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Saturday, Nov 29th

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Israeli president opposes proposed law to give ‘national rights’ to Jews only

RivlinIsrael’s president, Reuven Rivlin, has voiced his strong opposition to a controversial proposed new law that would define “national rights” in Israel as reserved for Jews only.

The “Jewish nation-state” bill would recognise Israel’s Jewish character, institutionalise Jewish law as an inspiration for legislation and possibly de-list Arabic as a second official language. It is being promoted vigorously by the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and was approved by the Israeli cabinet on Sunday, but has attracted fierce criticism from opponents inside Israel as well as from the US and the EU.

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A Landmark Retail Workers 'Bill of Rights' Passes Unanimously In San Francisco

retail workers bill of rightsAmid growing concern over erratic work schedules, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday passed a first-of-its-kind law aimed at securing more stable hours for retail workers.

Dubbed "the retail workers bill of rights," the law, which passed the 11-member, all-Democratic board unanimously, requires the city's large chain retailers to post workers' schedules at least two weeks ahead of time. Workers will be owed supplemental pay if unexpected changes are made to their schedules, or if they're required to be "on call" and their shifts are suddenly canceled.

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Justice Ginsburg Has Heart Surgery

Justic GinsbergSupreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a heart stent implanted Wednesday to clear a blocked coronary artery, court officials said.

The 81-year-old justice had the procedure at MedStar Washington Hospital Center after the blockage to her right coronary artery was discovered, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

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Four polio vaccinators shot dead in SW Pakistan

POlio workers killedGunmen opened fire on a team of polio vaccinators in Pakistan's restive southwest on Wednesday, killing four of them and forcing authorities to halt an immunisation drive, officials said.

The incident happened on the eastern outskirts of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas rich Baluchistan province.

"A team of seven polio workers was getting ready to launch the fourth and final day of the campaign when two men riding a motorbike opened fire on their vehicle," provincial home secretary Akbar Durrani told AFP.

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Hong Kong riot police clear protest site, arrest student leaders

Hong Kong protestersHong Kong police on Wednesday cleared one of the largest protest sites that has choked the city for months, arresting scores of pro-democracy activists in what could be a turning point in the fight to wrest greater political freedom from Beijing's control.

Riot police clashed with protesters late into the evening as activists sought to regroup and regain lost ground.

Student leaders Joshua Wong and Lester Shum were among those arrested as hundreds of officers swept through the bustling area of Mong Kok, clearing barricades and tents that had blocked key roads in the Chinese-controlled city for more than two months.

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Coca-Cola's new venture: Expensive milk

coca cola milkWith soda sales sagging, Coca-Cola is moving into the dairy business. It plans to offer milk with some big differences to the stuff now on supermarket shelves: For starters, it will cost twice as much.

A Coke exec told a conference last week that the company's Fairlife will be "a milk that's premiumized and tastes better and we'll charge twice as much for it as the milk we're used to buying," the Guardian reports. Chief Customer Officer Sandy Douglas said the milk, which is being produced in venture involving 92 family-owned farms and will launch next month, will contain 50% more protein and 30% less sugar than regular milk.

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Senate plans release of torture report by year's end

waterboardingA Senate committee plans to release its long-delayed report on CIA interrogation practices before the end of the year.

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., have said the summary, on the "enhanced interrogation" practices allegedly used during the administration of George W. Bush, could be submitted before the current Senate's last session on Jan. 3.

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Arkansas, Mississippi gay marriage bans overturned

arkansas, mississippi gay marriage ban overturnedArkansas and Mississippi became the latest two states Tuesday to have their gay marriage bans overturned by federal judges, but there are no rushes to the altar as both orders are on hold so the states can consider appeals.

Like several states, Arkansas and Mississippi had voter-approved constitutional amendments pass in 2004 that defined marriage between one man and one woman.

In Arkansas, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker ruled in favor of two same-sex couples who had challenged the amendment. They argued the ban violated the U.S. Constitution and discriminated based on sexual orientation.

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Canadian protesters defy authorities over Trans Mountain pipeline

pipeline protesters in CanadaA proposed pipeline expansion that would transport tar sands oil through a park in British Columbia has unified Canadians from all walks of life in their opposition to the project — which they said does not respect public opinion and could endanger both land and sea.

“I’ve never seen in my 30 years of being environmentally active an issue that so galvanizes so many people,” said John Bennet, executive director of Sierra Club Canada. “It’s absolutely clear that the public, not just a handful of crazies willing to get arrested, don’t want it.”

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