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Friday, Jul 03rd

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Bradenton prosthetics company pleads guilty to health fraud

bradenton prostheticsA Bradenton orthopedic brace and prosthetics company pleaded guilty Friday to bilking from the federal government more than $1.4 million in Medicare and Medicaid claims, authorities said.

Suncoast Brace & Limb, which does business in south Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota and Citrus counties, submitted fraudulent claims for prosthetic devices from July 2009 to March 2012, according to a plea agreement.

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Juneteenth: 150 Years Ago, Black America Got Its Own Independence Day

JuneteenthIn 1865, enslaved Africans on Galveston Island, Texas, had been declared free two years earlier but didn’t know it. With the United States still divided over the institution of slavery and recovering after the Civil War, members of the Confederacy weren’t eager to spread the word.

Only after Union soldiers, led by Major Gen. Gordon Granger, worked their way South for more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation did word reach Galveston Island. On June 19, 1865, known as Juneteenth—a melding of the day’s month and date—the last remaining slaves in America were declared free. Juneteenth, America’s “second Independence Day,” is now celebrated around the country. It is officially observed in 43 states and is a state holiday in Texas, home of the last to know.

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A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths

Japan gun freeI've heard it said that, if you take a walk around Waikiki, it's only a matter of time until someone hands you a flyer of scantily clad women clutching handguns, overlaid with English and maybe Japanese text advertising one of the many local shooting ranges.

The city's largest, the Royal Hawaiian Shooting Club, advertises instructors fluent in Japanese, which is also the default language of its website. For years, this peculiar Hawaiian industry has explicitly targeted Japanese tourists, drawing them away from beaches and resorts into shopping malls, to do things that are forbidden in their own country.

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Manitoba apologizes to indigenous families for 'cultural loss'

Manitoba apologizes for indigenous adoptionsThe Canadian province of Manitoba has apologised to indigenous families for decades of forced adoptions.

Premier Greg Selinger said on Thursday the practice left "intergenerational scars and cultural loss". The programme sought to integrate children into mainstream Canadian society, but in doing so rid them of their native culture.

The Canadian government apologised in 2008, but this is first time a province has taken responsibility.

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Mitch McConnell commits to abortion ban vote

Mitch McConnellSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell guaranteed a vote on a bill imposing a federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks of gestation, telling a conservative crowd in Washington that a vote on the divisive legislation would be “good news for our entire country.”

Though the bill passed the House earlier this year after a row over rape-reporting requirements in the legislation, the Senate’s version from Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is a long-shot to pass the Senate’s 60-vote threshold. Several moderate Republicans like Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois and Susan Collins of Maine are likely to oppose the legislation, and only a handful of centrist Democrats would back McConnell.

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Iowa Supreme Court: Ban on telemed abortion unconstitutional

Ban on Telemed abortion overturned in IowaIn a unanimous ruling, the Iowa Supreme Court has ruled a ban on telemedicine abortions by the Iowa Board of Medicine violates the state constitution.

The Iowa Board of Medicine voted in 2013 to require a doctor be present during medication abortions, which in effect banned the telemedicine abortions.

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Controversial UK security firm lobbying for US migrant detention contracts

UK security firmA controversial British security company implicated in numerous immigration detention controversies in the UK and Australia is lobbying to secure potentially lucrative contracts to detain migrant families in the United States, documents obtained by the Guardian show.

Serco Inc, the US subsidiary of the British owned multinational Serco Group, has held meetings in Washington DC with Democratic congressional staffers, at which it has circulated a confidential briefing paper boasting of its record in detaining migrant families.

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This Year Is Headed for the Hottest on Record, by a Long Shot

2015 hottest year on recordWe broke the record. Again.

Last month was the hottest May on record, and the past five months were the warmest start to a year on record, according to new data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It's a continuation of trends that made 2014 the most blistering year for the surface of the planet, in records going back to 1880.

The animation below shows the Earth’s warming climate, recorded in monthly measurements from land and sea over more than 135 years. Temperatures are displayed in degrees above or below the 20th-century average. Thirteen of the 14 hottest years are in the 21st century, and 2015 is on track to break the heat record again. It isn't even close.

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U.S. sues BAE Systems unit for overcharging for military trucks

BAQE systemsThe United States has sued a Texas-based subsidiary of global defense giant BAE Systems Inc for overcharging the U.S. Army in its contract to build 20,000 military trucks, the Department of Justice said on Friday.

BAE Systems Tactical Vehicle Systems LP is accused of inflating the cost of materials during contract negotiations, the department said.

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