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Saturday, Jan 31st

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2 Vanderbilt Football Players Found Guilty Of Rape Charges

Vanderbilt football players guiltyA jury convicted two ex-Vanderbilt football players on Tuesday of raping a former student, rejecting claims that they were too drunk to know what they were doing and that a college culture of binge drinking and promiscuous sex should be blamed for the attack.

The jury deliberated for three hours before announcing that Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey were guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery.

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Record number of defendants exonerated in 2014

125 people exonerated in 2014A record 125 defendants falsely convicted of crimes were exonerated in 2014, according to a report from the National Registry of Exonerations at the University of Michigan Law School. The figure represents a one-third increase in exonerations from 2012.

A bulk of the increase came from a single county: Harris County, Texas — home to Houston — where 33 people were exonerated after having been convicted of drug possession. Most of the defendants in those cases had pled guilty and were exonerated only after tests revealed they had not been carrying illicit substances.

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DEA program capable of tracking movements of millions, ACLU says

DEAThe United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has been quietly collecting data on millions of Americans since 2008 using license plate readers as part of the widening of a program originally aimed at locating drug traffickers, according to documents received by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The records show that the program, called the National License Plate Recognition Initiative, is capable of tracking the movements of everyday Americans all over the country, a press release by the ACLU said Monday. The documents, which also revealed a proliferation of license plate readers in the United States, did not reveal the budget for the program.

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Israel violated rules of war in strikes on Gaza homes: group

Israel violated human rightsA majority of Palestinians killed in dozens of Israeli attacks on Gaza homes in the 2014 war with Hamas were women, minors or elderly people, and some of the strikes violated the rules of war, an Israeli rights group said Wednesday.

The B'Tselem group called strikes on homes "one of the appalling hallmarks of the fighting" and said they were part of a policy approved at the top levels of the government and the military.

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Ex-Army Prosecutor Found Guilty Of Rape At Court-Martial

Burrus guilty of rapeA former U.S. Army prosecutor who oversaw sexual assault cases has been found guilty on rape and other charges following a six-day court-martial at Fort Bragg, military officials said Monday.

Maj. Erik J. Burris was found guilty on two charges of rape, a charge of forcible sodomy, four charges of assault and a charge of disobeying an order, the Army said in a five-sentence statement. Burris was sentenced to 20 years in prison, dismissed from the service, and ordered to forfeit all pay, the statement said.

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Criticism of Netanyahu’s planned U.S. speech mounts in Israel

NetanyahuPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing growing criticism in Israel for a planned speech to the U.S. Congress about Iran, accused by his political rivals of damaging ties with Washington to promote his election campaign.

Netanyahu accepted an invitation from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to address a joint session of Congress on March 3, two weeks before the Israeli elections.

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American Academy of Pediatrics says medical marijuana could be good for some kids

medical marijuanaThe American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which has the largest pediatric publishing program in the world, recommends decriminalizing marijuana and says it could be good for some kids in a new policy statement.

"The AAP opposes 'medical marijuana' outside the regulatory process of the US Food and Drug Administration," says the new statement. However, it recognizes certain situations could be benefitted by marijuana.

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Planned Parenthood study finds medication abortion is safe

medication abortion safeA new study from Planned Parenthood doctors and a doctor from outside the organization finds medication abortion is safe and effective.

The study uses data from 13,000 women who had a medication abortion at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles health centers over a five-year period. The researchers found the drug is 97.7 percent effective, and only .01 percent who used it experienced an infection requiring hospitalization.

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Iran sends warning to Israel via US officials

AyotollaIran's official IRNA news agency is reporting the country has sent a warning to Israel through the United States over the recent killing of an Iranian general in an alleged Israeli airstrike.

The Tuesday report quotes Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian as saying, "We told the Americans that the leaders of the Zionist regime should await the consequences of their act."

He added, "The Zionist regime has crossed our red lines."

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