Wednesday, Oct 07th

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Judge: Mentally disabled immigrants may return to U.S., reopen deportation cases

Border patrolHundreds of mentally disabled immigrant detainees deported after representing themselves in immigration court may return to the United States for a second chance to contest their expulsion, a judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee approved a class-action lawsuit settlement, clearing the way for immigrants with "serious mental disabilities" to request their cases be reopened. If approved, the United States will pay for transportation in some cases.


China vows billions of development dollars, debt forgiveness

Xi JinpingChina's president on Saturday pledged billions in aid and said Beijing will forgive debts due this year in an effort to help the world's poorest nations, as world leaders begin to seek the trillions of dollars needed to help achieve sweeping new development goals.

President Xi Jinping spoke at a global summit that on Friday launched the goals for the next 15 years.

Xi and others spoke as the U.N. gathering began to shift focus from development to the high-powered General Assembly meeting that begins Monday with speeches by Xi, President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the first morning alone.


Depths of heroin addiction: US sets record high for opium abuse

Heroin use up in USFrom 2002 to 2013, heroin dependence and abuse in the United States increased 90 percent, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in July. The rate of fatal overdoses quadrupled since 2000. Moreover, the number of Americans who said they’d used the drug in the last year went up by 65 percent; that means more than half a million people in the U.S. take heroin.

Notably, heroin use has been climbing among all demographic groups, including women, non-Hispanic whites, and the more affluent. Still, the growth in addiction has been most pronounced among white males between 18 and 25 years old.


Israeli soldiers attack journalists on West Bank

Israeli soldiers attack journalists on West Bank A dramatic video has emerged showing Israeli soldiers make an unprovoked assault on two journalists working for Agence France-Presse during a demonstration on the West Bank.

According to AFP’s bureau chief, Thomas Cox, the two men – Andrea Bernardi, an Italian videographer working for the organisation, and Abbas Momani – had arrived in the village of Beit Furik near Nablus on Friday to cover a demonstration that followed the funeral of a Palestinian who had died after being shot by Israeli security forces a week ago.


Drinking water systems imperiled by failing infrastructure

Drinking water in dangerDeep inside a 70-year-old water-treatment plant, drinking water for Iowa's capital city is cleansed of harmful nitrates that come from the state's famously rich farmland.

Without Des Moines Water Works, the central Iowa region of 500,000 people that it serves wouldn't have a thriving economy. But after decades of ceaseless service, the utility is confronting an array of problems: Water mains are cracking open hundreds of times every year. Rivers that provide its source water are increasingly polluted. And the city doesn't know how it will afford a $150 million treatment plant at a time when revenues are down and maintenance costs are up.


Is the GOP Clown Car a Volkswagen? It should be.

GOP clown carChina marked its President's visit to the US by announcing a cap and trade program on the burning of carbon starting in 2017. Now the Right Wing Nut Jobs really can call Obama's Cap and Trade proposal a Commie Plot with some small measure of truth.

China's economic problems are likely to get somewhat worse, but it's hardly the global disaster the short sellers would like you to bet on. Literally bet on, Wall Street has instruments to sell you that will cover you against China's collapse for a small fee. Check out their Brooklyn Bridge penny stocks while you're at it.


Neller takes over as top Marine as Dunford moves on to chairman of Joint Chiefs

Gen. Joseph DunfordHailed as “a tested warrior and an innovative strategist,” Gen. Robert Neller accepted command of the U.S. Marine Corps on Thursday morning during a traditional ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington.

Neller — who was pinned with a fourth star Thursday — became the Corps’ 37th commandant, taking over for Gen. Joseph Dunford, who held the post for less than a year. Dunford will become the 19th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Friday during a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., replacing retiring Army Gen. Martin Dempsey.


GOP Lawmakers: Speaker Boehner to resign at end of October

BoehnerIn a stunning move, House Speaker John Boehner informed fellow Republicans on Friday that he would resign from Congress at the end of October, giving up his top leadership post and his seat in the House in the face of hardline conservative opposition.

The 13-term Ohio Republican shocked his GOP caucus early Friday morning when he announced his decision in a closed-door session. It came one day after a high point of Boehner's congressional career, a historic speech by Pope Francis to Congress at Boehner's request.


Shaker Aamer, UK's last detainee in Guantánamo Bay, to be freed

Shaker Aamer to be freedThe US is to release Shaker Aamer, the last British resident to be held at Guantánamo Bay, after 13 years without trial.

Barack Obama is believed to have informed David Cameron of the decision during a phone call on Thursday.

According to senior US defence sources, Aamer’s release was approved following a “thorough review of his case and taking into consideration the robust security assurances that will be provided by the British government”.


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