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Saturday, Aug 02nd

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Boston Marathon suspect's friend guilty of obstruction

Tazhayakov convictedA friend of the man suspected in last year's Boston Marathon bombings was convicted Monday of helping to cover up the crime that left three people dead and more than 250 injured.

A federal jury found Azamat Tazhayakov, 20, guilty of obstruction of justice and conspiracy by hindering the investigation into bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a friend and fellow student at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

Prosecutors said that after Tazhayakov and another friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, determined that Tsarnaev was a suspect in the bombings, they threw out a backpack and removed a laptop from Tsarnaev's dorm room.

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California Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning It May Be Contaminating Aquifers

California halts fracking injectionsCalifornia officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state's drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there.

The state's Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal "poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources." The orders were first reported by the Bakersfield Californian, and the state has confirmed with ProPublica that its investigation is expanding to look at additional wells.

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MSNBC Contributor Accuses Network Of 'Biased' Coverage Toward Israel

rula JabrealMSNBC contributor Rula Jebreal took issue with the network's coverage of the conflict in the Middle East on Monday.

Speaking on Ronan Farrow's show, she accused MSNBC of covering the Israeli perspective far more than the Palestinian side.

“We are disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue," said Jebreal, an Italian-Palestinian journalist with dual Italian and Israeli citizenship. "Look how [much] air time Netanyahu and his folks have on air on a daily basis — Andrea Mitchell and others. I never see one Palestinian being interviewed on these same issues —"

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NYC settles for $2.5 million over Rikers Island jail beating death

Rikers IslandNew York City officials have agreed to pay $2.75 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a Rikers Island inmate who was allegedly beaten to death by corrections officers.

A spokesman for the city's Law Department on Monday confirmed the settlement with the estate of Ronald Spear, 52, who died in December 2012 at the New York City jail.

In a federal lawsuit filed last year in Manhattan, Spear's father claimed his son was assaulted for complaining that his medical care at the jail was inadequate.

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Train with plane crash bodies leaves rebel town

train with crash bodieA refrigerated train carrying Malaysia Airlines victims' bodies pulled away Monday from a rebel-held town in eastern Ukraine, one small step forward in easing the agony of their grieving families.

In an emotional inspection hours earlier, Dutch experts had called for a full forensic sweep of the Flight 17 crash site and told the armed separatists controlling the area that the train must be allowed to leave as soon as possible.

Four days after someone shot the Boeing 777 out of the sky, killing 298 people, pressure was growing on Russian President Vladimir Putin to rein in the insurgents and allow a full-scale investigation into the downing of the plane. The U.S., Ukraine and others say Moscow has armed the rebels, a charge Russia denies.

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Gaza crisis: Palestinian death toll climbs past 500 as hospital is hit

gaza hospital hitThe Palestinian death toll in the conflict between Hamas and Israel reached 548 on Monday as officials said four were killed when a Gaza hospital was hit by Israeli fire.

It followed the bloodiest day of the conflict so far on Sunday when at least 120 Palestinians were killed in Shujai'iya, a third of them women and children. Thirteen Israeli soldiers were also killed – two of them US citizens – in the heaviest loss of life for the Israeli military in years.

Staff at the al-Asqa Martyrs hospital were said to be in shock that the building was hit. "People can't believe this is happening – that a medical hospital was shelled without the briefest warning. It was already full with patients," said Fikr Shalltoot, director of programmes at Medical Aid for Palestinians in Gaza city.

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Snowden: NSA snoops shared intercepted sextings

NSA intercepted sextsFormer National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden says the analysts who monitored the texts and e-mails of millions of Americans would sometimes share intercepted nude photos and sex texts with colleagues.

Snowden, in a lengthy interview with The Guardian published this weekend, said he and his colleagues sometimes doubted the ethics of what they were doing.

"Many of the people searching through the haystacks (of information) were young, enlisted guys, 18 to 22 years old," Snowden told the publication. "In the course of their daily work, they stumble across something that is completely unrelated in any sort of necessary sense – for example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation. But they're extremely attractive. So what do they do?

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5,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled in Wisconsin railway collision

Slinger train collisionTwo trains collided late Sunday night in southeastern Wisconsin, causing several cars to derail. A conductor and engineer suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash.

As a result of the collision, some 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel spewed from one of the engines. None of the oil was ignited but fire officials established a danger zone with a half-mile radius of the crash and evacuated more than 100 homes. The Red Cross has been attending to evacuees at a nearby middle school.

The crash occurred near Slinger, Wisconsin, roughly 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

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Florida town stunned by news of police KKK ties

Florida town KKKAnn Hunnewell and her central Florida police officer husband knelt in the living room of a fellow officer's home, with pillow cases as makeshift hoods over their heads. A few words were spoken and they, along with a half-dozen others, were initiated into the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, she says.

Last week, that five-year-old initiation ceremony stunned residents of the small town of Fruitland Park, who found out an investigative report linked two city officers with the secret hate society that once was violently active in the area. Ann Hunnewell's ex-husband, George Hunnewell, was fired, and deputy chief David Borst resigned from the 13-member Fruitland Park Police Department. Borst has denied being a member.

James Elkins, a third officer who Ann Hunnewell says recruited her and her husband, resigned in 2010 after his Klan ties became public.

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