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Tuesday, Apr 21st

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Islamic State group releases over 200 captive Iraqi Yazidis

YazidisIslamic State militants have released more than 200 members of the Yazidi religious community being held in northern Iraq, Kurdish security officials have said.

Most of the 216 prisoners were in poor health and bore signs of abuse, General Hiwa Abdullah told the Associated Press.  About 40 children were among those freed, while the rest were elderly.

IS attacked the Yazidis in Iraq last year, killing and abducting thousands.

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Russian Hackers Have Been in White House System for Months, Officials Say

hackers hit white houseRussian hackers penetrated the White House non-public, non-classified computer system for several months last year, forcing the White House to shut down the system for several days, U.S. officials said.

The hacked system is not used for classified information, but is used by the White House advance and press office, the general counsel’s office, and officials in the budget and legislative liaison offices.

One person briefed on the hacking said the Russian invaders were difficult to detect and difficult to remove from the White House computer network, and some believe the hackers could still be hiding inside the system tonight.

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South Carolina officer charged with murder after shooting man in the back

Scott murder charge against copA white police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, has been charged with murder over the fatal shooting on Saturday of a 50-year-old black man, Walter Scott, marking a remarkably swift move for justice in a fatal police incident.

North Charleston police chief Eddie Driggers said officer Michael Slager, 33 had been arrested and charged with murder.

Footage of the shooting, which occurred around 9.30am after Scott was pulled over for a traffic violation, reportedly shows Slager firing eight times at Scott, who is running away.

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Study: W. Canada to lose 70% of glaciers

Canada glaciers The glaciers of western Canada are expected to drastically reduce in size in just three generations, according to a study that scientists warn underscores the real consequences of climate change.

The glaciers of Alberta and British Columbia — deemed by many to be among the world’s most picturesque mountain ranges — are set to shrink by 75 percent in area by 2100, when compared to 2005 levels, and by 70 percent in volume, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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Pakistan judge: Charge CIA lawyer, officer for drone strike

Pakistan drone deathsA Pakistani judge on Tuesday ordered that criminal charges be filed against a former CIA lawyer who oversaw its drone program and the one-time chief agency operative in Islamabad over a 2009 strike that killed two people.

Former acting general counsel John A. Rizzo and ex-station chief Jonathan Bank must face charges including murder, conspiracy, terrorism and waging war against Pakistan, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court ruled. A court clerk and a lawyer involved the case, Mirza Shahzad Akbar, confirmed details of the judge's ruling.

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Edward Snowden bust on Brooklyn park war memorial replaced with hologram image

Snowden Snowden still stands.

Hours after an illegal bust of NSA leaker Edward Snowden was erected, and removed, Monday from a Brooklyn war monument, another group of activists replaced the sculpture with a hologram.

Members of The Illuminator collective created an image of the bust and shined it on top of a pillar at the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene park — the same place an unidentified group had earlier placed a four-foot tall, 100-pound bust of the 31-year-old Snowden.

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US army investigates reports that soldiers raped dozens in Colombia

US army investigates Columbia rapesThe US army says it will look into claims that soldiers or civilian defence contractors sexually assaulted as many as 53 women and girls while stationed in Colombia between 2003 and 2007.

“After coordinating with Colombian authorities, we will initiate investigations into any credible allegations of sexual assault or any crime,” said Chris Grey, a spokesman for the US army criminal investigation command.

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Appeals court upholds dismissal of Barack Obama immigration action lawsuit

Obama immigration lawsuitA federal appeals court’s ruling Tuesday upholding the dismissal of a lawsuit over President Barack Obama’s first major executive action to aid illegal immigrants could help the Obama administration fight a more significant suit that has resulted in Obama’s second wave of immigration orders being halted nationwide.

A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that several immigration agents and the state of Mississippi lacked legal standing to sue over Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program because evidence that the agents or the state would be harmed by the effort was too speculative.

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Robert Reich: Colleges, Churches and Non-Profits Doing the Wealthy's Dirty Work

robert reich editotial

Not long ago I was asked to speak to a religious congregation about widening inequality. Shortly before I began, the head of the congregation asked that I not advocate raising taxes on the wealthy.

He said he didn’t want to antagonize certain wealthy congregants on whose generosity the congregation depended.

I had a similar exchange last year with the president of a small college who had invited me to give a lecture that his board of trustees would be attending. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t criticize Wall Street,” he said, explaining that several of the trustees were investment bankers.

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