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Thursday, Oct 02nd

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Wisconsin photo-ID law gets appeals court blessing

Scott WalkerA federal appeals court on Friday gave Wisconsin the green light to implement its controversial photo ID law for this year's elections.

The order from a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, delivered just hours after oral arguments in the case, brought widespread criticism from voting rights groups that say the law will reduce turnout among poor and minority voters.

The panel, comprised of judges named by Republican presidents, didn't issue its decision on the state's appeal of a district judge's ruling that struck down the law. But it said the state could impose the new requirement in the meantime.

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Israeli intelligence veterans refuse to serve in Palestinian territories

Israeli intel refuse to serve in territoriesForty-three veterans of one of Israel’s most secretive military intelligence units – many of them still active reservists – have signed a public letter refusing to serve in operations involving the occupied Palestinian territories because of the widespread surveillance of innocent residents.

The signatories include officers, former instructors and senior NCOs from the country’s equivalent of America’s NSA or Britain’s GCHQ, known as Unit 8200 – or in Hebrew as Yehida Shmoneh-Matayim.

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Seniors Forced Into Poverty As Education Department Demands Payment

student loan debtThe Education Department is demanding so much money from seniors with defaulted student loans that it's forcing tens of thousands of them into poverty, according to a government audit.

At least 22,000 Americans aged 65 and older had a part of their Social Security benefits garnished last year to the point that their monthly benefits were below federal poverty thresholds, according to the Government Accountability Office.

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1 In 5 Times, A Man Can't Buy The Morning-After Pill

plan bIf a guy needs to buy the morning-after pill for a female friend, he's going to need to rely on a fair amount of luck. That's because a study found young men have a nearly 20 percent chance of being denied emergency contraception even though there are no laws preventing them from buying it.

A January study from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health sent male "mystery shoppers" to 158 pharmacies in three neighborhoods of New York City to buy emergency contraception, such as Plan B, which is an effective way to avoid an unintended pregnancy in the event of something like rape or a condom breaking during sex. The study found that only 81 percent of the pharmacies would give emergency contraception to the male shoppers. At 19 percent of the pharmacies, the male shoppers couldn't obtain contraception.

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Environmental groups sue govt for transporting oil in old train cars

oil trainsEnvironmental groups are suing the U.S. Department of Transportation over the shipment of crude oil in old railroad tank cars they say are too easily punctured or ruptured when derailed, leading to dangerous spills.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday by the Sierra Club, EarthJustice and ForestEthics says the agency failed to respond to a legal petition the groups filed in July. That petition sought an emergency order to prohibit crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana and elsewhere from being carried in older tank cars, known as DOT-111s.

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Germany passes ban on Islamic State

Angela MerkelGermany passed a ban on all images and activities related to the Islamic State (IS) Friday, including social media endorsement.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said flouting the ban "is a crime with immediate effect."

The ban includes the IS flag, social media activity, demonstrations and supporting the group financially. It's an attempt to prevent German jihadists from carrying out attacks in their homeland.

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Judge: Pistorius is guilty of culpable homicide

PistoriusA South African judge on Friday found Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide, or negligent killing, in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and declared him not guilty of murder and premeditated murder.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said Friday that the double-amputee athlete was not guilty of murder, as prosecutors had alleged. She ordered Pistorius to stand before she delivered the verdict.

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Bob Alexander: By My Clock It’s Always 9/11

9/11I wrote this about 4 years ago:

We were in a canoe paddling towards the middle of the lake. The sky and water was blue as the blue in a Maxfield Parrish painting. I looked down and it seemed I could see forever into the depths of the lake. And I wondered … What would it be like to lose something … Something of great value … Right here in the middle of the lake? What would it be like if my wedding band slipped off my finger into the lake?

It would be lost the moment it hit the water.

Even if I immediately dove in after the ring it would sink faster and deeper than I could swim. But I would be able to clearly see it as it sank … for a long time. That’s the terrible part. To see it fall away with absolute clarity … sunlight glinting off the gold as it rapidly receded farther and further into the depths … finally passing deeper than light can penetrate … and then … wink out of existence.

Lost.

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Warren Commission Experts To Reveal Secrets of JFK Murder, Cover-up at Sept. 26-28 DC Conference

warren Commission exposedWashington, DC — Forty-four prominent authors, medical doctors, academics, lawyers and other research experts convene from Sept. 26 to 28 to reveal recent findings undercutting the Warren Commission’s 1964 report ascribing President Kennedy’s murder to a sole assassin.

On the unique, historic occasion of the Warren report’s 50th anniversary, experts and surviving witnesses will examine evidence showing the commission was wrong about its core finding, that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the president with three shots from behind. Polls for decades have shown that most Americans – sometimes more than 70 percent – disbelieve the commission, which was chaired by the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.

“Few serious scholars believe the Warren Report any longer,” said Assassinations Archives and Record Center President James Lesar, whose non-profit group AARC has organized what he called, “one of the most important JFK assassination conferences in history.”

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