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Friday, Nov 21st

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Gang members confess to mass killing of Mexico students

gang member skilled Mexican studentsSuspects in the disappearance of 43 college students have described a macabre and complicated mass murder and incineration ending with ashen remains in a landfill or being dumped into a river in southwest Mexico, Mexican authorities said Friday.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo cited the confessions of three detained gang members. Murillo said the detainees admitted they set fire to members of the group in a rubbish dump near the southwestern city of Iguala, where the students went missing on Sept. 26 after clashing with police on their way to a rally to protest proposed government educational reforms.

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US says North Korea releases 2 detained Americans

Korean prisoners releasedThe two remaining Americans who had been held in North Korea have been released and are on their way home, U.S. officials said Saturday.

A spokesman for Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Clapper was accompanying Americans Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller on their journey back to the United States.

Bae and Miller were the last Americans held by North Korea following the release last month of Jeffrey Fowle, an Ohio resident detained for nearly six months.

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Over 200 Cumulative Arrests including “Beyond Extreme Energy” Blockade

protests arrestsOver 200 people have been arrested in recent days carrying out nonviolent actions in four states and Washington, DC to resist fracking infrastructure: VT (60); RI (3); NY (25); MD (11); and Washington DC (now over 100).

The total number of people arrested in the Beyond Extreme Energy daily FERC blockades in Washington, DC is not yet known.
Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams, sums up the week’s Beyond Extreme Energy actions:

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Head of Mississippi's Prisons Charged With Being Completely Corrupt

Mississippi prison scandalChris Epps resigned as head of the Mississippi Department of Corrections this week after more than a decade on the job. An indictment against him says he spent much of that time systematically robbing the state.

The indictment alleges that Epps conspired to pass out public contracts with his department in exchange for kickbacks—"taking more than $1 million in bribes and kickbacks over the last eight years in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars in prison contracts." The Clarion-Ledger gives an example of how brazen Epps was:

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Obama authorizes 1,500 more troops for Iraq

More troops to IraqPresident Barack Obama authorized a broad expansion on Friday of the U.S. military mission in Iraq that will boost the total number of American troops there to about 3,100 and spread advisory teams and trainers to the north and west where fighting with Islamic State militants has been fierce.

The president's decision to escalate the U.S. effort in Iraq comes just three days after a bruising American election and amid persistent arguments that more U.S. troops are needed to bolster the struggling Iraqi forces. In particular, there have been calls to send troops to the western Anbar province, where extremists have been slaughtering men, women and children.

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The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare

Alayne FleischmannShe tried to stay quiet, she really did. But after eight years of keeping a heavy secret, the day came when Alayne Fleischmann couldn't take it anymore.

"It was like watching an old lady get mugged on the street," she says. "I thought, 'I can't sit by any longer.'"

Fleischmann is a tall, thin, quick-witted securities lawyer in her late thirties, with long blond hair, pale-blue eyes and an infectious sense of humor that has survived some very tough times. She's had to struggle to find work despite some striking skills and qualifications, a common symptom of a not-so-common condition called being a whistle-blower.

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85 richest now have as much money as poorest 3.5B

Warren Buffet"There's been class warfare going on for the last 20 years, and my class has won."

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett made that remark more than three years ago and it still holds true today — only the gap between the richest and the poorest has gotten even wider.

Here's how bad it is: Oxfam now calculates that the 85 richest billionaires on the planet, including the likes of Carlos Slim, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, have as much money as the 3.5 billion poorest people.

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Supreme Court Agrees To Hear New Challenge To Obamacare

US Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court has agreed to hear a new challenge to President Barack Obama's health care law.

The justices on Friday say they will decide whether the law authorizes subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their health insurance premiums.

A federal appeals court upheld Internal Revenue Service regulations that allow health-insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for consumers in all 50 states. Opponents argue that most of the subsidies are illegal.

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Brooklyn Federal Prosecutor to Be A.G.

Loretta LynchLoretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, is expected to be President Barack Obama's pick for attorney general, U.S. officials briefed on the matter said.

An announcement is expected in the coming days, though the timing is complicated by the president's plans to travel to Asia this weekend.
Holder 'frustrated' no jail for bankers

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