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Saturday, Dec 20th

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NY releases planned medical marijuana rules

NY medical marijuanaThe state took another step Thursday toward getting its medical marijuana program up and running, with the Department of Health releasing a set of proposed rules that will soon be put to public comment.

The planned regulations lays out procedures that include identification cards for users and a detailed application process for those seeking one of four licenses to grow the drug. They come six months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature approved a law allowing marijuana to be prescribed by doctors.

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Ebola kills Sierra Leone's most senior doctor

Ebola kills senior doctorSierra Leone’s most senior doctor has died of Ebola just hours after an experimental drug to treat him arrived at Freetown’s airport.

Dr Victory Willoughby is the 11th of the country’s 120 doctors to die from the virus, during an outbreak that has killed almost 7,000 people.

The country’s chief medical officer said the death of Willoughby, who tested positive for Ebola on Saturday, was a major loss for Sierra Leone.

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Stem cells: First therapy approved by EU

stem cellsA stem cell therapy has been approved for widespread medical use in the EU for the first time.

Stem cells can become any type of tissue in the body and hold huge promise in medicine.

The treatment - Holoclar - is used to treat a rare eye condition that can lead to blindness. It works in around 80% of cases. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the move represented a "major step forward" for the field.

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As a Major U.S. Problem, Race Relations Sharply Rises

RACE RELATIONS a major US problemThe percentage of Americans naming "race relations" or "racism" as the most important problem in the U.S. has climbed dramatically to 13%, the highest figure Gallup has recorded since a finding of 15% in 1992, in the midst of the Rodney King verdict. In November, race relations/racism was cited by 1% of the public as the most important problem.

Since 1992, the percentage of Americans saying race relations/racism is America's biggest problem has ranged from 0% to 5%. The jump to 13% this month comes on the heels of national protests of police treatment of blacks in the wake of incidents in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, among others.

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8 children killed, mother stabbed, in Australia

8 chlodren killedEight dead children and a woman suffering from stab wounds were found inside a home in a northern Australian city on Friday, police said.

Police believe the 34-year-old woman with wounds to the chest is the mother of seven of the children, and the eighth child is believed to be one of her relatives, Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said. She was receiving treatment for her injuries and was in stable condition at a hospital.

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Black figures hung in effigy at Berkeley

Blacks hung in effigy at BerkelyAs thousands marched to end police brutality in Washington D.C., and New York City on Saturday, three cardboard cutouts of African-Americans were found hanging in effigy by nooses on the Berkeley campus of the University of California.

School spokeswoman Amy Hamaoui told the AP the effigies appear to be connected to a noon-time demonstration nearby planned to coincide with a national protest against police brutality. The effigies, two male and one female, included names of lynching victims and the dates of their death. Hamaoui said it's unclear who hanged the effigies and police are looking into the matter. "We are unsure of the intent," Hamaoui said.

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5.5-Magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of Japan

Japan earthquakeA 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's coast Friday evening at 5:49 p.m. local time.

There were no reports of damage or injuries at sea or inland.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake depth was measured at 19.6 miles.

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US says it will not support Palestinian UN bid

UN Security CouncilThe United States will not support the current resolution put forward by the Palestinians setting the terms of a peace deal with Israel, a US official said Thursday.

Washington has seen the text of a draft resolution circulating in the UN Security Council and “it is not something that we would support,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

“We wouldn’t support any action that would prejudge the outcome of the negotiations and that would set a specific deadline for the withdrawal of forces,” Psaki said.

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Enbridge Inc shuts down pipeline to U.S. after leak releases 1,350 barrels of oil at pumping station

Embridge, Inc.Canadian oil supplies to the U.S. Midwest were disrupted after Enbridge Inc. shut a pipeline because of a leak.

The company isolated its Line 4 pipe at the Regina terminal in Saskatchewan yesterday after about 1,350 barrels of oil were released within an on-site pumping station, according to a statement. The company is excavating the line around a pumphouse and hasn’t provided an estimate for how long repairs may take, Gerard Kay, deputy chief of operations at Regina Fire and Protective Services, said by phone.

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