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Svetlana Alexievich wins 2015 Nobel prize in literature

Nobel Prize LiteratureSvetlana Alexievich, the Belarusian writer whose oral histories have recorded thousands of individual voices to map the implosion of the Soviet Union, has won the Nobel prize for literature.

The Swedish Academy, announcing her win, praised Alexievich’s “polyphonic writings”, describing them as a “monument to suffering and courage in our time”.

She becomes the 14th woman to win the prize since it was first awarded in 1901. The last woman to win, Canada’s Alice Munro, was handed the award in 2013.


Panel: Remove Confederate flag from Florida Senate seal

Florida State sealCiting historical inaccuracies and a need to reflect modern values, a Senate committee unanimously recommended Thursday that the Confederate flag be removed from the Florida Senate’s official seal.

The vote came after little discussion and no opposition from the bipartisan panel. A two-thirds majority vote of the full Senate, or support from 27 of 40 members, is needed to complete the change.


Oklahoma used wrong drug in Charles Warner's execution, autopsy report says

Charles WarnerOklahoma corrections officials used the wrong drug to execute Charles Warner in January, according to an autopsy report by the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The report revealed that officials injected Warner with potassium acetate, when state protocol calls for an injection of potassium chloride, which stops the heart. It is the third and final drug used for executions, following a sedative and paralytic.


U.S.: Four Russian missiles miss Syrian targets, hit Iran

Russian missiles hit IranFour Russian cruise missiles launched from the Caspian Sea fell short of their Syrian targets and landed in a rural part of Iran, U.S. officials said Thursday, amid growing international concern about Russia's actions in the region.

The errant strikes were part of a volley of 26 long-range cruise missiles that Russia fired Wednesday, U.S. officials told USA TODAY. The officials asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss intelligence matters.


NYPD Officer Used Excessive Force On Ex-Tennis Player James Blake: Review Board

James BlakeThe police officer who mistakenly arrested former tennis star James Blake will face an excessive force charge.

Last month, police forced the former tennis star to the ground after mistaking him for a fraud suspect.

Mr Blake's complaint that officers used unnecessary force was upheld by New York's independent agency that deals with police misconduct.


Obama signs bill preventing healthcare cost increase

ObamaPresident Obama signed changes into Obamacare preventing health insurance premium increases for millions.

The rare bipartisan changes, called the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act, will ensure some 3 million people won't see a spike in premiums in 2016. The bill was passed by both chambers without a single "no" vote and signed by the president Wednesday without controversy or fanfare.


Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards blasts GOP 'total lack of civility'

Cecile RichardCecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, says she was "stunned by the total lack of civility and use of raw power" by Republican members of Congress during last week's House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on her organization's federal funding,

Richards fired back at Congress and Republicans in general in a Guardian article published Thursday, warning that the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade is "on the ballot" for next year's presidential election.


McCarthy drops out, House in chaos

Kevin McCarthy drops outRep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has abandoned his bid for House speaker Thursday afternoon, just minutes before the election was about to begin.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who resigned the post last month, announced in the meeting that elections were being postponed.

The House Republican Conference, which has lurched from one legislative disaster to another, is now in a serious crisis. McCarthy was one of the only lawmakers in the chamber who was seen as able to garner the 218 requisite votes to become speaker.


Deadly airstrike reportedly hits second Yemen wedding party

Yemen wedding party hitA suspected airstrike has killed at least 13 people at a wedding party in a town in Yemen, witnesses say, even as U.N. peace efforts make headway in coaxing rebels into signing a resolution calling for the end of the conflict.

Medical sources said in addition to those killed, 38 people were wounded in Wednesday's incident in Dhamar province.

There was no immediate comment from the Arab coalition, which has been conducting a bombing campaign against the Iran-allied Shia Houthi fighters and their allies in Yemen since March.



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