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Tuesday, Oct 21st

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U.S. charges four with stealing $100 million in software, data

Army X-Box data hackedFour members of an alleged international computer hacking ring were charged with stealing more than $100 million worth of software and data - some of it used to train military pilots and some related to Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) Xbox gaming console - the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

Two of the four - a 28-year-old New Jersey man and a 22-year-old Canadian man - pleaded guilty to charges contained in an indictment unsealed earlier in the day, the agency said.

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Climate change: 35,000 walruses 'haul out' on Alaskan shore

walrusus on shoreHaul out!  That's what it's called when animals congregate in large groups, and that's just what's happening with 35,000 walruses on the shore of Alaska.

But the phenomenon is no grand jubilee: The reason for the walrus gathering is bleak. The flippered marine mammals are changing their habits because of climate change, environmentalists say.

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Baker Hughes to reveal fracking components

fracking componentOil services company Baker Hughes said Wednesday it implemented its policy of fully disclosing the chemicals it uses in hydraulic fracturing.

"The policy we are implementing today is consistent with our belief that we are partners in solving industry challenges, and that we have a responsibility to provide the public with the information they want and deserve," Baker Hughes Chief Strategy Officer Derek Mathieson said in a statement.

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U.S. had plans to invade Cuba in 1976, documents show

1976 plans to invade CubaThe United States developed plans to attack Cuba in 1976 following its military intervention in Angola, recently declassified documents indicate.

The research of documents at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Mich., declassified at the request of the research group National Security Archive, says then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and other officials convened to work out plans to retaliate against Cuba, should it deploy its army to other African countries.

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Syria blasts at school kill 17, including 10 children

Syria school explosionTwin bombings near a school in central Syria killed at least 17 people on Wednesday, including 10 children, as gruesome images appeared on social media networks purported to show Kurdish fighters slain at the hands of Islamic State militants during battles near Syria's border with Turkey.

The bombs went off in the city of Homs, in a neighborhood dominated by minority Alawities, a Shiite offshoot sect that President Bashar Assad also belongs to. It was one of the deadliest strikes to hit the government-controlled area in months.

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Detroit bankruptcy judge says he can't stop city from shutting off water for unpaid bills

Detroit water cuttoffA judge overseeing Detroit's bankruptcy refused Monday to stop the city from shutting off water if people can't pay their bill.

Judge Steven Rhodes said the water department probably hasn't done enough to help people with chronically low income, but noted there is no "enforceable right" to water.

Rhodes covered much ground as he read his opinion in court. He said Detroit's recent strategy to get people into two-year payment plans, starting with a 10 percent down payment, was "bold" and "commendable." Roughly 30,000 customers now are enrolled.

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History’s largest trade agreements are being negotiated in secret

Secret trade agreementsIn August 2007, then–presidential candidate Barack Obama vowed that, if elected, he would “immediately” amend the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which the U.S. signed with Mexico 13 years earlier.

“Our trade agreements should not just be good for Wall Street. It should also be good for Main Street,” he said, objecting to the influence of corporate lobbyists over labor unions and other groups in negotiating trade agreements.

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Dallas hospital diagnoses first patient with Ebola

Dallas hospitalThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Tuesday the first case of Ebola in a critically ill patient diagnosed in a U.S. hospital.

The patient — who has been isolated since his symptoms were recognized — is an unnamed man in intensive care at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in Dallas.

Hospital workers noted his case because of his symptoms and recent travel history. It is not known whether he has infected others, although CDC officials are tracing his contacts.

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Gov. Jerry Brown signs California gun restriction

California gun lawCalifornia will become the first state that allows family members to ask a judge to remove firearms from a relative who appears to pose a threat, under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday he had signed.

The bill was proposed by several Democrats and responds to a deadly rampage in May near the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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