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Friday, Mar 06th

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WikiLeaks demands answers after Google hands staff emails to US government

Google took almost three years to disclose to theGoogle open information group WikiLeaks that it had handed over emails and other digital data belonging to three of its staffers to the US government, under a secret search warrant issued by a federal judge.

WikiLeaks has written to Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, to protest that the search giant only revealed the warrants last month, having been served them in March 2012. In the letter, WikiLeaks says it is “astonished and disturbed” that Google waited more than two and a half years to notify its subscribers, potentially depriving them of their ability to protect their rights to “privacy, association and freedom from illegal searches”.

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This Tuesday, Georgia Will Execute an Intellectually Disabled Man Unless the Courts Intervene

Warren HillWarren Hill has an IQ of 70. He is a person with lifelong intellectual disability, yet Georgia plans to put him to death on Tuesday regardless of this fact.

The state is pushing ahead even though the Supreme Court decided in Atkins v. Virginia back in 2002 that executing persons with an intellectual disability violates the Constitution's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The family of Mr. Hill's victim shares that view: They don't want Georgia to execute Mr. Hill. Unless the courts intervene, Mr. Hill's life will end in an execution that serves no valid penological purpose and puts us all to shame.

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Northeast braces for 'potentially historic' blizzard

NYC blizzard comingA "potentially historic" blizzard could dump 2 to 3 feet of snow on a large swath of the U.S. Northeast, crippling a region that has largely been spared so far this winter, the National Weather Service (NWS) said Sunday.

A blizzard warning was issued for New York and Boston, and the National Weather Service said the massive storm would bring heavy snow and powerful winds starting Monday and into Tuesday.

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Director of the CIA’s National Clandestine ServiceSteps Down

Frank Archibald, The director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, the storied home of the agency’s most secretive intelligence operations, has announced that he plans to retire, The Daily Beast has learned.

CIA spokesman Dean Boyd confirmed that the director announced his retirement “after a long and distinguished career at CIA. We thank him for this profound and lasting contributions to both CIA and to our nation’s security.”

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Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks dies at 83

Ernie BanksEven as the Chicago Cubs lost one game after another, Ernie Banks never lost hope. That was the charm of "Mr. Cub."

Banks, the Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP who always maintained his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite decades of playing on miserable teams, died Friday night. He was 83.

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Supreme Court agrees to review controversial execution drug

Supreme Court to review execution drugsThe Supreme Court is stepping into the issue of lethal injection executions for the first time since 2008, agreeing Friday to take up an appeal filed by death row inmates in Oklahoma.

The justices will review whether the sedative midazolam can be used in executions amid concerns that it does not produce a deep, coma-like unconsciousness. As a result, prisoners may experience intense and needless pain when other drugs are injected to kill him. The order came eight days after the court refused to halt the execution of an Oklahoma man that employed the same combination of drugs.

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Alabama seeks to stay order overturning gay marriage ban

gay marriage The Alabama attorney general is asking a federal judge to stay a ruling that overturned Alabama's ban on gay marriage, as advocates cheer what once seemed an improbable victory in the deeply conservative state.

Attorney General Luther Strange's office asked a federal judge on Friday to put the ruling on hold since the U.S. Supreme Court plans to take up the issue of gay marriage this term, "resolving the issues on a nation-wide basis."

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