Friday, Oct 09th

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US pharmaceutical company defends 5,000% price increase

Martin ShkrelliThe head of a US pharmaceutical company has defended his company's decision to raise the price of a 62-year-old medication used by Aids patients by over 5,000%.

Turing Pharmaceuticals acquired the rights to Daraprim in August.  CEO Martin Shkreli has said that the company will use the money it makes from sales to research new treatments.


Building the Bomb: The full story of the Nevada test site

Yucca flats The US conducted most of its early nuclear tests in the Pacific, but they became too costly to continue so in 1950, the US government began to look for a safe place to test nuclear weapons on its mainland.

The Nevada Test Site was established a few years after the end of the second world war, against the fear of an all-out nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. As the Cold War took hold, America needed a convenient place to design and build its nuclear arsenal.


Senate Dems block GOP bill that would curb late abortions

Mitch McConnellSenate Democrats blocked Republican legislation Tuesday that would prohibit most late-term abortions, the second time since this summer's release of videos involving Planned Parenthood that they've derailed an abortion-related drive by the GOP.

Senators voted 54-42 to move ahead on the legislation, but that fell six short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill. With Republicans holding 54 Senate seats and the two parties sharply divided over abortion, the outcome was no surprise. But the showdown afforded each side an opportunity to highlight its willingness to fight to its most loyal voters and contributors.


Young Palestinian woman shot by Israeli forces dies

Palestinian woman shot by IDF diesA young Palestinian woman shot and wounded by Israeli troops after she reportedly attempted to stab a soldier at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank has died, sources have told Al Jazeera.

The woman, named as a 19-year-old university student, was wounded at the checkpoint near the centre of Hebron around 8.30am on Tuesday.

"The attacker attempted to stab a soldier," an Israeli army spokeswoman said, explaining that the soldier then fired live ammunition at her "lower extremities".


In clash with pope's climate call, U.S. Church leases drilling rights

Catholic church sells drilling rightsCasting the fight against climate change as an urgent moral duty, Pope Francis in June urged the world to phase out highly-polluting fossil fuels.

Yet in the heart of U.S. oil country several dioceses and other Catholic institutions are leasing out drilling rights to oil and gas companies to bolster their finances, Reuters has found.

And in one archdiocese -- Oklahoma City -- Church officials have signed three new oil and gas leases since Francis's missive on the environment, leasing documents show.


Four abducted from Philippines resort

Four kidnapped from Phillipine resortThe Philippine military says unidentified gunmen have abducted a Norwegian resort manager, two Canadians and a Filipino woman from a southern island.

Regional military spokesman Capt. Alberto Caber said two Japanese tourists unsuccessfully tried to intervene before the gunmen escaped with their hostages aboard a motorized outrigger from Samal Island off Davao City.


VW scandal widens to include 11M vehicles

VolkswagenVolkswagen said Tuesday that some 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with software at the center of a U.S. emissions scandal, and that it is setting aside around $7.3 billion to cover the fallout.

The U.S.'s Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that VW rigged nearly half a million cars to defeat U.S. smog tests. The company then admitted it intentionally installed software programmed to switch engines to a cleaner mode during official emissions testing. The software then switches off again, enabling cars to drive more powerfully on the road while emitting as much as 40 times the legal pollution limit.


California drought and impending El Niño raise fears of levee breaks

Levees at risk in CaliforniaCalifornia’s historic drought is in its fourth year and gloom-and-doom scenarios of its impact on everything from killing the state’s vegetation and triggering bug infestation to destroying farming jobs have been trickling in daily.

Now, there is another fear: The prolonged drought may have weakened California’s more than 13,000 miles of levees, which could result in floods and affect the quality of water for millions of Californians.


Hundreds of striking workers demand audience with Pope Francis

Striking workers ask to see Pope in DCHundreds of striking low-wage workers in Washington, D.C. want Pope Francis to join their cause. Members of Good Jobs Nation, the labor-backed campaign to win higher pay and union recognition for service employees at federal sites in the capital, halted work on Tuesday morning as part of a protest timed to coincide with the pope’s U.S. visit.

Roughly 1,000 workers from privately managed, federally owned workplaces, such as the Smithsonian museum food courts, joined religious leaders for a march to Capitol Hill. Most, but not all, of the workers are on strike. Several religious leaders marched alongside them, including Rev. Michael Livingston of Riverside Church of New York City, which has a long history of Christian civil rights activism. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, is expected to address the crowd.


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