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Saturday, Apr 19th

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Egyptian court lets Al Jazeera journalists speak but not go free

Al Jazeera journalists in cagesAn Egyptian court held its fourth session Monday in the criminal case against three Al Jazeera journalists accused of fabricating news and running a terror cell on behalf of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood. But when the prosecution failed for the third time to provide the key video evidence against the journalists, the judge instead dramatically entertained bail for the reporters, who have been held since Dec. 29.

In the end, bail was _ again _ denied. But the judge’s decision to let the defendants address the court directly was unprecedented in the Egyptian judicial system, even if it did not lead to their provisional release.

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Large explosion rocks Washington natural gas plant; 5 workers hurt, 400 residents evacuated

gas explosion washingtonA large explosion rocked a natural gas processing plant on the Washington-Oregon border Monday, injuring five workers, causing about 400 people to evacuate from nearby farms and homes, and emitting a mushroom cloud of black smoke that was visible for more than a mile.

The 8:20 a.m. blast at the Williams Northwest Pipeline facility near the Washington town of Plymouth, along the Columbia River, sparked a fire and punctured one of the facility's two giant storage tanks for liquefied natural gas.

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CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says

CIAA report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the CIA misled the government and the public about aspects of its brutal interrogation program for years — concealing details about the severity of its methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners, and taking credit for critical pieces of intelligence that detainees had in fact surrendered before they were subjected to harsh techniques.

The report, built around detailed chronologies of dozens of CIA detainees, documents a long-standing pattern of unsubstantiated claims as agency officials sought permission to use — and later tried to defend — excruciating interrogation methods that yielded little, if any, significant intelligence, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed the document.

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UN Climate change report: 'The worst is yet to come'

UN Report on Climate ChangeHello, and welcome to the Guardian's live coverage of the release of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on climate impacts. It's the first update to the report for seven years, and is expected to reveal some dire news about the effect of climate change on the world.

Nearly 500 people have signed off on the wording of the report, including 66 expert authors, 271 officials from 115 countries, and 57 observers.

The Guardian's Suzanne Goldenberg is in Yokohama for the press conference. She sent us this dispatch:

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Louisiana House passes abortion restriction bill

Louisiana House of representativesThe Louisiana House of Representatives on Monday approved a bill to impose new restrictions on abortion clinics, adopting a measure similar to one in other states that have forced clinics to shut down.

Without discussion, the House voted 85-6 to approve the bill, which requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at an adequately equipped hospital within 30 miles of the place where the abortion is performed.

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New Analysis: 9.5 Million Uninsured People Covered Under Obamacare

obamacareAbout 9.5 million Americans who were previously uninsured have gotten health coverage under Obamacare, according to a new analysis.

The Los Angeles Times reported the number, which combines data from an unpublished study by RAND Corp. with other publicly available figures. It's one of the most comprehensive efforts yet to asses the law's impact on the uninsured as open enrollment comes to a close.

The numbers break down like this:

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U.N. court orders Japan to halt Antarctic whaling program

Japan whaling ordered to stopThe International Court of Justice on Monday ordered a temporary halt to Japan's Antarctic whaling program, ruling that it is not for scientific purposes as Japan had claimed.

Australia had sued Japan at the U.N.'s highest court in hopes of ending whaling in the icy Southern Ocean. Australia, which said Japan has slaughtered more than 10,000 whales since 1988, insisted that the Japanese program was a thinly disguised commercial exploit under the cover of scientific research.

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Yemenis affected by U.S. drone strikes to launch victims' union

Yemeni dron victimsFriends and family members of victims of U.S. drone strikes in Yemen are launching a national drone victims’ organization Tuesday to support affected communities and lobby for a change in Yemeni government policy regarding the covert program.

The National Organization for Drone Victims (NODV), with the assistance of UK-based legal charity Reprieve, will conduct investigations of drone strikes and highlight the civilian impact of the U.S.’ controversial drone program in Yemen.

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U.S. stock markets are rigged, says author Michael Lewis

stock market riggedThe U.S. stock market is rigged in favor of high-speed electronic trading firms, which use their advantages to extract billions from investors, according to Michael Lewis, author of a new book on the topic, "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt."

High-frequency trading (HFT) is a practice carried out by many banks and proprietary trading firms using sophisticated computer programs to send gobs of orders into the market, executing a small portion of them when opportunities arise to capitalize on price imbalances, or to make markets. HFT makes up more than half of all U.S. trading volume.

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