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Friday, May 22nd

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Obama announces new police standards, bans military equipment for local police

Obama creates new police standardsPresident Barack Obama announced federal standards to improve trust between police and communities and a ban on some types of military equipment for local police agencies.

Obama will speak of the measures on Monday in Camden, N.J., a city that has struggled with one of the country's highest violent crime rates.

"President Obama believes that in America everyone should be empowered by the country they call home, not limited by the zip code into which they are born," a statement released by the White House said. "Changes include increasing the number of police officer boots on the ground and changing the way their officers interact with the community."

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World Trade body rejects country of origin labels on meat

packaged meat labels The World Trade Organization has ruled against U.S. labels on packaged steaks and other cuts of meat that say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Monday that the WTO has rejected a final U.S. appeal, deciding the U.S. "country of origin" labels put Canadian and Mexican livestock at a disadvantage.

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‘Disaster after disaster’ hits Marshall Islands as climate change kicks in

Marshall Islands climate changeThe atolls of the Marshall Islands are narrow and practically level with the sea, leaving their 68,000 residents nowhere to move to as a rising sea and increasingly frequent floods threatens to swamp the country. Unlike in many parts of the world where climate change often seems a distant threat, for the Marshallese it is already a daily reality.

Keslynna’s grandmother, Rusina Rusin, said the land has been in her family for too many generations to count, passed down from mother to daughter in the country’s matrilineal social system. She said she has noticed the increasing unpredictability of the weather.

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Patriot Act is on life support

Patriot Act on life supportA stalemate in the Senate would leave the FBI and National Security Agency (NSA) without powers they have used to track terrorists for years, say supporters of the Patriot Act.

Without action by the end of the month, key provisions of the Patriot Act will expire, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argues would put the United States at a pre September 11, 2001-footing.

Yet McConnell has no definite path to extend those provisions.

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Texas Biker Gang Shooting Leaves Nine Dead, Several Injured

Biker gang deathsThree rival motorcycle gangs turned a local restaurant into a shooting gallery Sunday afternoon and when the gunfire was over, nine people were dead and several were injured.

Waco police Sunday afternoon, assisted by Department of Public Safety troopers, police officers from several cities and deputies from the McLennan County Sheriff's Office were surrounding the Twin Peaks Restaurant, in the Central Texas Market Place after several people were reported shot during a rival motorcycle gang fight, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.

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IS jihadists take Ramadi but pinned back in Palmyra

Ramadi falls to ISISThe Islamic State group sealed its capture of Ramadi Sunday after a dramatic pullout by Iraqi forces but was prevented by Syrian troops from taking the heritage site of Palmyra.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi urged government forces to hold fast in Ramadi and prevent IS from making further gains, saying they would have air cover and Shiite militia reinforcements.

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How three Miami stoners scored a deal to arm the Afghan army

Stoners who armed Afghani army"Arms and the Dudes" is the extraordinary true story of how three twentysomething Miami stoners turned gunrunners and scored a mega-$300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm the Afghan Army.

Call it sex, drugs ’n’ munitions.

Investigative reporter Guy Lawson subtitled the book “How Three Stoners from Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History,” which makes the point but only suggests how unbelievable, though entirely credible, this account is.

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Asia selected China India SE Asia migrants 'killed in fight for food' on boat

Migrants die over food Migrants rescued from a sinking boat off Indonesia have told the BBC that about 100 people died after a fight broke out over the last remaining food.

Survivors told of horrific conditions. Three men separately said people were stabbed, hanged or thrown overboard.

The 700 rescued migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh are being processed by the Indonesian authorities.

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Seattle 'Kayaktivists' Protest Shell's Arctic Drilling Endeavor

kayactivistsHundreds of activists in kayaks and small boats fanned out on a Seattle bay on Saturday to protest plans by Royal Dutch Shell to resume oil exploration in the Arctic and keep two of its drilling rigs stored in the city's port.

Environmental groups have vowed to disrupt the Anglo-Dutch oil company's efforts to use the Seattle as a home base as it outfits the rigs to return to the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, saying drilling in the remote Arctic waters could lead to an ecological catastrophe.

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