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Tuesday, Jul 29th

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New York Times editor: Pot prohibition 'unacceptable'

andrew rosenthalNew York Times Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal on Sunday defended the paper's call for ending the federal prohibition on marijuana, saying the ban's cost to the country is "absolutely unacceptable."

“We’re not urging people to smoke pot anymore than we are for them to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes," he said during an interview on ABC's "This Week." "It’s just that making it illegal was creating a social cost for the country that was absolutely unacceptable.”

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Ebola now taking toll on doctors and other health care workers

Ebola kills doctorAn Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 670 people in Africa is now taking a toll on doctors and health care workers battling the deadly disease.

A government official in Liberia said Sunday that one of that country's highest-profile doctors has died in what the World Health Organization (WHO) calls the largest recorded outbreak of the disease.

An American doctor who has been working in Liberia since October 2013 for the North Carolina-based aid organization Samaritan's Purse is receiving intensive medical treatment after he was infected with Ebola, according to a spokeswoman for the organization.

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HIV/AIDS has migrated to Deep South, where stigma endures

HIV in AlabamaDr. Laurie Dill pointed to a large map in the hallway of Medical AIDS Outreach of Alabama (MAO). It showed the number of people in each county living with HIV or AIDS in 2010. Where the counties pulsed red is the new, rural heart of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Dill pointed to a belt of deep red that cut across Alabama. “That's the Selma to Montgomery march,” she said. “Plus Tuskegee.”

Today the famous route where Martin Luther King Jr. led a civil rights pilgrimage in 1965 runs through a land in the midst of an HIV epidemic.

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Two U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Us soldiers killedTwo U.S. Army soldiers were killed Thursday in Afghanistan, and one died in San Antonio from an illness he contracted in Ghanzi province.

Staff Sgt. Benjamin G. Prange, 30, and Pfc. Keith M. Williams, 19, died Thursday from an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

Prange was from Hickman, Neb., and Williams was from Visalia, Calif.

Both were of the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson in Colorado.

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Detroit not alone in shutting off water for unpaid bills

Cutting off waterDetroit has drawn fire from all over the world for shutting off water to customers delinquent on their bills, but the city isn't unique. Cities across the country do it also.

In Michigan, Hamtramck, Warren, Pontiac, Eastpointe, Romulus and other cities have shut off delinquent customers as a way to improve collections. Elsewhere, so have other big cities such as Baltimore and St. Louis.

"It's universal in the utility world that at some point, you have to shut off service as part of your larger commitment to the community," said Tom Curtis, deputy executive director of the American Water Works Association, a nonprofit group with more than 50,000 members who work in the industry.

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EPA fails to address methane leaks from gas pipelines -watchdog

methane leaking from pipelinesThe internal watchdog of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday that the regulator does not adequately address methane leaks from natural gas pipelines, harming both the economy and environment.

The EPA Inspector General said the agency's current voluntary program to address methane leaks from pipelines has yielded only minimal reductions of the potent greenhouse gas.

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Kids, guns and the American way

Kids, guns and the American wayn February, a nine-year-old Arkansas boy called Hank asked his uncle if he could head off on his own from their remote camp to hunt a rabbit with his .22 calibre rifle. “I said all right,” recalled his uncle Brent later. “It wasn’t a concern. Some people are like, ‘a nine year old shouldn’t be off by himself,’ but he wasn’t an average nine year old.”

Hank was steeped in hunting: when he was two, his father, Brad, would put him in a rucksack on his back when he went turkey hunting. Brad regularly took Hank hunting and said that his son often went off hunting by himself. On this particular day, Hank and his uncle Brent had gone squirrel hunting together as his father was too sick to go.

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Wikipedia blocks 'disruptive' page edits from US Congress

WikipediaWikipedia administrators have imposed a ban on page edits from computers at the US House of Representatives, following "persistent disruptive editing".

The 10-day block comes after anonymous changes were made to entries on politicians and businesses, as well as events like the Kennedy assassination.

The biography of former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld was edited to say that he was an "alien lizard".  One staffer said they were being banned for the "actions of two or three".

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Halliburton Fracking Spill Mystery: What Chemicals Polluted an Ohio Waterway?

fracking watersOn the morning of June 28, a fire broke out at a Halliburton fracking site in Monroe County, Ohio. As flames engulfed the area, trucks began exploding and thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals spilled into a tributary of the Ohio River, which supplies drinking water for millions of residents.

More than 70,000 fish died. Nevertheless, it took five days for the Environmental Protection Agency and its Ohio counterpart to get a full list of the chemicals polluting the waterway. "We knew there was something toxic in the water," says an environmental official who was on the scene. "But we had no way of assessing whether it was a threat to human health or how best to protect the public."

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