfires raging across the drought-ridden state, has scorched nearly 44 square miles of state land and the El Dorado National Forest since it erupted Saturday, fire officials said. California's fire season, which traditionally runs from May to October, is on track to be the most destructive on record, state fire managers say.

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