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Saturday, Dec 20th

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Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnap over 100 women, children in Nigeria

Boko Haram takes women and childrenSuspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnapped more than 100 women and children and killed 35 people during a raid on the remote northeast Nigerian village of Gumsuri, a security source and resident said on Thursday.

"They gathered the people, shot dead over 30 people and took away more than 100 women and children in two open-top trucks," Maina Chibok, who did not witness the attack but is from Gumsuri and visited family there shortly after the Sunday raid.

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Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

Feds sue NYCFederal prosecutors sued New York City on Thursday to speed the pace of reforms at the Rikers Island jail complex and address what a Justice Department investigation found was a "deep-seated culture of violence" against young inmates.

The move comes a day after Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the 10-jail lockup to announce the end of solitary confinement for 16- and 17-year-old inmates, a policy change initiated after the 2 1/2-year federal probe released in August.

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Abused kids die as authorities fail to protect

Abused childrenAt least 786 children died of abuse or neglect in the U.S. in a six-year span in plain view of child protection authorities — many of them beaten, starved or left alone to drown while agencies had good reason to know they were in danger, The Associated Press has found.

To determine that number, the AP canvassed the 50 states, the District of Columbia and all branches of the military — circumventing a system that does a terrible job of accounting for child deaths. Many states struggled to provide numbers. Secrecy often prevailed.

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Iran unveils monument for fallen Jewish-Iranian soldiers

Iran monument to jewish iranian soldiersIran has unveiled a monument to honor Jewish-Iranian soldiers who fell during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

In a ceremony in Tehran on Monday, a senior Iranian parliament member praised the Iranian Jewish community’s ties to the state and its “obedience” to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Ruhollah Khomeini before him.

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New Jersey Paid Fees To Mary Christie's Firm After State Investment Was Terminated

Christie and wife MaryWhen the New Jersey pension system terminated a $150 million investment in a fund called Angelo, Gordon & Co. in 2011, that did not close the books on the deal. In the three years since state officials ordered the withdrawal of that state money, New Jersey taxpayers have forked over hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to the firm. As those fees kept flowing, Angelo Gordon made a prominent hire: Mary Pat Christie, wife of Gov. Chris Christie, who joined the company in 2012 as a managing director and now earns $475,000 annually, according to the governor's most recent tax return.

The disclosure that New Jersey taxpayers have been paying substantial fees to a firm that employs the governor's spouse -- years after state officials said the investment was terminated -- emerged in documents released by the Christie administration to International Business Times through a public records request.

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Arizona erred in denying dreamers' licenses, Supreme Court says

Jan BrewerThe U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a last-minute bid by Gov. Jan Brewer to keep dreamers from getting licenses to drive.

In a brief order issued this morning, the court denied Brewer's request that it issue a stay to prevent the 9th Circuit from ordering a federal judge in Phoenix to issue an injunction blocking Brewer's edict declaring that dreamers do not meet the requirements of Arizona law. The justices gave no reason for their decision.

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Gov. Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks

Andrew CuomoNo one understands better than impacted people — residents and workers in shale country, from the Barnett Shale of Texas and the Haynesville Shale of Louisiana to the Bakken Shale of North Dakota and the Marcellus and Utica Shales in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and beyond — the wisdom of Governor Cuomo’s historic decision today to ban fracking in New York State:

ALBANY — The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks.

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Judge throws out black teen's conviction from 1944

Judge throws out 1944 conviction of teenA judge threw out the conviction Wednesday of black teen executed 70 years ago for the deaths of two white girls.

George Stinney Jr., 14, was convicted of the grisly murders of Betty June Binnicker, 11, and Mary Emma Thames, 7, in Alcolu, S.C. The girls had disappeared in March 1944 while riding their bicycles, and their bludgeoned bodies were found in a watery ditch along a road in the town, about 70 miles north of Charleston.

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North Korea behind Sony cyber attack

The InterviewU.S. authorities have determined that North Korea is behind the recent cyber attack on Sony Pictures, a federal law enforcement official said Wednesday.

The official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, said a formal announcement of attribution by the U.S. government could come as soon as Thursday.  U.S. investigators had been moving quickly toward a determination in recent days, indicating earlier this week that attribution was imminent.

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