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Sunday, Apr 20th

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Ukraine's rebel crackdown begins, as Russia warns of civil war

Ukrain backlashA delayed start to Ukraine’s “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-Russian rebels appeared to give way to action Tuesday, with gunfire heard at an occupied airbase in the east of the country. The offensive came as Moscow warned Kyiv of the risk of tensions on the ground escalating into civil war.

Twenty-four hours after an ultimatum expired for armed men to lay down their guns, Ukrainian troops launched the strike against a group that had been in temporary control of the military landing strip in the eastern city of Kramotorsk.

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Boston remembers marathon bombing one year later

Boston Marathon anniversaryBoston is preparing for memorial services and tributes to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing on the one-year anniversary of the attack.

On April 15, 2013 two pressure cooker bombs exploded at 2:49 p.m. killing 3 and injuring 264 people 4 hours and 9 minutes into the Boston Marathon.

One million spectators are expected to be at the Boston Marathon next week -- twice the usual number of people who come to watch -- and that will only be part of a week-long tribute to remember those in the marathon last year.

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'Blood moon' eclipse seen over Americas

Blood moon eclipseSkywatchers in the Americas have caught a rare celestial show caused by the Earth's shadow falling across the Moon.

The Moon changed colour from orange to blood red or brown in a total lunar eclipse.
The total lunar eclipse unfolded over three hours as the Moon moved into the Earth's shadow.

From 08:06 BST (07:06 GMT) our planet's natural satellite was fully eclipsed for more than 75 minutes and shrouded in a reddish glow.

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The Killer Klansman’s Missing Years as a Federal Informant

KC Killer KlansmanA quarter-century before he was charged with Sunday’s three hate murders outside Kansas City, Frazier Glenn Miller figured prominently in a triple hate homicide in North Carolina.

People intimately familiar with the earlier case say Miller, founder of a Ku Klux Klan chapter and a white political party, should have been a prime suspect in those killings, as well.

Instead Miller became a star witness in both that murder trial and in a sedition case against 13 fellow white supremacists.

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Alex Baer: Cupid's Calling Cards, Kiss Kiss.

Cupid droneFirst, there was unorganized barbarism for the species, down to the individual, very-personal level.  It was very hands-on.  It was very messy.  There was a lot of complaining about the workaday dry-cleaning bill for the yak furs, and some wisecracks from the laundry about the stains on the goatskin leisure suits as well.

Then, in a burst of ingenuity usually reserved for the plunder of goods and riches from others, humanity figured out a way to step back a bit from the mess of mayhem-making, if not the abyss of going with our worser instincts:  We watched volcanoes fling great chunks of rock onto hapless hunter-gatherers in our midst, and, inspirationally thunderstruck, we immediately started building catapults, trebuchets, and other means of decimating people at a distance, such as telemarketing calls.

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Accusation of FBI spying stalls 9/11 hearing

Guantanamo trialsA military judge abruptly recessed the first 9/11 trial hearing of the year Monday after defense lawyers accused the FBI in open court of trying to turn a defense team security officer into a secret informant.

If true, the lawyers argued, attorney-client confidentiality may be compromised in the case that seeks to put on trial and execute five men accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks that killed 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon.

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Can the US Government Confiscate a Citizen's Passport for No Apparent Reason? It Just Did

Nader el DajaniWhen two FBI agents called Nader el-Dajani in August 2012 and asked if he could meet at Starbucks for a chat, he instead invited them to his home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for coffee and tea. The 55-year-old businessman, who lives in Bahrain for most of each year, hadn't been charged with a crime, and the FBI agents never explained why they were interested in him. Dajani didn't have to tell the agents anything. But he did.

He explained that, a few months earlier, he'd been stopped and questioned by Department of Homeland Security officers at a London airport because he was carrying multiple cellphones, which he uses during his international travels. He readily answered the agents' questions about his travels in the Middle East—where he owns several businesses—and his knowledge of the region. He thought it was the right thing to do. "I told them everything," he says. "I was open." He assumed that cooperating with the bureau would make his life easier.

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Deadly Chile fire in Valparaiso 'may burn for 20 days'

Valparaiso fireOfficials in Chile say it could take more than 20 days to fully extinguish a forest fire in the hills around the port city of Valparaiso.

The blaze has killed at least 13 people, left thousands of people homeless and forced mass evacuations. Chile's forestry agency, Conaf, said firefighters were still battling the wildfires, but it stressed that the situation was not "out of control".

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Maryland Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

marijuanaMaryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has signed a bill decriminalizing marijuana possession in the state, following the passage of the measure in Maryland's General Assembly.

Senate Bill 364 reduces the penalty for possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana from a criminal to a civil offense. First-time offenders will face fines up to $100, while a second offense will be punishable with a fine up to $250 and subsequent offenses up to $500.

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