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Tuesday, May 05th

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After Decades of Struggle, Salvadoran Communities Declare Territory Free of Mining

el Salvador free of miningThe population of Nueva Trinidad voiced its resounding opposition to mining in an official municipal consultation process on March 29. In seven community voting centers, 99.25 percent of participating registered voters cast their ballots against metallic mining in Nueva Trinidad.

The third consultation of its kind in the country, the local exercise in participatory democracy is the latest manifestation of the thriving national movement against mining in the small Central American nation.

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Israel military networks breached by hackers

Israeli military hackedHackers have managed to penetrate computer networks associated with the Israeli military in an espionage campaign that skillfully packages existing attack software with trick emails, according to private security researchers.

The four-month-old effort, most likely by Arabic-speaking programmers, shows how the Middle East continues to be a hotbed for cyber espionage and how widely the ability to carry off such an attack has spread, the researchers said.

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IBM voices strong opposition to proposed Louisiana religious freedom bill

Louisiana GovernorIBM voiced "strong opposition" to Louisiana's proposed religious freedom bill, asking Gov. Bobby Jindal to work with state lawmakers to ensure the legislation is not discriminatory.

IBM vice president James Driesse said such a bill would create a hostile environment for the tech company's employees and prospective employees.

"IBM has made significant investments in Louisiana including most recently a technology services delivery center in Baton Rouge, creating new jobs for Louisiana workers. We located the center in Baton Rouge because we believe Louisiana has great talent and would continue to be a rich source of such talent," Driesse said.

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Alabama sets free death row inmate for 2nd time this month

Ziegler freed in AlabamaFor nearly 15 years, he was scheduled to be executed. Thursday, William Ziegler was released from prison -- a free man.

His return to society was the culmination of an exhaustive appeals process and what amounted to a legal long-shot -- and it was the second such occurrence in the state of Alabama in the last two weeks.

Ziegler, convicted in the 2000 murder of Russell Allen Baker, was freed Thursday. On April 3, Anthony Ray Hinton got his freedom after spending 30 years on death row for the murders of two fast food workers in 1985. In both cases, significant legal faults were discovered and judges sprung them from custody.

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Owner of mining claim urges armed supporters to stand down

Gold mine claimerA man who owns a gold-mining claim on federal land in southwestern Oregon asked for help defending it after U.S. authorities ordered him to stop work, but he is now telling his armed supporters to back off.

Rick Barclay said Thursday that he hoped to prevent his fight with federal regulators from turning into the kind of high-profile standoff at a Nevada ranch last year.

He initially called in a local chapter of constitutional activists known as the Oath Keepers because he thought the U.S. Bureau of Land Management would seize the equipment on his mining claim outside Grants Pass. The agency had served an order to stop work at the mine after finding it lacked the necessary paperwork.

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Army morale low despite 6-year, $287M optimism program

Army morale lowMore than half of some 770,000 soldiers are pessimistic about their future in the military and nearly as many are unhappy in their jobs, despite a six-year, $287 million campaign to make troops more optimistic and resilient, findings obtained by USA TODAY show.

Twelve months of data through early 2015 show that 403,564 soldiers, or 52%, scored badly in the area of optimism, agreeing with statements such as "I rarely count on good things happening to me." Forty-eight percent have little satisfaction in or commitment to their jobs.

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Millions Spent Lobbying By Private Prison Corporations To Keep A Quota Of Arrested Immigrants

privatee prisonsPrivate prison corporations spent $11 million over six years to lobby Congress to keep immigrants in detention centers, a new report released Wednesday found. The Grassroots Leadership report, Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota, found that lobbying efforts of the two largest private prison corporations have made them the main beneficiaries of aggressive immigration detention policies.

For-profit family detention centers have come under scrutiny in recent times as migrant women renewed a hunger strike this week in Texas, demanding that they be released on bond with their children.

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Fracking Exclusion Not Allowed in Pa. Homeowners Earthquake Endorsements

fracking earthquakesThe Pennsylvania Insurance Department issued a notice telling insurance companies that earthquake endorsements to homeowners insurance policies in Pennsylvania cannot exclude coverage for earthquakes that may be caused by “human activity” such as fracking.

According to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s notice issued on April 11, some insurers have asserted that because of an increase in natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania by means of a process commonly referred to as ”fracking,” endorsements should exclude coverage on homeowners policies for earthquakes that are not “naturally occurring.”

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U.S. senators agree on path to fast-track trade bill

ast track okayedU.S. senators said on Thursday they could present a bipartisan bill to move trade deals quickly through Congress as soon as later in the day after reaching agreement on aid for workers hurt by trade.

The move set the stage for a tough fight with critics.

Republican Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said the legislation, key to closing a 12-nation Pacific trade pact and the Obama administration's pivot to Asia, could be unveiled in the afternoon and ready for full Senate consideration next week.

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