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Friday, Dec 19th

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US adds 321,000 jobs, the most in nearly 3 years

unemploymentU.S. employers added 321,000 jobs in November, the biggest burst of hiring in nearly three years and the latest sign that the United States is outperforming other economies throughout the developed world.

The Labor Department also said Friday that 44,000 more jobs were added in September and October combined than the government had previously estimated. Job gains have averaged 241,000 a month this year, putting 2014 on track to be the strongest year for hiring since 1999.

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Obama nominates Ashton Carter for Secretary of Defense

Ashton CarterShaking up his Pentagon leadership, President Barack Obama tapped policy wonk Ashton Carter to oversee the sprawling Defense Department Friday, heralding his new nominee as one of the nation's "foremost national security leaders."

Obama announced Carter's nomination during a ceremony at the White House. A Pentagon veteran who is seen as a centrist, Carter is expected to be easily confirmed by the Senate, putting him at the helm of a department moving back into military conflict in the Middle East even as it grapples with budget cuts.

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Protesters flood NYC in second night of demonstrations

NYC protestsA second day of rage erupted in New York City Thursday night, as scores of protesters shut down traffic on the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges to decry justice denied Eric Garner.

Thousands of protesters marched in the Brooklyn-bound lanes of the two East River spans bringing rush-hour traffic to a standstill about 7:30 p.m.  At one point, police dispatchers announced on NYPD radio channels that 10,000 protesters were heading to the Brooklyn Bridge.

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How the NSA Hacks Cellphone Networks Worldwide

NSAFor the NSA, the task was easy. The agency had already obtained technical information about the cellphone carriers’ internal systems by spying on documents sent among company employees, and these details would provide the perfect blueprint to help the military break into the networks.

The NSA’s assistance in the Libya operation, however, was not an isolated case. It was part of a much larger surveillance program—global in its scope and ramifications—targeted not just at hostile countries.

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US teacher killed as Americans targeted in separate Abu Dhabi attacks

Ibolya RyanAmerican citizens in the United Arab Emirates were targeted in attacks that saw the killing of a teacher and the attempted murder of a doctor.

On Monday, a 47-year-old American schoolteacher was stabbed to death in a bathroom of the Boutik Mall in the capital Abu Dhabi. A female suspect has been arrested, though she has not been publicly identified.

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The US Government Deported 438,000 People in 2013. 83 Percent Never Got a Hearing.

deporteesOf the 438,421 people deported in 2013, 83 percent received a summary removal, meaning that they were sent to their country of origin by US officials without a hearing. And according to the ACLU's research, many of these removals were illegal: Asylum seekers, unaccompanied kids, and others who may have qualified for relief routinely have been turned away.

Until the mid-'90s, virtually all immigrants at risk of being deported went through an immigration hearing before a judge. But, partly in response to immigration court backlogs, a 1996 law called the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act changed that, extending the ability to issue deportations to immigration officers—the same people who arrest and detain immigrants.

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U.S. Navy revokes Bill Cosby's honorary chief petty officer title

cosbyThe U.S. Navy has revoked Bill Cosby's title of honorary chief petty officer, citing allegations of sexual abuse against the comedian, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

"The Navy is taking this action because allegations against Mr. Cosby are very serious and are in conflict with the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment," Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens said in a statement.

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Feds Find Shocking, Systemic Brutality, Incompetence in Cleveland Police Department

cleveland police dept.outragesIn recent years, Cleveland police officers have punched a 13-year-old boy who was in handcuffs for shoplifting and shot at an unarmed kidnapping victim who was wearing only his underwear, according to disturbing allegations released Thursday by the Justice Department. The agency's investigation found that officers in Cleveland routinely use unjustifiable force against not only criminals and suspects, but also innocent victims of crimes.

The so-called “pattern or practice” report from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division was released Thursday afternoon as DOJ and the city announced plans to develop a court-enforceable agreement that would impose an independent monitor on the Cleveland Division of Police.

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US Ambassador to Iraq: US forces assured immunity

Stuart JonesWashington has an agreement with Baghdad on privileges and immunities for the growing number of troops based in Iraq who are helping in the fight against the Islamic State group, the new U.S. ambassador said Thursday.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Stuart Jones said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has given assurances that U.S. troops will receive immunity from prosecution. Under Iraq's former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, that issue was a major sticking point, ultimately leading to the decision to withdraw all remaining U.S. troops in late 2011.

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