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Fracking Boom Bonus: Oklahoma Now No. 1 in Earthquakes

Oklahoma first in earthquakesOklahoma may be only No. 12 in college football this year, but the Sooner State is now No. 1 in earthquakes.

A spokesperson for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission — a regulatory body tasked with ensuring the safety of oil and gas exploration in the state — told the Enid Rotary Club that Oklahoma now experiences more earthquakes than anywhere else on planet Earth.

"We have had 15 [earthquakes] in Medford since 5 o'clock Saturday morning," spokesman Matt Skinner said Monday, according to the Enid News. “We’ve got an earthquake issue.”


Earth-like world could be 'most important planet found outside solar system'

earth-like worldA rocky Earth-sized planet that circles a small, nearby star could be the most important world ever found beyond the solar system, astronomers say.

The planet lies in the constellation of Vela in the southern sky and is close enough for telescopes to observe any atmosphere it has, a procedure that could help spot life on other planets in the future.


Missouri state senator aims to block student's dissertation on abortion

Kurt SchaeferA University of Missouri doctoral student plans to continue research for her dissertation on the effects of the state’s recently imposed 72-hour waiting period for abortions, despite a state legislator’s push to block the research, the student told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview.

“I stand by my research project,” Lindsay Ruhr said Wednesday. “I feel that my research is objective, and that the whole point of my research is to understand how this policy affects women. Whether this policy is having a harmful or beneficial effect, we don’t know.”


Inside Virginia's Church-Burning Werewolf White Supremacist Cult

Virginia's White Supremacist GroupsViking-inspired white supremacists trying to terrorize black Christians in the South: not as rare as you think.

News broke yesterday that the FBI arrested two young men under the suspicion that they were planning to start a race war by bombing black churches in their home state of Virginia. The men, Robert Doyle and Ronald Chaney, allegedly ascribe to an Icelandic pagan faith called Asatru that has a disturbingly large following among white supremacists.

The faith itself doesn’t seek to endorse or promulgate racist or anti-Semitic views. But you could be forgiven for thinking it does, given its strange appeal to Nazis and other sundry bigots.


Utah Judge Removes Foster Child From LGBT Parents

Utah removes child from Utah gay foster parentsApril Hoagland and Beckie Peirce are married with two children, and hope to adopt a third, a baby they have been fostering for three months.

But the Utah couple says their adoption hopes were dashed when a judge ruled to remove the baby from their home, saying that the child would be better raised by heterosexual parents.


Congress Shorted 9/11 Responders By $12 Billion

Congress shorts first respondersWhen Congress rushed to finish a 9/11 health and compensation bill in 2010, just before Christmas, supporters of the legislation were forced to scale back their proposals to win over skeptical Republicans.

Now the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has revealed how much 9/11 responders were shorted in that deal -- somewhere between $11.5 billion and $14.5 billion.


Reports from Syria: Israel attacked Damascus Airport

Israeli Air Force Over the course of Syria’s four-and-a-half-year-old civil war, Israel has quietly been drawn in at times. It occasionally treats wounded Syrians in its hospitals and, according to reports, occasionally bombs weapon conveys or retaliates for cross-border fire.

On Wednesday night, Israel reportedly launched another strike against targets at or near the airport in the Syrian capital, Damascus, which is under the control of Syrian President Bashar Assad.


Driven to hospital, Virginia man tased, shackled and dies in police custody

Linwood LambertWhen three Virginia police officers put Linwood Lambert in a squad car around 5 a.m. on May 4, 2013, they said they were taking him to the ER for medical attention because he was speaking delusionally. Just over an hour later, Lambert died in police custody.

He was never given medical care, though the officers of South Boston, Va. did drive him to the hospital. He was not initially put under arrest, though the officers ultimately arrested him, shackled his hands and legs, and tased him repeatedly.  While in custody he was agitated and ran from the officers. Ambulance workers say police later claimed he fought them at a time when videos show he was actually unconscious. Police dispute that account and deny allegations of excessive force.


Georgia man's lawsuit: police forced guilty plea by dangling me off bridge

Georgia man freed after decades in prisonA Georgia man says he was frightened into pleading guilty to a murder he didn’t commit after police dangled him off a bridge three decades ago, brought charges against his parents and threatened him with the death penalty.

Timothy R Johnson was 22 in September 1984 when police arrested him and charged him with the killing of a Warner Robins convenience store clerk shot during a robbery. He pleaded guilty in December of that year – even though he says he didn’t commit the crime. He was sentenced to life in prison.


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