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Monday, May 02nd

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Strong earthquake hits south Japan; people may be trapped

Japan earthquakeA powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 knocked over houses in southern Japan on Thursday evening, and police said people may be trapped underneath.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the 9:26 p.m. quake, and no risk of a tsunami.

“There was a ka-boom and the whole house shook violently sideways,” Takahiko Morita, a resident of Mashiki, the town at the epicenter, said in a telephone interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK. “Furniture and bookshelves fell down, books were all over the floor.”

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Life in the Shadows: Palestinians in Lebanon

Al Nakban 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced to leave their country during the Nakba, the "catastrophe", the founding of the state of Israel.

The majority of Palestinians in Lebanon retain the hope of one day returning home - known internationally as "the right of return". But almost seven decades later, refugee camps have become part of the urban landscape of Lebanon.

More than a quarter-of-a-million Palestinians still live in the 12 UN-registered camps and 42 other so-called gatherings across Lebanon. Lebanon is their home but any chance of becoming a genuine part of the communities they live in is constantly undermined by strict laws "protecting" Lebanese citizens' rights, general safety and wellbeing.

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Video of missing Nigerian girls offers hope to families

Nigerian girls photos offer hope to familiesA new video has emerged showing some of the missing schoolgirls kidnapped by the armed group Boko Haram in Nigeria two years ago, providing hope to parents that their daughters are still alive.

About 15 girls featured in the video obtained by the Nigerian government, saying they were from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok and pleading with the government to cooperate with Boko Haram on their release.

Boko Haram fighters abducted 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in April 2014, with 57 pupils managing to escape but 219 still missing.

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Trump campaign manager will not be prosecuted, sources say

Trump campaign manager will not be prosecutedA Florida prosecutor has decided not to prosecute Donald Trump’s campaign manager for battery after a March run-in with former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, sources with knowledge of the situation told POLITICO.

The decision not to press charges against Corey Lewandowski is scheduled to be announced on Thursday afternoon by Palm Beach County State Attorney David Aronberg.

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Ringo Starr cancels North Carolina concert over anti-LGBT bill

Ringo Starr cancels NC concertBeatles legend Ringo Starr is the latest musician to join the chorus against the anti-LGBT bill in North Carolina.

The 75-year-old Starr drummed up more attention against the Southern state's House Bill 2 by cancelling his June 18 concert at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.

"I'm sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred," he said in a statement. "Spread peace and love."

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First Nations suicide emergency: a symptom of Canada's systemic neglect

First Nation suicides in CanadaAs exhausted community leaders in Canada’s troubled Attawapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency this week amid a wave of suicide attempts, Chief Cathy Merrick was watching closely.

Just one month ago, the small Aboriginal community she leads made a similar, heart-wrenching call; faced with six suicides in a span of some three months and more than 140 attempts in two weeks, the remote Manitoba community of Pimicikamak Cree Nation declared a state of emergency in early March.

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Dozens of killings by US police ruled justified without public being notified

 US police killings justifiedDozens of killings by police in the US are being ruled justified without the public being notified, according to a Guardian study that sheds new light on the lack of official transparency surrounding the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers.

Officers involved in one in every six deaths recorded during the first quarter of 2015 have a year later been cleared of wrongdoing and returned to work despite no announcements being made by authorities or local media reports appearing.

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Louisiana Governor Signs Executive Order To Protect LGBT Rights

John bel edwardsLouisiana Governor John Bel Edwards on Wednesday signed an anti-discrimination order protecting the rights of gay and transgender people, aligning his state on the liberal side of a political divide playing out across the South.

The Democrat’s executive order also protects state employees and employees of state contractors against discrimination based on other criteria including race, religion, disability or age. It also bans state agencies from discrimination while offering an exemption for churches and religious organizations.

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Laws decried as LGBT discrimination proposed across country

state legislaturesLegislation has been proposed in states across the country to protect those who — due to religious beliefs — decline to employ or serve certain people. Critics say the laws are aimed at the LGBT community and are discriminatory. Recent laws denounced as discriminatory in North Carolina and Mississippi has prompted a growing backlash from opponents. Here's a look at legislation around the country:

ALABAMA:

Alabama lawmakers are considering a measure to prevent the state from refusing to license childcare service providers who decline services that conflict with their religious beliefs. Religious organizations contract with the state to provide some childcare services, and opponents of the proposal have argued that the bill could be used to exclude gay and lesbian couples from adopting children or being foster parents. The proposal comes after the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down an Alabama Supreme Court order that invalidated a lesbian couple's adoption in Georgia.

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