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Tuesday, May 24th

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Chaos in House after GOP votes down LGBT measure

congressThe House floor devolved into chaos and shouting on Thursday as a measure to ensure protections for members of the LGBT community narrowly failed to pass after Republican leaders urged their members to change their votes.

Initially, it appeared Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney's (D-N.Y.) amendment had enough votes to pass as "yes" votes piled up to 217 against 206 "no" votes.

But it eventually failed on a 212-213 vote after a number of Republican lawmakers changed their votes from "yes" to "no."

GOP leaders held the vote open as they pressured members to change sides.

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Derogatory discharge papers blight lives of military who report sexual assault

Emily VorlandAmy Quinn loved serving in the US navy but after she reported a series of sexual assaults, she was forced out of the military at 22 with claims she had a personality disorder.

The mental health ruling by her superiors, which her current psychiatrist says is unfounded, ruined her hope of a second career in the police and has haunted her ever since.

“The military career I was passionate about was over and I was suddenly labeled a bad apple,” she said.

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Ryan strikes Puerto Rico debt deal with Obama administration

Puerto Rico debt deal reachedSpeaker Paul Ryan has reached a tentative deal with the Treasury Department on a rescue package to ease Puerto Rico's debt crisis, according to House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, who has been leading negotiations.

“We are moving forward — there is a deal,” the Utah Republican said Wednesday afternoon, adding that legislative text of the deal would be released later on Wednesday.

Details of that deal were released by Bishop’s committee Wednesday night, when the bill was introduced.

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Trump's tax trouble: More than 100 lawsuits, disputes, tied to companies

Trump tax problemsWhile Donald J. Trump refuses to release his federal tax returns, saying his tax rate is “none of your business,” a USA TODAY analysis found Trump’s businesses have been involved in at least 100 lawsuits and other disputes related to unpaid taxes or how much tax his businesses owe.

Trump’s companies have been engaged in battles over taxes almost every year from the late 1980s until as recently as March, the analysis of court cases, property records, and other documents across the country shows. At least five Trump companies were issued warrants totaling more than $13,000 for late or unpaid taxes in New York state just since Trump declared his candidacy in June 2015, according to state records.

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Tobacco firms lose UK court bid to stop standard packaging

UK cigarette packaging law upheldA group of tobacco firms have lost a U.K. court bid to prevent the sale of cigarettes in standardized green packaging.

Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International challenged the legality of the new packages, which bear warnings and graphic images of the dangers of smoking. The companies argued that the packaging destroys property rights and makes their products indistinguishable from one another.

TVNL Comment:  Good for the UK.  Once agin, the US is behind other countries in putting greed before the health of its people.  All toxic products are required to have warning labels.  Why are cigarettes the exception?

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271 people, mostly minors, freed from 'inhumane' drug rehab in Mexico

Rehab patients freed in MexicoAt least 271 people, mostly minors, were rescued from an overcrowded drug rehabilitation center in Mexico that authorities described as "inhumane."

Mexican authorities announced on Wednesday a police operation Tuesday night found that 91 men, 68 women and 112 minors were alleged victims of the Spiritual Awakening, Alcoholics and Drug Addicts of the West rehab center in Mexico's western state of Jalisco. Officials said at least 18 minors were abused and 13 had been physically beaten and burned with cigarettes.

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Poll: Two-thirds of U.S. would struggle to cover $1,000 crisis

One thousand dollars emergency out of reach for two thirds of AmericansTwo-thirds of Americans would have difficulty coming up with the money to cover a $1,000 emergency, according to an exclusive poll released Thursday, a signal that despite years of recovery from the Great Recession, Americans' financial conditions remain precarious as ever.

These financial difficulties span all income levels, according to the poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Seventy-five percent of people in households making less than $50,000 a year would have difficulty coming up with $1,000 to cover an unexpected bill. But when income rose to between $50,000 and $100,000, the difficulty decreased only modestly to 67 percent.

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Debris found at sea after EgyptAir flight disappears

Egypt Air debris foundGreek defence sources have reported the discovery of two large plastic objects in the sea 80km south of Crete, just hours after an EgyptAir jet travelling from Paris to Cairo went missing with 66 people on board.

The Airbus A320 passenger jet was flying at 37,000ft when it disappeared on Thursday 16km after entering Egyptian air space, EgyptAir said.

The floating objects were spotted in the Mediterranean Sea near an area where a transponder signal was detected earlier, the sources said.

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Earth's Relentless Warming Just Hit a Terrible New Threshold

earth's warming hits new threshholdThe number of climate records broken in the last few years is stunning. But here's a new measure of misery: Not only did we just experience the hottest April in 137 years of record keeping, but it was the 12th consecutive month to set a new record.

It's been relentless. May 2015 was the hottest May in records dating back to 1880. That was followed by the hottest June. Then came a record July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March—and, we learned from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday—the hottest April. In an age of rising temperatures, monthly heat records have become all too common. Still, a string of 12 of them is without precedent.

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