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Wednesday, Apr 01st

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Idaho Republicans push back against LGBT rights

LGBT rights fought in IdahoIn what has rapidly become a heated and expensive public battle, the conservative leadership of Idaho’s Republican-controlled government has taken a firm stand against the expansion of LGBT civil rights in the state.

In moves that have outraged many gay rights activists and supporters – both inside and outside the state – the Idaho government has spent more than a half-million dollars of taxpayer money to defend its ban on same-sex marriage in federal courts, and could be poised to spend even more.

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Supreme Court lets Wisconsin voter ID law stand

Voter ID law stands in WisconsinThe Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a major challenge to Wisconsin's voter ID law, delivering a victory to Republicans who favor tougher election laws.

The decision is a setback for civil rights groups that contend the law could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of residents who lack proper ID — particularly racial minorities, seniors, students and people with disabilities.

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Shannon Airport: Ireland's Gateway to Torture

Shannon Airport gateway to tortureDespite Ireland's steadfast denials, activists have gathered evidence of the country's link to US rendition and torture activities, and the US Senate torture report has made accountability unavoidable.

The scale and brutality of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program would not have been possible without the ample and willing assistance provided by dozens of other countries.

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Modern Singapore's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, dies at 91

Singapore founderLee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first prime minister, died on Monday aged 91, triggering a flood of tributes to the man who oversaw the tiny city-state's rapid rise from a British colonial backwater to a global trade and financial center.

U.S. President Barack Obama described Lee, who ruled Singapore for three decades, as "a true giant of history" whose advice on governance and economic development had been sought by other world leaders down the years.

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Companies Profiting The Most From War

weapons of warWorldwide military expenditure shrunk in 2013 for the second consecutive year, falling by 1.9% to $1.75 trillion. The 100 largest arms-producers sold a combined $402 billion worth of arms and military services in 2013, also down — for the third consecutive year.

However, not all countries are spending less. Military spending in North America and in Western and Central European countries has continued to decline, while other countries such as Brazil and Russia have increased their arms investments.

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Climate-sceptic US senator given funds by BP political action committee

Sen. Inhofe, climate change denierOne of America’s most powerful and outspoken opponents of climate change regulation received election campaign contributions that can be traced back to senior BP staff, including chief executive Bob Dudley.

Jim Inhofe, a Republican senator from Oklahoma who has tirelessly campaigned against calls for a carbon tax and challenges the overwhelming consensus on climate change, received $10,000 (£6,700) from BP’s political action committee (PAC).

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Climate change: China official warns of 'huge impact'

China climate changeClimate change could have a "huge impact" on China, reducing crop yields and harming the environment, the country's top weather scientist has warned, in a rare official admission.

Zheng Guogang told Xinhua news agency that climate change could be a "serious threat" to big infrastructure projects.  He said temperature rises in China were already higher than global averages.

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Woman killed by mob in Kabul was innocent: investigator

kabul killlingA woman killed by an angry mob in front of police in the Afghan capital last week for allegedly burning a copy of Islam's holy book was wrongly accused, Afghanistan's top criminal investigator said on Sunday.

Mobile phone footage circulating on social media shows police at the scene did not save the 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul in broad daylight on Thursday.

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Across American oilfields, layoffs and auctions

Cheaper oil brings layoffsConvinced he can ride out the slowing fortunes of America's oil and gas industry, Shawn Kluver arrived at Thursday's heavy equipment auction with money to spend and bets to make.

Kluver flew to Colorado from North Dakota on a one-way ticket, confident he'd find bargains to drive home.

"Everyone says we're crazy, but we're hoping to capitalize on the downstroke," he said, walking around the sprawling, dusty auction site, where more than 3,000 bidders haggled over backhoes, bulldozers and the trucks he was shopping for, called hydro excavators.

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