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Friday, Nov 28th

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US Supreme Court refuses to block SC gay marriages

US Supreme courtThe U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block gay marriages in South Carolina.

The high court on Thursday denied a request by Republican Attorney General Alan Wilson. He had wanted the marriages blocked while he challenges a judge's recent decision that opened the way for the marriages.

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Egypt's Genital-Mutilating Doc Goes Free

Female genital mutilation trialAn Egyptian court on Thursday handed down not guilty verdicts in the case of Raslan Fadl — the first doctor in Egypt to be tried for committing female genital mutilation (FGM), according to the rights group Equality Now.

The landmark case was closely watched by anti-FGM activists who hoped the verdict would set a precedent for enforcing a nationwide ban on the practice and deterring doctors and families from the damaging medical procedure.

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Legendary director Mike Nichols dies

mike nichols diesMike Nichols, esteemed director/writer/producer and husband of Diane Sawyer, has died.  ABC reports he died suddenly on Wednesday evening of cardiac arrest. He was 83.

Nichols' death was announced by ABC News President James Goldston.

"He was a true visionary, winning the highest honors in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic and was one of a tiny few to win the EGOT-an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony in his lifetime," Goldston said in the statement. "No one was more passionate about his craft than Mike."

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Anonymous takes on the Ku Klux Klan

kkkDid the hacktivist group Anonymous go too far in fighting the KKK?

With a promise that "This is just the beginning," the international hacktivist group Anonymous continued to control the Ku Klux Klan's online presence on Tuesday days after the KKK threatened to hurt potential protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. On social media, many celebrated the online group's actions.

The Anonymous cyberwar started during the weekend after the white supremacist group issued a warning to any potential rioters waiting for a grand jury decision on a possible charges against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August.

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How Executive Ended Up With $196 Million in an IRA

IRA investmentCorporate and private-equity executives can accumulate millions of dollars in tax-favored retirement accounts, taking advantage of gaps in the law and IRS enforcement, said a Government Accountability Office study.

The Internal Revenue Service has trouble fighting back because legal disputes over asset values in individual retirement accounts are complex and time-consuming, the report said. Also, the IRS has a three-year deadline for challenging an individual’s tax return.

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Senate Torture Report Talks Break Down As Administration Pushes For Redactions

Dianne FeinsteinNegotiations between the Obama administration and the Senate over how much of the upper chamber's CIA torture report can be released have hit a major snag, less than a day after the talks appeared to be wrapping up.

On Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that negotiations had come "down to essentially one item in the redaction. It happens to be a very sensitive and important item. I talked to the president yesterday, I talked to his chief of staff the day before, I expect to hear about it hopefully today or tomorrow."

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Ohio Bill Would Shield Source Of Lethal Injection Drugs

lethal executionOhio lawmakers are considering are considering a bill that would shield the identity of any pharmacy or drugmaker that provides drugs for executions.

Ohio, like most states, has struggled to obtain the drugs after European manufacturers prohibited their use in putting people to death. Many states have turned to unregulated compounding pharmacies to make replicas. But following several high profile botched executions, those pharmacies have come under scrutiny.

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Pennsylvania officials' pornographic emails 'featured children and violence'

Kathleen KaneSome of the pornographic emails that were exchanged among state government officials in a scandal that has claimed some of their jobs involved children and violent sexual acts against women, the state attorney general said on Tuesday.

The attorney general, Kathleen Kane, said in an interview televised on Tuesday night on CNN the images are “deplorable”.

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Nursing group urges military not to punish Guantánamo nurse who refused to force-feed detainees

Nurse refused to forcefeed Gitmo detaineesA leading nursing association is urging the US military not to punish a navy nurse who has refused to forcibly feed Guantánamo detainees on hunger strike to protest their confinement without charge.

In letters the American Nurses Association made public on Wednesday, the organization of 3.1 million registered nurses asked defense secretary Chuck Hagel and the chief of naval nursing to spare the anonymous Guantánamo-based nurse any disciplinary measure, as the nurses’ professional code of ethics enshrines a right to “make an independent judgment about whether he or she should participate in this or any other activity”.

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