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Friday, Apr 25th

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Boy Scouts toss out church over gay Scoutmaster

Boy Scouts toss out entire churchThe Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has revoked the charter of a Seattle-area church because of the church's support for an openly gay Scoutmaster.

On March 31, the BSA notified Chief Seattle Council Troop 98 Scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath that his registration would be revoked because he is gay.  However, the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, which charters Troop 98, said it would stand by McGrath and allow him to continue his duties as Scoutmaster. As a result of its continued support, the BSA on Thursday stripped the church of its charter.

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Keflezighi and Jeptoo win Boston Marathon titles a year after bombings

Meb KaflezighiThe American Meb Keflezighi has won the men's race at the Boston Marathon, a year after the race was hit by two fatal bombings. In the women's race, Rita Jeptoo of Kenya successfully defended the title she said she could not enjoy a year ago.

On 15 April 2013, blasts near the finishing line of the race, in Copley Square, killed three and injured 260.

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Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

big bang theoryWhile scientists believe the universe began with a Big Bang, most Americans put a big question mark on the concept, an Associated Press-GfK poll found.

Yet when it comes to smoking causing cancer or that a genetic code determines who we are, the doubts disappear.

When considering concepts scientists consider truths, Americans have more skepticism than confidence in those that are farther away from our bodies in scope and time: global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and especially the Big Bang from 13.8 billion years ago.

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US ordered to release memo in Anwar al-Awlaki drone killing

al-Awlaki memoThe US government must publicly disclose in redacted form secret papers describing its legal justification for using drones to kill citizens suspected of terrorism overseas, because President Barack Obama and senior government officials have commented on the subject, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The 2nd US circuit court of appeals in New York ruled in a Freedom of Information Act case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and two reporters for the New York Times. In 2011, they sought any documents in which Department of Justice lawyers had discussed the highly classified "targeted-killing" program.

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Oklahoma to proceed with lethal injection amid confusion within courts

Oklahoma executionOklahoma plans to kill Clayton Lockett by lethal injection on Tuesday, after judges could not agree which court has the authority to stay his execution amid questions over the constitutionality of the state’s capital punishment law.

The Oklahoma court of criminal appeals and the state supreme court last week both declined to stay the executions of Lockett and Charles Warner, scheduled for April 29, with each court saying it did not have the authority to grant a stay.

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Boston Marathon begins with festive atmosphere, increased security

boston marathonA large police presence greeted runners and spectators filtering in Monday morning for the Boston Marathon, a year after a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

Despite heightened security, the mood was festive at the finish line on Boylston Street. Spontaneous applause broke out as a group of Boston police officers walked near the site of last year’s twin bombing and children danced as the Rolling Stones’ song “Start Me Up” blared over the loudspeakers.

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Chikungunya, a highly infectious disease, may soon arrive in the U.S.

ChikungunyaWhen Clare Rourke woke up one morning March of last year with a sore toe, she didn’t worry too much about it. She, her husband and their three daughters were living in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, for a few months as part of a family year abroad. She and her husband had traveled widely — through India, the Middle East and South America — and had never been seriously ill. And they took necessary precautions, making sure everyone in the family received the recommended vaccinations.

But by the middle of that day, Rourke was sicker than she had ever been before. “I hurt in so many places — my feet, hand, wrists, ankles, elbows, knees,” she says. “I actually remember thinking that I just might die.” Her joints were so swollen, hot and painful that she couldn’t rest her elbows on the bed. Her temperature rose to 104 degrees. “I felt like something was attacking me and I was seriously losing the fight,” she says.

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Supreme Court to rule on political campaigns’ pretty little lies

Supreme CourtIt turns out that there is a tenet in American politics that groups as diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Obama administration, the anti-abortion group the Susan B. Anthony List and the Republican National Committee can agree on: Elections thrive on free speech, even if that speech contains obfuscations, mudslinging, half-truths and, occasionally, blatant lies.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, a case that turns on whether an Ohio law that prohibits “false statements” about candidates during a political campaign violates the right to free speech enshrined in the First Amendment.

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South Carolina Republicans Snub Desegregation Judge

Julius Waties WaringOf all the names of American heroes you probably don’t know, Julius Waties Waring has to rank near the top of the list. Waring was a judge in South Carolina in the mid-20th century. He’s famous to those who know for many courageous stands, but he’s probably best known for writing in one opinion that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” That was in 1951, three years before Brown v. Board of Education. In Charleston, South Carolina. Now that’s a set of stones, no?

Charleston these days is a gorgeous and ever more cosmopolitan city where, if you pick your spots carefully—the art galleries, certain restaurants—you can run into more Democrats than Republicans, maybe. But Chucktown has been molasses-slow to acknowledge the brave legacy of Waring. Finally this month, he got his due. A statue was dedicated outside the same federal courthouse building where he heard his cases.

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