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Wednesday, Aug 27th

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US terrorism database has doubled in size since 2009

Terror data baseA government database of known or suspected terrorists doubled in size in recent years, the Associated Press has learned. The growth is the result of intelligence agencies submitting names more often after a near-miss attack in 2009.

There were 1.1 million people in the database at the end of 2013, according to newly released figures from the National Counterterrorism Center, which maintains the information. There were about 550,000 people in the database in March 2010.

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Israeli Solders Under Investigation for War Crimes in Gaza

IDF war crimesPeople are crowding the streets of Gaza City and fishermen are back on the sea as Gazans seize the opportunity of a shaky three-day ceasefire to try to return to something like normal life. More than a quarter of Gaza’s 1.8 million people have been displaced by the fighting, so when Israeli troops withdrew on Tuesday morning, many Gazans clogged the roads, heading back to their neighborhoods to get some idea if anything is left in the places they fled.

The war has killed over 1,800 Palestinians, mostly civilians, hundreds of them children, and 67 Israelis, all but three of them soldiers. It has gone on for nearly a month with such ferocity that both Israel and Hamas, nearing exhaustion, have been looking for ways to claim victory and end the fighting.

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Obama officials, Senate intelligence panel spar over deletions from torture report

Torture report deletions— The Obama administration and the Senate Intelligence Committee are sparring over the administration’s deletions of fake names from the public version of a long-awaited report on the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation methods on suspected terrorists, McClatchy has learned.

The outcome of the debate could impact the clarity and narrative flow of the report, the product of the most intensive congressional investigation of CIA operations since lawmakers examined the agency’s role in the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal of the Reagan presidency.

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Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch surrenders to DEA

Tony BoschA year to the day that Major League Baseball handed down more than a dozen suspensions in the Biogenesis scandal, highlighted by that of embattled slugger Alex Rodriguez, federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents conducted an early Tuesday morning roundup that led to charges against the former clinic's founder, Anthony Bosch, and others tied to his operation.

Shortly after 6 a.m. ET, federal agents began driving up with the handcuffed suspects at the DEA regional office on the outskirts of Fort Lauderdale. Bosch and his attorney drove to the DEA office to surrender. Several of his associates with ties to the anti-aging/wellness business were picked up at their homes in the predawn hours and brought in for processing.

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Judge orders Florida to recognize out-of-state gay marriages

Gay marriageA fourth Florida judge, this time in Fort Lauderdale, ordered the state Monday to recognize same-sex marriage.

Broward County Circuit Judge Dale Cohen ruled in the case of a woman who wants to divorce her same-sex partner. The two women entered a civil union in Vermont in 2000, and Cohen ruled that the state must recognize Heather Brassner's relationship in order to end it.

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Petrol bomb targets Irish fracking campaign

Irish fracking campaignAn energy company planning to drill for shale natural gas in Northern Ireland said the home of one of its workers was bombed.

Tamboran Resources said last month it aims to drill what it says was a "scientific borehole" at a site in Northern Ireland. Since the July 21 announcement, the company said it secured an injunction that prevents outsiders from interfering with its operations because of a string of protests.

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China to ban all coal use in Beijing by 2020

China coal useChina's smog-plagued capital has announced plans to ban the use of coal by the end of 2020 as the country fights deadly levels of pollution, especially in major cities.

Beijing's Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau posted the plan on its website Monday, saying the city would instead prioritize electricity and natural gas for heating.

The official Xinhua News Agency said coal accounted for a quarter of Beijing's energy consumption in 2012 and 22 percent of the fine particles floating in the city's air. Motor vehicles, industrial production and general dust also contributed to pollution in the 21 million-person city.

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Cease-fire takes effect to end Gaza war

Gaza cease-fireAn Israel-Hamas cease-fire, meant to last three days, went into effect on Tuesday in the Gaza Strip, setting the stage for talks in Cairo aimed at reaching a broader deal on a sustainable truce and the rebuilding of the battered coastal territory.

The temporary truce, agreed to by both sides, started at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) and halted almost a month of fighting.

Israeli ground troops withdrew from the strip's border areas, the shelling stopped and in Gaza City, where streets had been deserted during the war, traffic picked up and shops started opening doors.

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Attack at Afghan base kills US general, wounds 15

Camp QuarghaA U.S. Army major general was killed in an attack at an Afghan military base in Kabul on Tuesday, according to a defense official who asked not to be named.

If confirmed would be the highest ranking American officer to be killed in the war in Afghanistan.  A defense official confirmed the information on the condition he not be named since the family had not been fully notified yet.

Coalition headquarters in Kabul would confirm only that one coalition servicemen was killed in an attack. The coalition headquarters did not detail the circumstances of the attack.

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