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Tuesday, Feb 28th

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Iraqi forces take control of Mosul Airport

Iraqi forces take Mosul airportUS-backed Iraqi security forces closing in on the ISIL-held western half of Mosul have stormed the city's airport and a nearby military base, state television said.

Counterterrorism service (CTS) troops and elite interior ministry units known as Rapid Response forces descended on the airport early on Thursday and the nearby Ghazlani military complex, CTS spokesman Sabah al-Numan told state TV.
Iraqi army hits ISIL positions amid Mosul airport push

"This is one of the major achievements that the Iraqi forces were hoping to get in the first phase of going towards the Western side of the city," said Al Jazeera's Osama Bin Javaid, reporting from Erbil.

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Alan Colmes Dies: Liberal Commentator was 66

Alan ColmesAlan Colmes, the cable news and radio commentator who, as half of Fox News’ early and long-running Hannity & Colmes was the network’s go-to voice for a more liberal viewpoint, is dead following a brief illness at the age of 66.

Colmes death was announced on Fox News in a segment narrated by Hannity, who called Colmes “one of the nicest, kindest and most generous people.” Fox News confirmed his death.

A statement on Colmes’ website says he is survived by wife Jocelyn Elise Crowley. The statement in full reads:

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DOJ withdraws federal protections on transgender bathrooms in schools

transgenderThe Trump administration on Wednesday night withdrew Obama-era guidance on transgender bathroom use in public schools.

Last May, under the Obama administration, the departments of Justice and Education told public school districts and colleges that receive federal funding that it interprets "sex discrimination" under Title IX, a federal law that bans sex discrimination in schools, to include claims based on gender identity.

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Anti-Defamation League’s Manhattan headquarters targeted by bomb threat

ADl CEO Mark GreenblatCops converged on the national headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League in Murray Hill Wednesday after somebody phoned in a bomb threat, officials said.

The threat came into the Jewish advocacy group’s offices on Third Ave. near E. 39th St. about 11 a.m., League officials said.

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New EPA head Scott Pruitt's emails reveal close ties with fossil fuel interests

Scott Pruitt emails reveal ties with fossil fuel interestsThe close relationship between Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and fossil fuel interests including the billionaire Koch brothers has been highlighted in more than 7,500 emails and other records released by the Oklahoma attorney general’s office on Wednesday.

The documents show that Pruitt, while Oklahoma attorney general, acted in close concert with oil and gas companies to challenge environmental regulations, even putting his letterhead to a complaint filed by one firm, Devon Energy. This practice was first revealed in 2014, but it now appears that it occurred more than once.

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Thrilling discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby star

Secen earth siaze planets discoveredA huddle of seven worlds, all close in size to Earth, and perhaps warm enough for water and the life it can sustain, has been spotted around a small, faint star in the constellation of Aquarius.

The discovery, which has thrilled astronomers, has raised hopes that the hunt for alien life beyond the solar system can start much sooner than previously thought, with the next generation of telescopes that are due to switch on in the next decade.

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NH eliminates license requirement to carry concealed gun

NH ends concealed carryPeople It’s now legal to carry a concealed gun in New Hampshire without a license. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed so-called “constitutional carry” into law Wednesday morning, his first signing since taking office in early January.

“It is common-sense legislation,” he said during a ceremony in the Executive Council chambers. “This is about making sure that our laws on our books are keeping people safe while remaining true to the live-free-or-die spirit.”

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Trump's new security advisor differs from him on Russia, other key issues

Lt. General McMasterU.S. President Donald Trump has shown little patience for dissent, but that trait is likely to be tested by his new national security adviser, Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster.

McMaster is joining the White House staff with views on Russia, counterterrorism, strengthening the military and other major security issues that diverge not only from those of the Trump loyalists, but also from those the president himself has expressed.

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U.S. appeals court upholds Maryland's ban on assault rifles

Marylang assault weapon ban upheldA federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld Maryland's ban on assault rifles, ruling gun owners are not protected under the U.S. Constitution to possess "weapons of war," court documents showed.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit decided 10-4 that the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, a law in response to the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, by a gunman with an assault rifle, does not violate the right to bear arms within the Second Amendment.

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