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Thursday, Jul 30th

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House bill would speed drug approvals, boost research

Fred UptonPressed by industry and patients' groups, the House is nearing approval of a bipartisan bill that would speed federal approval of drugs and medical devices and boost biomedical research.

Passage seemed likely Friday despite warnings from consumer organizations and others that the measure would weaken government safeguards against dangerous or ineffective products. Supporters said that with genetic mapping, biologic medicines produced in living cells and other advances, it was time to streamline how federal regulators assure the safety of new treatments and let them reach market.

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Pope Francis Seeks forgiveness for church's crimes against ‘native people’

Pope apologizes Pope Francis cast himself as the spiritual and political leader of the world's oppressed on Thursday evening with a remarkable mea culpa for the sins and crimes of the Catholic Church against the indigenous peoples during the colonial conquest of the Americas.

Francis “humbly” begged forgiveness at a gathering of indigenous leaders in Bolivia in the presence of Bolivia's first-ever indigenous president, Evo Morales, the climactic high of Francis' weeklong South American tour.

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Omar Sharif, of "Doctor Zhivago," "Lawrence of Arabia," dies

Omar SharifOmar Sharif, the Egyptian-born actor with the dark, soulful eyes who soared to international stardom in movie epics, "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago," died Friday. He was 83.

Sharif died of a heart attack in a Cairo hospital, his longtime agent, London-based Steve Kenis, and the head of Egypt's Theatrical Arts Guild, Ashraf Zaki, told The Associated Press. The actor had been suffering from Alzheimer's.

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After 54 years, Confederate flag removed from Statehouse

Confederate flag take downThe Confederate flag was lowered from the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse on Friday, ending its 54-year presence there and marking a stunning political reversal in a state where many thought the rebel banner would fly indefinitely.

The turnabout seemed unthinkable before the June 17 massacre of nine black parishioners — including a state senator — at a Charleston church during a Bible study. Dylann Roof, a white man who was photographed with the Confederate flag, is charged in the shooting deaths, and authorities have called the killings a hate crime.

The massacre reignited calls to remove Confederate flags and symbols across the South and around the nation.

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Federal officials investigate deportation of teen mom who attempted suicide

Lilian Olivia BardalesFederal civil rights officials have opened an investigation into the case of a teenage mother who was abruptly deported after attempting suicide in early June.

The investigation comes as her attorney has requested that the Department of Justice pursue criminal charges against the immigration officials who were in charge of her and her 4-year-old son’s care.

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More than 21 million affected by government data breach

ssecurity breachHackers stole Social Security numbers, health histories and other highly sensitive data from more than 21 million people, the Obama administration said Thursday, acknowledging that the breach of U.S. government computer systems was far more severe than previously disclosed.

The scope of the data breach — believed to be the biggest in U.S. history — has grown dramatically since the government first disclosed earlier this year that hackers had gotten into the Office of Personnel Management's personnel database and stolen records for about 4.2 million people. Since then, the Obama administration has acknowledged a second, related breach of the systems housing private data that individuals submit during background investigations to obtain security clearances.

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FAA Dumps Trump Navigation Codes

FAA dimbs Trump codesThe Federal Aviation Administration is removing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump from the name of airplane navigation codes near Palm Beach International Airport, The New York Times reports.

Trump has come under fire for comments about immigration, and the FAA said Thursday that it is changing the name of a trio of South Florida navigation routes that were named after the real estate magnate in 2010, according to the report.

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Honda adds another 4.5 million vehicles to Takata airbag recall

TokanobuWith over 20 million Hondas recalled already, the list seems endless. Honda recalled another 4.5 million vehicles today in a further investigation of the deadly defect that plagues airbag made by the Takata corporation.

The defect, associated with the chemical propellant that causes the airbags to inflate rapidly, can cause them to inflate with excessive force, sending metal and plastic shrapnel at a high velocity towards occupants.

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Judge pushes to speed up release of force feeding videos at Guantánamo Bay

Forced feeding at GuantanamoA federal judge appears ready to defy the Obama administration and accelerate the release of potentially inflammatory videotapes depicting the force-feeding of detainees at Guantánamo Bay.

Judge Gladys Kessler has accused the administration of launching baseless legal challenges to delay or minimize the impact of a court-ordered release of videotapes showing what lawyers who have viewed them say is brutal and shocking treatment.

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