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Friday, Oct 31st

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Burkina Faso army general takes power

Burkino Faso coupAn army general took power in Burkina Faso Friday after President Blaise Compaore stepped down, ending his 27 year rule of the West African country.

Army Gen. Honore Traore, the joint chief of staff, has assumed power, state radio announced.

Compaore was forced out of office by a burst of violent protests in which parliament was set ablaze. The protesters refused to accept anything short of Compaore's immediate resignation.

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Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test

Vrrgin GalacticVirgin Galactic said its SpaceShipTwo rocket plane suffered an "in-flight anomaly" during a powered test flight on Friday — and other sources said the anomaly involved a catastrophic explosion and crash.

Two pilots fly in SpaceShipTwo's cockpit during a test. Those pilots are equipped with parachutes, and after the anomaly, at least one chute was reportedly sighted over the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, the base from which SpaceShipTwo and its WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane took off.

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Judge rejects Ebola quarantine for Maine nurse

Kaci  quarantine rejected by courtKaci Hickox is free to travel unrestricted after a Maine judge on Friday rejected the state’s bid to limit her movements as a medical worker who has treated Ebola patients.

Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere ruled Hickox must continue daily monitoring and coordinate travel with state health officials to ensure continuity of monitoring. The judge said there’s no need to restrict her movements because she’s not infectious because she’s showing no symptoms.

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Reform school survivors allege abuse of their personal files too

Spring Creek LodgeAshley Astle left Spring Creek Lodge, a residential facility for troubled youths in Montana, over a decade ago. She has never been back. “I'm not sure how deeply you want me to go into my experience of the program, but I will give you the short version. Basically, it was terrible,” she said.

Last winter she started to hear disturbing rumors that reopened old wounds. Spring Creek Lodge closed in 2009 after a wrongful death suit after a student hanged herself, and the school sat derelict in a Montana forest. According to another alum who allegedly returned to the facility, the abandoned school was still filled with fragments of past students’ lives — journals, progress notes, letters and medical and mental health records.

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In South Dakota, a new alliance of ranchers and Native Americans fights the Keystone pipeline

fighting pipeline in SDPipelines break. They don’t break often, but when they do, the result can be catastrophic.

That’s what worries John Harter, a rancher who grew up in this rural, poor and conservative area of southern South Dakota. Harter, 51, still lives here, and owns land that the Keystone XL pipeline would cross if it’s ever approved.

Harter points to the 2010 spill of 860,000 gallons of tar sand oil from a pipeline crossing the Kalamazoo River in Michigan when people ask what he’s fighting against. Enbridge, the company which owned the pipeline, just finished cleaning up that spill this summer. A similar amount of that same kind of oil could be flowing at high pressure past Harter’s ranch each day if TransCanada’s Keystone XL is built.

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To vote in the Rust Belt, it takes more than an official photo ID

Voting in the rust beltNick Veron, 34, is a third-generation Elkhart factory man. He works on the same assembly line as his dad, making steel lathes and machine screws. Years ago, a factory paycheck could comfortably support an entire family; today, Veron earns $16 an hour and has no health insurance. His wife, Janet, a sometimes retail worker and homeschool teacher, says of their town, “Most people are really ragged, tired, beat down. The only reason they’re here is because they’re too poor to get out.”

The Verons, like so many low-income people in northern Indiana, do not plan to vote on Nov. 4. In their case, Nick says, they’ve distanced themselves from a political process they see as irredeemably corrupt, drowning in tainted money “the higher up you go.” Others in this section of the Rust Belt — where more than 16 percent of the population lives in poverty — say they have faced logistical obstacles to voting.

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Medicare bought meds for dead people

Marilyn TavennerCall it drugs for the departed: Medicare's prescription program kept paying for costly medications even after patients were dead.

The problem was traced back to a head-scratching bureaucratic rule that's now getting a second look.

A report coming out Friday from the Health and Human Services Department's inspector general says the Medicare rule allows payment for prescriptions filled up to 32 days after a patient's death — at odds with the program's basic principles, not to mention common sense.

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The Weather Channel disavows co-founder’s comments on climate change

weather channelAtlanta-based Weather Channel CEO David Kenny told staff in a note today that the network co-founder’s comments to Fox News questioning climate change were not opinions reflected by the Weather Channel itself.

“Not only is the ice not melting, more polar bears are alive and happy today than we’ve had in 100 years,” John Coleman told Fox News host Megyn Kelly earlier this week. The research behind climate change “is bad, bad science.”

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Ebola Researchers Banned From Medical Meeting In New Orleans

Ebola researchers banned in LouisianaLouisiana health officials say that anyone who's been in an Ebola-affected country over the last three weeks will be quarantined in their hotel rooms.

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is telling researchers who've recently traveled to Ebola-affected parts of West Africa that they can't come to the society's annual meeting. That wasn't the medical group's idea.

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