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Friday, Apr 25th

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U.S. Protesters rally across U.S. for immigration reform

immigration reformThousands of undocumented immigrants and their supporters rallied across the United States on Saturday as part of a national day of action called “Two Million Too Many" – activists’ latest effort to urge President Barack Obama to use his executive powers to scale back deportations.

Protesters gathered outside government offices and detention facilities where undocumented immigrants are transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation.

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Kansas lawmakers OK bill to void local gun rules

Kansas bars gun lawsKansas legislators gave final approval Saturday to a bill that would nullify city and county gun restrictions and ensure that it's legal across the state to openly carry firearms, a measure the National Rifle Association sees as a nationwide model for stripping local officials of their gun-regulating power.

The House approved the legislation, 102-19, a day after the Senate passed it, 37-2. The measure goes next to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. He hasn't said whether he'll sign it, but he's a strong supporter of gun rights and has signed other measures backed by the NRA and the Kansas State Rifle Association.

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Judge tosses lawsuit over drone deaths of Americans

drone strike suit tossedRepresentatives of three Americans killed in drone strikes in Yemen in 2011—including Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Anwar Al-Awlaki—cannot pursue a lawsuit alleging that the killings violated their constitutional rights, a federal judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer dismissed a suit brought on behalf of Al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman and alleged AQAP propagandist Samir Khan. Civil liberties groups filed the litigation on behalf of family members of the dead Americans, arguing that they were unconstitutionally deprived of life without due process of law and that the Obama Administration illegally maintained a so-called "kill list" of Americans targeted for death at the hands of U.S. government operations overseas.

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22 million years later, hummingbird evolution still soaring

sword-billed hummingbirdA new exhaustive family tree of hummingbirds -- published today in the journal Current Biology -- reveals the remarkable 22-million year evolutionary journey from a single common ancestor to today's assemblage of 338 different species.

It's the story of a tiny bird which begins in Europe 22 million years ago. After making its way to Asia and North America, and the delicate creature suddenly and rapidly flourishes in South America -- its family radiating out into 140 new species amongst the varied terrain and thin air of modern-day Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.

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Rep. Steve King thinks Dreamers who want to join military should be deported

Peter KingRep. Steve King, R-Iowa, says that instead of allowing children of undocumented immigrants to join the military, the U.S. should tell them, "We have a bus for you to Tijuana."

"As soon as they raise their hand and say, 'I'm unlawfully present in the United States,' we're not going take your oath into the military, but we're going to take your deposition and we have a bus for you to Tijuana," said King. "That's the law."

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Climate meeting to discuss future of fossil fuels

fissil fuelsAfter concluding that global warming almost certainly is man-made and poses a grave threat to humanity, the U.N.-sponsored expert panel on climate change is moving on to the next phase: what to do about it.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, will meet next week in Berlin to chart ways in which the world can curb the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are overheating the planet.

It is also trying to give estimates on what it would cost.

In the third report of a landmark climate assessment, the IPCC is expected to say that to keep warming in check, the world needs a major shift in investments from fossil fuels - the principal source of man-made carbon emissions - to renewable energy.

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Senate’s findings on CIA interrogations likely to become roadmap for litigation

CIA interrogationsscathing and still-secret Senate report on harsh CIA interrogations and detentions threatens to drag President Barack Obama into a legal thicket he’d rather avoid.

With its findings that the CIA flagrantly abused some detainees and held some without legal authorization, the Senate Intelligence Committee report now headed for the White House could become a roadmap for future litigation. At the very least, it confronts officials with uncomfortable choices.

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Alex Baer: Out of Sight, Out of Shut-Eye

Drone deathsThere'd be no telling what's really bugging us, second-to-second, without all the constant, helpful reminders from our talking-head gadgets, sound sources, headline services, downloaders, and assorted cultural pulse-takers.

The media does our thinking for us, so we can continue our sleepwalking, and our sleepdriving, and our sleepworking, and our sleepeating, and our sleepsleeping, in uninterrupted bliss.

It is now possible, for example, to go from coast to coast in this country, one of outlandishly enormous land mass and huge distances, and never once hear any local programming on the radio.  Instead, we can hear just one, long, steady drone, not unlike the long, steady drone heard just before an actual drone drops from the sky, a split second before the sky itself drops out of the sky, and right onto you.

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Christie press secretary testifies before bridge scandal grand jury

Christie press secretary testifiesA grand jury is now hearing testimony in the federal criminal probe into the George Washington Bridge lane-closings scandal, according to Anthony Iacullo, the lawyer for Gov. Chris Christie’s spokesman, Michael Drewniak, who added that Drewniak appeared before the grand jurors today and testified as a witness.

Legal experts say the hearing of grand-jury testimony is an important development that means U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman has accumulated enough evidence to move past a preliminary inquiry into the controversial lane closings and into a grand jury investigation of them.

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