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Thursday, Oct 02nd

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The Nation's Biggest Abortion Battle Is Playing Out in Tennessee

Abortion battle tennesseeThe most contentious political battle raging in Tennessee this year has nothing to do with control of the US Senate or the governor's mansion—it's taking place over a ballot measure that would make Tennessee the next hot zone in the war over abortion rights.

The referendum, called Amendment 1, would amend Tennessee's constitution to read: "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion," including for pregnancies "resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother." If the amendment succeeds, it would allow state lawmakers to pass the kinds of draconian abortion restrictions seen in neighboring states. And pro- and anti-abortion rights groups are raising millions to swing the outcome.

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NRA Hosts "Killer Cop" Competition Amid National Outcry Over Police Violence

NPSCIn previous years the National Rifle Association's (NRA) National Police Shooting Competition (NPSC) included events with names like "Head Shots Only," in which the event's course description contends that police officers need to practice shooting directly at people's heads.

Courses like this are only one of the many reasons why, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, activists and family members of police shootings victims call the annual NPSC the "killer cop contest."

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US embassy in Uganda warns citizens to shelter during terror operatio

Uganda terrorUgandan authorities have uncovered a “terrorist cell” run by the Somali militant Islamist group al-Shabaab, which they believe was planning an imminent attack, the US embassy in Uganda said on Saturday.

“At this point we are not aware of specific targets, and the Ugandan authorities have increased security at key sites, including Entebbe International Airport,” the embassy said in a statement on its website.

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Who’s Paying the Pro-War Pundits?

Who's paying the war punditsIf you read enough news and watch enough cable television about the threat of the Islamic State, the radical Sunni Muslim militia group better known simply as ISIS, you will inevitably encounter a parade of retired generals demanding an increased US military presence in the region.

They will say that our government should deploy, as retired General Anthony Zinni demanded, up to 10,000 American boots on the ground to battle ISIS. Or as in retired General Jack Keane’s case, they will make more vague demands, such as for “offensive” air strikes and the deployment of more military advisers to the region.

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Did You Know You Had Diabetes? It's All Over the Internet

ACXIOMDan Abate doesn’t have diabetes nor is he aware of any obvious link to the disease. Try telling that to data miners.

The 42-year-old information technology worker’s name recently showed up in a database of millions of people with “diabetes interest” sold by Acxiom Corp. (ACXM), one of the world’s biggest data brokers. One buyer, data reseller Exact Data, posted Abate’s name and address online, along with 100 others, under the header Sample Diabetes Mailing List. It’s just one of hundreds of medical databases up for sale to marketers.

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More details emerge in fight that witnesses say involved Palin family

Palin

As police continue investigations into a fight that broke out Saturday at a South Anchorage home, more details have emerged from a man who said he witnessed the brawl. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who some say was involved, remains silent on the issue.

Eric Thompson spoke with ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday. He was among the 70 guests at the birthday party, he said, where he watched the fight unfold.

After the interview, a report surfaced that Thompson, an employee of McKenna Bros. Paving, had been fired for speaking to the media. The party had been held in part for company owners Marc and Matthew McKenna, party guest Charles Fryer said Thursday.

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Gaza struggles to rebuild under blockade

Gaza rebuildingA U.N. representative urged Israel to lift a blockade around Gaza so humanitarian aid and construction materials can reach the region.

Robert Turner, United Nations Relief and Works Agency director of operations in Gaza, visited the region Thursday and said the strip has been left destitute by Israeli shelling over the course of a two-month conflict.

"We need resources. We need funding to rebuild for both the refugees and the non-refugee families in Gaza," he told Voice of America.

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Chemical reform bill faces uphill battle in Senate

UdallEfforts to come up with a new chemical regulation bill face an uphill battle in the Senate.

Over the summer, Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and David Vitter of Louisiana, the top Republican on the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, provided a revised draft of their chemical regulation bill to committee chairwoman Barbara Boxer, who told The Associated Press this week that the draft still falls short.

The original bill had been panned by some environmental groups, such as Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, who assailed it as "phony reform," although the Environmental Defense Fund supported its introduction as a chance for an eventual breakthrough.

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U.S. Inspector: Billions in failed programs wasted in Afghanistan

billions wasted in AfghanistanThe top U.S. official for monitoring aid to Afghanistan painted a grim portrait of the country’s future Friday, saying it is riddled with corruption and graft.

With most Americans’ attention riveted on Iraq and Syria, John F. Sopko, the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan, said the United States’ unprecedented $120 billion reconstruction investment there is at risk.

“The country remains under assault by insurgents and is short of domestic revenue, plagued by corruption, afflicted by criminal elements involved in opium and smuggling, and struggling to execute the basic functions of government,” Sopko said in a speech at Georgetown University.

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