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Friday, Dec 19th

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To Avert Climate Chaos, Meat Consumption Must Drop: Study

meat consumptionThere is an "awareness gap" amongst the global public of the link between eating meat and climate change, and that presents a real obstacle to keeping global warming under the 2-degree threshold, a new study finds.

From the London-based policy institute Chatham House, Livestock – Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector: Global Public Opinion on Meat and Dairy Consumption explores how the livestock sector's contribution to climate change—14.5 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions—is failing to get the attention it warrants.

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Former VA official: Burn pits could be the new Agent Orange

burn pitsAnthony Thornton has trouble speaking, can’t read anymore and has trouble keeping up with his 3-year-old daughter. He said he doesn’t remember everybody’s name.

Thornton, 35, suffers from a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. Doctors had to take out parts of his brain – his temporal lobe and part of his hippocampus.   “I’ve lost a lot, and what I would like to do, I don’t really have that anymore,” said Anthony Thornton. “I don’t like being like this.”

Thornton believes he got sick from toxins he was exposed to from massive, open-air burn pits while serving his country. Burn pits operated on U.S. military bases across Iraq and Afghanistan. At the height of the wars, more than 250 bases burned their trash, releasing large plumes of black smoke into the air.

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What the police don't want us to know

What police don't want us to knowMichael Brown's death was part of a tragic and unacceptable pattern: Police officers in the United States shoot and kill civilians in shockingly high numbers. How many killings are there each year? No one can say for sure, because police departments don't want us to know.

According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, in 2013 there were 461 "justifiable homicides" by police — defined as "the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty." In all but three of these reported killings, officers used firearms.

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The Fracking Boom Could End Way Sooner Than Obama Thinks

Fracking boom could endPresident Obama is fond of touting America's vast trove of natural gas—and the energy (read: economic growth) it can provide—as a reason to support fracking. "Our 100-year supply of natural gas is a big factor in drawing jobs back to our shores," he told a gathering at Northwestern University in October.

You can hear that same optimism about US natural gas production from Democrats, Republicans, and of course, the industry itself. The conviction that America can fuel its economy by churning out massive amounts of natural gas for decades has become a core assumption of national energy policy. But what if it's wrong?

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In Eric Garner Chokehold Case, Grand Jury Is Said Not to Charge N.Y.P.D. Officer

Eric GarnerA Staten Island grand jury has voted not to bring criminal charges against the white New York City police officer at the center of the Eric Garner case, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday.

The decision was reached on Wednesday after months of testimony including from the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who used a chokehold to restrain Mr. Garner, an unarmed black man who died after a confrontation. It came less than two weeks after a grand jury in Ferguson, Mo., declined to bring charges against a white officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown.

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Tugce Albayrak funeral: Thousands mourn heroic student in Germany

Albayarak funeralHundreds of mourners paid their last respects today to a young woman hailed as a hero, who suffered fatal injuries after intervening to help two teenage girls being harassed by a group of men.

Tugce Albayrak had been in a coma since mid-November following an early-morning altercation in Offenbach, near Frankfurt. She died on Friday, her 23rd birthday, after her family gave permission to switch off her life support

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Investigation reveals how Florida man ripped off DEA agents in $30m Ponzi scheme

Kenneth Wayne McCleodThe late Kenneth Wayne McLeod was a financial schemer who worked his government contacts and ripped off dozens of DEA agents along the way, a new Justice Department investigation concludes.

In a 90-plus page report, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General reveals how McLeod snaked his way into law enforcement’s good graces by distributing Super Bowl tickets, charitable donations and more. Until McLeod ended his career by committing suicide in June 2010, officials say he was able to lure into a Ponzi scheme investments totaling more than $30 million from about 130 individuals.

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2014 set to be world's hottest year ever

Hottest year ever - 2014The world is on course for the hottest year ever in 2014, the United Nations weather agency said on Wednesday, heightening the sense of urgency around climate change negotiations underway in Lima.

Preliminary estimates from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) found global average land and sea surface temperatures for the first 10 months of 2014 had soared higher than ever recorded.

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White House review finds lax oversight of police military equipment

military equipment used by policeFederal agencies spent $18 billion over the past five years supplying state and local police forces with equipment including tactical vehicles and weapons while doing little to guard against potential misuse.

The federally funded gear included the same military-grade equipment that some civil-liberties advocates have blamed for stoking tensions between protesters and authorities in Ferguson, Mo.

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