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Sunday, Sep 21st

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US court orders photos of September 11 '20th hijacker' remain classified

photos remain classifiedA federal appeals court on Tuesday said photos of a Saudi national imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay who US officials have said intended to be the “20th hijacker” in the September 11 attacks should stay classified, in the interest of protecting national security.

The second US circuit court of appeals in New York said the government plausibly showed that releasing images of Mohammed al-Qahtani, who was subject to interrogation techniques that a government official likened to torture, could endanger military personnel, diplomats and workers in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

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More than 30 teenagers escape from Tennessee prison

teens escape detentionNine teenagers are still being sought after more than 30 held at a juvenile detention centre in Tennessee escaped by crawling through a fence.

They escaped late Monday evening from the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center in Nashville.

Police said some escapees had handed themselves in, some were brought back by parents and some were picked up.  The centre holds juvenile prisoners, many of whom have committed at least three felonies, a state spokesman said.

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DNA evidence could exonerate two in North Carolina death row case

DNA can exonerate NC inmatesTwo North Carolina men who have been behind bars for 30 years, one of them on death row, will go before a judge on Tuesday morning to present new DNA evidence of their innocence of the murder and rape for which they were convicted as teenagers in 1984.

Lawyers representing Henry McCollum, who faces execution, and his half-brother Leon Brown, serving a life sentence for the brutal 1983 killing of an 11-year-old girl, will call for the pair to be released and cleared of all convictions. They will show the court recent DNA test results that exclude both men as the source of biological material gathered at the crime scene but record a positive match to the genetic profile of another man who has a long criminal record for sexual offences in the area.

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Video reportedly shows ISIL beheading journalist Steven Sotloff

Sotloff videoThe terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has reportedly released a video showing the murder of journalist Steven Sotloff, the group's second beheading of an American journalist in as many weeks.

The monitoring service SITE Intelligence Group reported Tuesday that ISIL had released a video in which Sotloff is killed in a manner similar to the beheading of James Foley, the photojournalist who was killed last month. The executioner is reportedly the same man who killed Foley and threatened to kill Sotloff in the video released on Aug. 19.

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More than 70 arrested at NC Moral Monday protests

Moral Monday arrestMore than 70 protesters were handcuffed and taken to jail during the weekly Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly, bringing the total number arrested in the current legislative session to about 900.

In a change from past weeks, state House leaders moved their Monday night session to 4 p.m., three hours earlier than typical. That left the protesters massing shortly before 7 in the atrium outside the legislative chambers singing and chanting in a largely empty building.

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Halliburton Pays $1B for Gulf Oil Spill

HalliburtonHalliburton Co. agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a majority of lawsuits brought over its role in the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

The agreement is subject to court approval and includes legal fees, the Houston-based company said in a statement today. Halliburton was accused by spill victims and BP Plc of doing defective cementing work on the Macondo well before the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Halliburton blamed the incident on decisions by BP, which owned the well.

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U.S. military personnel rescued after helicopter crash in Gulf of Aden

helico[pter crash gulf of adenAll 25 military personnel aboard a U.S. Marine helicopter that crashed into the Arabian Sea during a training exercise Monday are safe, a Navy spokesman said.

None of the 17 Marines or eight Navy sailors was seriously injured when the CH-53E Super Stallion hit the water while attempting to land on the USS Mesa Verde in the Gulf of Aden, near Djibouti.

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US detainees in North Korea plead for help

N. Korean detaineesNorth Korea gave foreign media access on Monday to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and – watched by officials as they spoke – called for Washington to send a high-ranking representative to negotiate for their freedom.

Jeffrey Fowle and Mathew Miller said they expect to face trial within a month. But they said they do not know what punishment they could face or what the specific charges against them are. Kenneth Bae, who already is serving a 15-year term, said his health has deteriorated at the labor camp where he works eight hours a day.

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Labor Day stems from deadly labor strike, but few Americans know the history

Pullman strikeMonday is the day to celebrate the American worker and his sacrifices and economic and social achievements.  You do know that, right?

If you don’t, you’re not alone.  Few recall the bloodstained origins of this holiday as we fire up the grill, throw on the burgers and dogs and turn on the U.S. Open tennis or maybe the Yanks, Mets or another ballgame.

And, in a sign of the times, the Sunday morning network news shows didn’t even offer their usual, token pre-Labor Day weekend spot for the head of the nation’s labor movement.

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