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Friday, Oct 31st

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Supreme Court stays Missouri inmate's execution

mark ChristesonThe U.S. Supreme Court late Tuesday halted the execution of a Missouri man who killed a woman and her two children, citing concerns that his legal counsel was ineffective.

Mark Christeson, 35, was scheduled to die by injection at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday at the state prison in Bonne Terre before the late stay of execution was issued. Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman Mike O'Connell said it wasn't clear what will happen next for Christeson.

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About 100 missing in Sri Lanka mudslide

Sri-Lanka mudslideAbout 100 people are feared dead following a landslide in central Sri Lanka, the government says.

The landslide, which came after heavy monsoon rains, engulfed about 140 houses in Badulla district. Ten bodies have so far been found but the rescue efforts have been suspended for the night.

Bad weather is also hampering the rescue operations. Heavy rain has hit much of the country over the past few weeks.

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Hawaii residents leave homes as lava flow nears

Lava flow HawaiiCivil defense officials in Hawaii County said late Tuesday the lava was about 370 yards from the main road in Pahoa town, the commercial center of Puna, a sprawling, mostly agricultural and forested part on the Big Island.

The lava entered private property next to the main road and was burning tires and other materials. This prompted authorities to warn downwind residents with respiratory problems to stay indoors. The lava was edging forward at a rate of about 10 to 15 yards per hour.

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Bacterial contamination in cosmetics eludes public eye

cosmetics bacterial contaminationThousands of cosmetic products teeming with bacteria are quietly pulled from store shelves every year.

These contaminated products threaten the lives of people with compromised immune systems, but experts say cosmetic firms do not publicly announce most recalls due to lax industry regulation.

Kutol Products Co., a cleaning product manufacturer, is responsible for two out of the seven major cosmetic recalls this year. In total, the Ohio-based company removed 4,500 units of two moisturizing lotions, Medline Skintegrity and KLM Hand & Body.

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The stealth return of Jim Crow: Millions threatened by poll purges

Jim Crow returns to US electionsElection officials in 27 states, most of them Republicans, have launched a program that threatens a massive purge of voters from the rolls. Millions, especially black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters, are at risk. Already, tens of thousands have been removed in at least one battleground state, and the numbers are expected to climb, according to a six-month-long, nationwide investigation by Al Jazeera America.

At the heart of this voter-roll scrub is the Interstate Crosscheck program, which has generated a master list of nearly 7 million names. Officials says that these names represent legions of fraudsters who are not only registered but have actually voted in two or more states in the same election — a felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison.

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Court filing: FBI impersonated repairmen in ruse

Paul PhuaFederal agents turned off Internet access to three luxury villas at a Las Vegas hotel then impersonated repair technicians to surreptitiously get inside and collect evidence in an investigation of online sports betting, according to defense lawyers challenging the practice.

The FBI employed the ruse against the recommendation of an assistant U.S. attorney, Kimberly Frayn, according to lawyers for four of eight men charged in the case. They filed a motion late Tuesday in federal court in Las Vegas to dismiss evidence in the case. According to a conversation recorded by an investigator for the hotel, the prosecutor told FBI agents "it was a consent issue," the lawyers said.

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Israel attorney general probes Palestinian bus ban

Palestiinian workersIsrael's attorney general said Tuesday he would ask the country's defense minister to explain his proposed order banning thousands of Palestinian workers from the Israeli public buses they ride back to their homes in the West Bank.

The proposed edict by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who has authority over security issues, comes after a request by Jewish settlers who ride the buses. It also comes amid heightened tensions between Israelis and Palestinians after this summer's Gaza War and other violence.

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Unmanned NASA-contracted rocket explodes; damage is 'significant'

NASA rocket explodesAn unmanned NASA-contracted rocket exploded early Tuesday evening along the eastern Virginia coast, causing a huge fireball but no apparent deaths.

According to NASA, the Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft were set to launch at 6:22 p.m. ET from the Wallops Flight Facility along the Atlantic Ocean. It was set to carry some 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station.

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Blackwater Founder Remains Free and Rich While His Former Employees Go Down on Murder Charges

Erik PrinceJust as with the systematic torture at Abu Ghraib, it is only the low level foot-soldiers of Blackwater that are being held accountable. Prince and other top Blackwater executives continue to reap profits from the mercenary and private intelligence industries.

Prince now has a new company, Frontier Services Group, which he founded with substantial investment from Chinese enterprises and which focuses on opportunities in Africa. Prince recently suggested that his forces at Blackwater could have confronted Ebola and ISIS. “If the administration cannot rally the political nerve or funding to send adequate active duty ground forces to answer the call, let the private sector finish the job,” he wrote.

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