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Friday, Aug 01st

Last update06:56:22 PM GMT

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State judge strikes down Florida's gay marriage ban, stays ruling

Gay marriage allowed in FloridaA state judge struck down Florida's gay marriage ban on Friday in the latest in a string of legal gay-rights victories that have nonetheless been put on hold for resolution by higher courts.

Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel in Miami-Dade County said Florida's ban violated the constitutional rights to due process and equal protection, as well as offended "basic human decency." Florida's attorney general quickly appealed the ruling.

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U.S. embassy in Libya evacuated amid growing violence

US embassy in Syria evacuatedThe U.S. embassy in strife-torn Libya was evacuated early Saturday, under cover of American warplanes and spy aircraft, according to the State Department and Pentagon.

Personnel from the embassy were evacuated as security deteriorated in the capital of Tripoli.

"Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.

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Bodies pulled from rubble in Gaza after Israel, Hamas begin 12-hour truce

gaza dead pulled from rubbleThousands of Gaza residents who had fled Israel-Hamas fighting streamed back to devastated border areas during a 12-hour truce Saturday to find large-scale destruction: scores of homes were pulverized, wreckage blocked roads and power cables dangled in the streets.

After the temporary truce took effect at 8 a.m., Gaza streets quickly filled with Palestinians trying to stock up on supplies or returning to devastated areas to inspect their homes. Ambulances of the Red Crescent reached the hardest-hit areas, including Beit Hanoun and the eastern Shujaeya district of Gaza City, to recover bodies.

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85 wealthiest are richer than poorest 3.5 billion

gatesThe U.N.'s annual Human Development Report released Thursday shows that the world's 85 richest people are wealthier than the poorest 3.5 billion.

The top five countries ranked in the Human Development Index (HDI) are Norway, Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States. The bottom five are all from Africa: Mozambique, Guinea, Burundi, Burkina Faso and Eritrea. The U.N. attributed slowing improvements in health, education and income to worsening income inequality, climate change and government corruption.

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Fed Court: Florida: doctors cannot discuss gun safety with patients

doctors cannot discuss gun safetyA federal appeals court is upholding a Florida law restricting what doctors can discuss about guns with their patients.

A panel of judges on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Friday overturned a decision from a lower court that found the law unconstitutional.

The appeals court called the law a "legitimate regulation of professional conduct" and that the limits imposed by it were "incidental."

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Bruce Enberg: We're not Fair and Balanced, we tell the truth

truthNew unemployment claims dipped to 284,000 in the past week, and this is the lowest number since the week of February 18 2006. This was about the time that it became apparent that the Bush Depression was going to happen. History tells us that without significant gov't intervention it takes about ten years to recover from a Bank Panic, that's what they used to call these things prior to the New Deal that made bank crashes impossible to happen.

Of course Reagan, Bush, Clinton & Bush undid all of those regulations and safeguards with the predictable result.

So now we're seeing the recovery start to pick up speed, but let's be clear, it's not because Obama has been able to do much to fix things. He just hasn't done any new damage and has more or less kept the Republicans in check. Corporate America is another matter, despite record stock prices, record profits, record CEO salaries and trillions in cash on hand they are refusing to invest at pre-crash levels.

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Former CIA officials can't see 'torture' report

CIA torture reportAbout a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.

Then, on Friday, many were told they would not be able to see it, after all.

Some of them were furious, while Democratic Senate aides were angry that they were given the chance in the first place.

It's the latest chapter in the drama and recriminations that have been playing out behind the scenes in connection with what some call the Senate torture report, a summary of which is being declassified and is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

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Iraq: Isis warns women to wear full veil or face punishment

Isis warns womenIslamic State (Isis), the al-Qaida offshoot that seized large swathes of northern Iraq last month, has warned women in the city of Mosul to wear full-face veils or risk severe punishment.

The Sunni insurgents, who have declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria and have threatened to march on Baghdad, also listed guidelines on how veils and clothes should be worn, part of a campaign to violently impose their radical brand of Islam.

"The conditions imposed on her clothes and grooming was only to end the pretext of debauchery resulting from grooming and overdressing," the group said in a statement.

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Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian held in Iran

Jason RezalanAn American reporter for the Washington Post and his wife have been detained in Tehran, an Iranian official confirmed.

Jason Rezaian, a 38-year-old dual Iran-US citizen, and his Iranian wife Yeganeh Salehi, were taken into custody on Tuesday evening, the paper said. Two freelance photographers, also US citizens, were being held too.

Western news organisations, including the BBC, have great difficulty operating in Iran, with journalists facing detention and surveillance.

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