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Report on East Coast prep school details decades of sexual misconduct

Choate sexual abuseAt least 12 former faculty members at the elite Connecticut boarding school Choate Rosemary Hall engaged in "substantiated instances of sexual misconduct" with students dating back to the 1960s, the school said in a new report.

The report came as a result of an independent investigation led by investigator and former prosecutor Nancy Kestenbaum of Covington & Burling LLP after the school engaged the firm to conduct the investigation.


Evacuations begin in four besieged Syrian towns

Evacuations begin in Syrian townsThe Syrian regime and rebel groups have begun busing thousands of people out of four besieged towns as part of an evacuation agreement between warring sides.

More than 30,000 people are expected to be moved in the efforts that began Thursday. In the first phase of the deal, about 8,000 people under siege in the government-held northwestern towns of Foah and Kefraya will be bused out, while about 3,400 people living in two rebel-held towns near Damascus, Madaya and Zabadani, will also be given safe passage.


USGS study finds array of contaminants in U.S. waterways

US waterways contaminatedNew research shows many waterways in the United States contain complex blends of carbon-based contaminants.

When researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey sampled streams across the United States, they were surprised by the complexity of contaminant mixtures. Several of the organic contaminants measured could have adverse effects on aquatic species, and some could potentially harm human health.

The majority of the chemicals tested for by the USGS researchers are bioactive, which means they are certainly affecting living organisms.


Afghanistan: 36 Islamic State fighters killed by large blast

MOAB blast killed 36The attack on a tunnel complex in remote eastern Afghanistan with the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military left 36 Islamic State militants dead and no civilian casualties, Afghanistan officials said Friday.

The attack was carried out in a remote mountainous area of Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border where there had been heavy fighting in recent weeks between Afghan forces and IS militants. The Ministry of Defense said in a statement that several IS caves and ammunition caches were destroyed by the giant bomb, which terrified villagers on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border with its "earsplitting blast."


Trump's Mar-a-Lago club cited for serious food safety violations

mar-a-LagoMar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s exclusive Palm Beach country club where the US president has an increasing fondness for entertaining world leaders with dinner and diplomacy, has been cited for a number of serious food safety violations by Florida’s restaurant inspectors.

During a routine visit in January, just days before Trump hosted a now infamous meal on the terrace with the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, inspectors found three “high priority” violations, including offering diners potentially parasitic raw fish and storing meat in broken coolers at too high a temperature.


President Trump signs bill allowing states to withhold Planned Parenthood funds

Bill signed to cut funding to Planned ParenthoodPresident Donald Trump privately signed a bill on Thursday that allows states to withhold federal money from organizations that provide abortion services, including Planned Parenthood, a group frequently targeted by Republicans.

The bill, which the usually camera-friendly President signed without any media present, reverses an Obama-era regulation that prohibited states from withholding money from facilities that perform abortions, arguing that many of these facilities also provide other family planning and medical services.


CIA head: WikiLeaks a 'non-state hostile intelligence service'

Mike Pompeo exposes WikileaksCIA Director Mike Pompeo on Thursday hammered WikiLeaks, calling the organization a "non-state hostile intelligence service."

In his first major public appearance since taking the top intelligence post in the Trump administration, Pompeo took aim at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked confidential information about NSA surveillance to news outlets before seeking refuge in Russia.


Report: British spies first spotted Trump-Russia links in 2015

Report: British spies first spotted Trump-Russia links in 2015Britain’s spy agencies helped alert U.S. intelligence officials to possible links between President Trump's campaign and Russia after first noticing interactions in late 2015, The Guardian reported Thursday.

The report said Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) noticed suspicious interactions between Trump allies and known or suspected Russian agents in late 2015.

The information was picked up amid routine surveillance of Russian targets and was not part of a spying operation aimed at Trump's team, the Guardian said.


Nearly all the elements needed for life found on Saturn's moon

Saturn's moonScientists have found a potential food source for life on a world in our solar system, raising the tantalizing possibility that organisms could thrive in a place besides Earth.

The researchers emphasize they did not find evidence of life itself. What they did find was hydrogen gas in the geyser-like plumes spurting from the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. On Earth, hydrogen from seafloor hot springs, also known as hydrothermal vents, serves as a food stock for microbes and as the base of an elaborate ecosystem.


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