Tuesday, Oct 13th

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Reports: Arne Duncan stepping down as Obama’s Education secretary

Arne Duncan to step downEducation Secretary Arne Duncan, one of the longest-serving members of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, will step down in December, officials said Friday.

In a letter to his staff obtained by The Associated Press, Duncan said he’s returning to Chicago to live with his family. He said he isn’t sure what he will do next, but that he hopes his future will “continue to involve the work of expanding opportunity for children.”


Court upholds $236M verdict in Exxon Mobil pollution case

Exxon MobileNew Hampshire's highest court upheld a record $236 million judgment Friday against Exxon Mobil for its use of a gasoline additive that contaminated groundwater in the state.

A jury reached the verdict in April 2013 after finding the company liable in a long-running lawsuit over contamination by the chemical MTBE. Lasting nearly four months, the trial was the longest and resulted in the largest jury award in New Hampshire history.


Planned Parenthood Fire In Southern California Was Arson, Authorities Say

Planned Parenthood fire was arsonAuthorities say a small fire that damaged a Planned Parenthood facility in Southern California was apparently ignited when someone tossed a container with a flammable liquid through a window.

Ventura County Fire Capt. Mike Lindbery says it smelled like gasoline at the scene of the arson late Wednesday in Thousand Oaks. No injuries were reported.

Sheriff's Capt. John Reilly says a suspect wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a face mask was recorded by surveillance cameras.



Ten killed in college shooting in Oregon

15 dead at Umpqua Community CollegeTen people have been killed and seven injured in a shooting at a college in the US state of Oregon, say police.

The 20-year-old gunman opened fire in a classroom at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning.

There were conflicting reports on the casualty numbers but Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said the figure of 10 dead was "the best one".


Recreational cannabis sales start in Oregon

cannabis on sale in OregonMedical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon began selling cannabis on Thursday to recreational users, marking a big day for the budding industry.

Some of the more than 250 dispensaries that already offer medical marijuana in Oregon opened their doors soon after midnight — just moments after it became legal to sell to anyone who is at least 21.


Secret Service Violated Privacy Protocol, Wanted To Embarrass Congressman

Jason ChaffetzIn the latest embarrassment for the Secret Service, agents were found to have improperly accessed, shared and potentially released an unsuccessful 2003 Secret Service job application of Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah, according to a government report.

It says that the agents' actions stemmed from a desire to discredit Chaffetz, who was heading investigations of scandals inside the Secret Service.


Pro-Israel groups targeting Palestinian organizations in US, report finds

Palestinian groups targetedPro-Israel organizations are increasingly targeting pro-Palestinian groups in the US, according to a report released by two legal advocacy groups on Wednesday.

In a report co-authored with the Center for Constitutional Rights, legal group Palestine Legal said it was called in to respond to nearly 300 incidents of attempted suppression of pro-Palestine activism and rhetoric in the past 18 months.


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