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Friday, Oct 31st

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Simushir, fuel-laden Russian cargo ship, adrift off Canadian coast after tow lines part

Russian container ship driftingA Russian cargo ship carrying hundreds of tons of fuel is once again adrift off the west coast of Haida Gwaii after a Canadian Coast Guard vessel lost three tow lines.

A spokesman with the Canadian Forces' Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria told CBC News at 11:30 a.m. PT that the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Gordon Reid had tried three times to attach lines to the incapacitated ship, but that all three lines had "parted."

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Conservative US cardinal demoted by pope

Cardinal Raymond BurkeCardinal Raymond Burke, the conservative American who holds the top position in the Vatican’s justice system, on Friday told BuzzFeed he was being demoted.

Burke, a former archbishop of St Louis, has publicly challenged Pope Francis on issues including abortion and homosexuality.

A preliminary report from the church’s extraordinary synod on the family, released on Monday, signalled a readiness to adopt a more conciliatory attitude towards homosexuality, divorce and other “irregular” family situations.

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Himalayan storm disaster claims seven more victims

Nepal disasterThe death toll in the Himalayan trekking disaster has risen sharply with the discovery of at least seven more bodies in the snow on a pass in Nepal.

Thirty-nine people are known to have died when an unseasonal storm swept high ridges and passes on Tuesday, on a popular 320km trekking route around Annapurna, the world’s 10th tallest peak, catching scores of western walkers.

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Senate’s inquiry into CIA torture sidesteps blaming Bush, aides

Bush torture eraA soon-to-be released Senate report on the CIA doesn’t assess the responsibility of former President George W. Bush or his top aides for any of the abuses of the agency’s detention and interrogation program, avoiding a full public accounting of one of the darkest chapters of the war on terror.

“This report is not about the White House. It’s not about the president. It’s not about criminal liability. It’s about the CIA’s actions or inactions,” said a person familiar with the document, who asked not to be further identified because the executive summary – the only part to that will be made public – still is in the final stages of declassification.

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Hong Kong activists regroup; police chief warns safety at risk

Hong Kong protesters regroupHong Kong pro-democracy activists recaptured parts of a core protest zone from police early on Saturday after hours of turmoil that the city's police chief warned undermined order and jeopardized public safety.

Dozens of people were injured in the skirmishes, including 18 police, which raged through the night as several thousand protesters squared off again police in the densely populated Mong Kok district.

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Mexico mayor impeached after link to 43 missing, potentially murdered, college students exposed

Mexico mayor impeachedJosé Luis Abarca, the mayor of Iguala, Mexico, was impeached on Friday over ties to organized crime and his alleged connection to the disappearance of 43 students feared to be killed by police during a recent protest over tuition costs.

"The evidence provided shows that the mayor, Jose Luis Abarca Velezquez ... in charge of public safety and maintaining peace and order did not do so on Sept. 26 and 27 in Iguala," Local politician Omar Jalil Flores told Mexican news outlets.

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Native American schools face decayed buildings, poverty

native american schools in disrepairFederally owned schools for Native Americans on reservations are marked by remoteness, extreme poverty and a lack of construction dollars. They also are among the nation's lowest performing.

The Obama administration is pushing ahead with an improvement plan that gives tribes more control. But the effort is complicated by the disrepair of so many buildings, not to mention the federal legacy of forcing American Indian children from their homes to attend boarding schools.

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Pacific islanders on canoes blockade Australia coal export terminal

Pacific islanders bar coalEnvironmental activists teamed up with Pacific islanders in eastern Australia on Friday in an attempt to block the world's largest coal export terminal by forming a blockade of canoes, surfboards and kayaks.

The burning of coal and other fossil fuels has contributed to climate change, they said, which causes sea level rise. That, environmentalists added, poses an existential threat to residents of low-lying areas around the world, especially in the Pacific, where entire island countries could disappear.

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Justices allow Texas use of new voter ID law

SC JusticesThe Supreme Court said Saturday that Texas can use its controversial new voter identification law for the November election.

A majority of the justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit the state from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo identification in order to cast ballots. Three justices dissented.

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