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Friday, Mar 06th

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Glacial Melting In Antarctica Makes Continent The 'Ground Zero Of Global Climate Change'

AntarcticaFrom the ground in this extreme northern part of Antarctica, spectacularly white and blinding ice seems to extend forever. What can't be seen is the battle raging thousands of feet (hundreds of meters) below to re-shape Earth.

Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, melting it where it hits the oceans. As the ice sheets slowly thaw, water pours into the sea — 130 billion tons of ice (118 billion metric tons) per year for the past decade, according to NASA satellite calculations. That's the weight of more than 356,000 Empire State Buildings, enough ice melt to fill more than 1.3 million Olympic swimming pools. And the melting is accelerating.

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Uganda's 'Kill the Gays' Bill Is Back

Uganda's Kill the Gays BillDavid Bahati, the sponsor of Uganda’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), announced this weekend that he intends to reintroduce the bill in parliament, after a court found it invalid for procedural reasons last August.

But this time will be different. President Yoweri Museveni is under heavy pressure not to once again invite international condemnation by supporting it. More importantly, the Ugandan coalition opposing it is broad-based and deep.

In fact, American activists could learn a lot from their Ugandan counterparts.

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Police shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Colorado girl ruled homicide

Denver A medical examiner's report ruled the death of a 17-year-old girl as a homicide one month after Denver police shot her to death.

Jessica Hernandez was killed on Jan. 26. The Denver Police Department said at the time that she had driven a stolen car at two officers in a dark alleyway, hitting one officer's leg and prompting them to shoot several times.

The autopsy report indicates Hernandez died after suffering four gunshot wounds, with two bullets fatally entering the left side of her torso, hitting her heart and lungs, and another two wounds, possibly from the same bullet, in her pelvis and thigh. Denver Chief Medical Examiner James Caruso, who performed the autopsy, notes there was "no evidence of close range discharge of a firearm associated with any of the entrance wounds."

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UN: Iraq violence kills at least 1,100 in February

Iraqi deathsThe U.N. mission to Iraq said Sunday that violence claimed the lives of at least 1,100 Iraqis in February, including more than 600 civilians.

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said in a statement that 611 civilians were among 1,103 people killed last month, with the rest hailing from the security forces. It said at least 2,280 people were wounded, including 1,353 civilians. January's death toll was at least 1,375.

The most violent city was the capital Baghdad, with 329 civilians killed and 875 wounded, it said.
The U.N. numbers do not include the third of the country held by the Islamic State extremist group.

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Anti-Israel divestment push gains traction at US colleges

Divestment movement grows in US collegesThe lecture hall had filled quickly. Several students wore keffiyehs, the traditional Palestinian headscarves, while another sat draped in the Israeli flag.

It was time for a ritual that has become increasingly commonplace on many American college campuses: A student government body, in this case at the University of California, Davis, would take up Israeli policy toward the Palestinians, and decide whether to demand their school divest from companies that work with the Jewish state.

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South Carolina college denounces homosexuality after two volleyball players come out as gay

SC Universtiy denounces gaysErskine College in Due West, S.C., describes itself as a “liberal arts” institution, but as far as that freedom applies to the hearts and minds of its students, it seems limited.

In response to two male athletes on its volleyball team coming out in an article published on OutSports.com last year, the college, which is aligned with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian tradition, released a strongly worded denouncement of homosexuality on campus that many read to be a behavioral ban. The document, titled “Statement on Human Sexuality,” was submitted by the Student Services and Athletic Committee and adopted by the board of trustees last Friday.

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Hyundai recalls more than 200,000 Elantras over steering problem

Hyundai recallHyundai Corp is recalling 204,768 Elantras because of a power steering defect that might cause the cars to suddenly revert to manual steering, the company said Saturday in a report filed with U.S. auto safety regulators.

The recall affects four-door Elantra sedans produced from June 1, 2008, to April 30, 2010, and 2009-10 model Elantra Touring hatchbacks, Hyundai said in a report on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

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US sells prisoners to the highest bidders

Willacy prison fireOn Feb. 20 prisoners at the Willacy County Correctional Center refused to work and eat breakfast, to protest inadequate medical care at the for-profit Texas tent prison. The situation soon escalated into a riot, with inmates setting fire to some of the tents and at least three injuries. Guards used tear gas to quell the uprising.

A day later, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) said the Willacy facility, which houses mostly undocumented immigrants — many held for illegal border crossing and low-level offenses — was uninhabitable and its 2,800 prisoners would be moved to other facilities.

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Italian MPs overwhelmingly approve recognition of Palestine

Matteo RenziItalian lawmakers backed a non-binding resolution on Friday urging the government to recognize Palestine as a state.

Italy’s Chamber of Deputies voted by 300 to 45 to pass the motion presented by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party, the Italian news site repubblica.it reported on Friday.

The resolution urges the government “to recognize the state of Palestine so that negotiations to reach a two-state solution are restarted.”

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