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Thursday, Sep 18th

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Texas textbooks tout Christian heritage

Texas textbooksTexas students may soon be reading in their history textbooks that the American system of democracy was inspired by Moses, segregated schools weren’t all that bad and taxes imposed for programs like Social Security haven’t measurably improved society.

Those passages are among dozens of biased, misleading or inaccurate lessons identified on Wednesday by a panel of scholars commissioned by a liberal advocacy group to analyze dozens of new history, geography and civics textbooks up for review by the state Board of Education.

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Ozone layer showing 'signs of recovery', UN says

ozone layerThe ozone layer that shields the earth from cancer-causing ultraviolet rays is showing early signs of thickening after years of depletion, a UN study says.

The ozone hole that appears annually over Antarctica has also stopped growing bigger every year.  The report says it will take a decade before the hole starts to shrink.

Scientists say the recovery is entirely due to political determination to phase out the man-made CFC gases destroying ozone.

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Obama authorizes air strikes in Syria

Obama Isis policyPresident Barack Obama told Americans on Wednesday he had authorized U.S. air strikes for the first time in Syria and more attacks in Iraq in a broad escalation of a campaign against the Islamic State militant group.

Obama's decision to launch attacks inside Syria, which is embroiled in a three-year civil war, showed the seriousness of the threat American officials see from Islamic State. A year ago, the president shied away from air strikes against Syria's government for its use of chemical weapons against Syrians.

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Report: NFL knew of Ray Rice video in April

Roger GoodellHeads continue to roll in light of the latest Ray Rice video coming out, and the next t roll could be that of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

That is, if he in fact did see the video of Rice hitting his then-fiance, something he's denied seeing to this point.

The Associated Press is reporting that a law enforcement official did in fact send copy of the Ray Rice tape to an NFL executive back in April.

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US air force sergeant barred from re-enlisting unless he swears to God

Air Force oathThe US air force has told an atheist airman he must swear his re-enlistment oath to God or he will not be allowed to reenlist, according to the American Humanist.

The airman, who is stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, has not been identified. The service said he has until November to swear the oath required of all servicemembers, which concludes with the phrase “so help me God.”

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Scientists find larger monument buried under Stonehenge

stonehengeResearchers said on Wednesday that they have produced digital maps of what is beneath Stonehenge, Britain’s ancient and mysterious circle of megaliths, or giant stones. The scientists used an array of ground-penetrating radar and other techniques to peer deep into the soil, finding an array of even more monuments beneath the famous stone circle.

The project produced detailed maps of 17 previously unknown ritual monuments and a large timber building thought to have been used for burial ceremonies, researchers from the University of Birmingham said. Stonehenge is about 4,500 years old.

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Texas case highlights clash between fracking and free speech

fracking caseWhat started as a short YouTube video and a couple of local news interviews about a Texas landowner being able to light his water on fire has ballooned into a free speech fight that’s being closely watched by anti-fracking activists across the country.

Steve Lipsky has complained for years that fracking company Range Resources polluted his drinking water and streams that run through his property. The company sued him in 2011 for defaming its reputation for environmental stewardship.

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5 million Gmail credentials dumped in online forum

gmail usernames hackedAn archive containing approximately five million Gmail addresses and passwords were dumped in an online forum Tuesday with 60 percent of them valid, claimed the user who posted them.

"We can't confirm that it is indeed as much as 60 percent, but a great amount of the leaked data is legitimate," said Peter Kruse, the chief technology officer of CSIS Security Group.

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Israeli military opens its own probe into Gaza war

IDF investigatedThe Israeli military says it has opened criminal investigations into two high-profile cases involving Palestinian civilian casualties in this summer's Gaza war.

Wednesday's announcement is likely an attempt to head off international investigations into the military's conduct during the 50-day conflict.

More than 2,100 Palestinians, three-quarters of whom were civilians, were killed in the fighting, according to Palestinian and U.N. estimates.

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