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Saturday, Apr 25th

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EU ministers urged to act after hundreds of migrants feared dead

immigfrants saved at seaRescue crews searched Monday for survivors and bodies from what could be the Mediterranean's deadliest migrant tragedy ever as hundreds more migrants took to the sea undeterred and EU foreign ministers gathered for an emergency meeting to address the crisis.

If reports of at least 700 and as many as 900 dead are confirmed, the weekend shipwreck near the Libyan coast would bring to well over 1,000 the number of migrants who died or went missing during the perilous Mediterranean crossing in the last week. More than 400 are feared dead in another sinking and more than 10,000 others were rescued.

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Police: Israeli man stabs Arab because of victim's ethnicity

Israeli sabs arabIsraeli police say a Jewish man has stabbed an Arab and later confessed that he did so because of the victim's ethnicity.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the assailant shouted "death to Arabs" as he attacked the man on Monday.

The Arab man was wounded lightly in the shoulder and required medical treatment.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson: Politicians Denying Science Is ‘Beginning Of The End Of An Informed Democracy’

Neil deGrasse TysonWhat will you be doing on Monday, 4/20, at 11 p.m.?

Perhaps watching the premiere of acclaimed astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new show StarTalk. Tyson, who may be best known for hosting the reboot of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series in 2014, will now be appearing weekly on the National Geographic Channel in what may be the first late-night science talk show.

Along with a trusty cast of comedians and science-minded folks like Bill Nye, Tyson hopes the adaptation of his popular podcast to a broadcast format will make getting a regular dose of science as pain-free as possible. He thinks that by embedding it between pop culture discussions and entertaining asides, the science will go down easy, and even leave you wanting more. And he’s right.

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Woman Cites Religious Freedom Law To Defend Her Right To Feed The Homeless​

Woman cite religious freedom lawJoan Cheever of San Antonio has been serving meals to the city’s homeless for 10 years. But last week, police officers handed her a ticket with a potential fine of $2,000. Despite having a food permit for the food truck she cooks out of, which she calls the Chow Train, she was cited for transporting and serving it from a different vehicle.

But that hasn’t stopped her from continuing to hand out three-course meals to the homeless. On Friday, she went back to Maverick Park with 50 supporters to hand out food, and this time she wasn’t ticketed. Cheever has argued that she has a right to feed the homeless under Texas’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act because she considers it exercising her religious beliefs.

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Israel Agrees To Transfer Tax Cash to Palestinians

Palestinian authorityIsrael said on Saturday it would transfer $470 million of withheld tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority following talks between a senior Israeli military officer and Palestinian officials.

In December, Israel began withholding around $130 million per month of taxes it collects on behalf of the Palestinians after the Palestinian Authority announced it was joining the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Israel had condemned the Palestinian move to join the ICC, saying it was a unilateral step that undermined prospects for a negotiated peace settlement.

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Fracking: Texas bill limiting bans on energy companies moves forward

Fracking bill in TexasA bill supported by energy companies that prevents cities and counties from banning the practice of fracking on their land has been passed by the first tier of state legislators in Texas and is on course to become law.

The proposed law would stop municipalities and other local authorities from enacting their own bans on the practice of hydraulic fracturing and drilling for crude oil and natural gas. The state would have the power to override any such efforts and give gas and oil companies the access they desire to extract resources, against the wishes of voters and politicians at local level if necessary.

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US soldiers banned from bars, clubs in Philippines

US troops banned Filipino barsThe U.S. Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said Saturday, with the trial underway of a U.S. Marine accused of killing a transgender Filipina he met in a bar.

Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers were set to kick off 10 days of annual joint military exercises Monday, according to Capt. Alex Lim, a spokesman for the U.S. forces.  But there will be strict controls on their free time.

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Portland torn over $500m terminal: could fracking creep into a 'green' city?

Portland frackingPortland’s claim to lead US cities in combating climate change is under threat from plans to build a $500m terminal to export gas pumped from fracking in Canada.

Amid fears that Portland’s progressive, environmentally conscious image could be badly dented, the city is divided over whether exporting natural gas is part of the problem or the solution, in reducing carbon emissions.

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World Bank Projects Leave Trail of Misery Around Globe

World Bank leaves trail of destructionIn developing countries around the globe, forest dwellers, poor villagers and other vulnerable populations claim the World Bank — the planet’s oldest and most powerful development lender — has left a trail of misery.

Dams, power plants, conservation programs and other projects sponsored by the World Bank have pushed millions of people out of their homes or off their lands or threatened their livelihoods. In some cases, governments supported by World Bank money have arrested, beaten and even killed people who objected to being forced from their homes, according to interviews and official complaints.

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