Monday, Nov 30th

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Supreme Court may wade back into abortion debate

SC to take up abortion rights againNearly a quarter-century after its last major ruling on abortion created a fragile balance between women's rights and government restrictions, the Supreme Court appears ready for a rematch.

And like the last time, the debate would unfold in the midst of a presidential election.

The first act could play out as early as Friday, when the justices may decide whether to hear a challenge to tough new limits placed on abortion clinics and doctors in Texas. The restrictions — forcing doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and requiring clinics to measure up to outpatient surgery centers — threaten to leave the state with just 10 clinics clustered in four population centers and along the Mexican border.


Consumers behind accelerated shift to cage-free eggs in US

Cage=free chickens

Alert and curious, hundreds of hens with bright red crowns and faces strolled out of a large chicken house midmorning into the fresh air and a fenced pasture amid rolling fields of alfalfa, clover, corn and soybeans. They cluck and coo, peck and scratch at the ground.

"They're obviously much more comfortable without cages," Iowa organic farmer Francis Blake said of his flock of 5,000 hens, which live a cage-free life.


Sexting arrest latest embarrassment for Secret Service

Lee Robert MooreThe arrest of a uniformed Secret Service officer on charges of trying to solicit a teenage girl for sex and sending obscene images and texts online is the latest embarrassment for the agency charged with protecting the president and his family.

Lee Robert Moore, 37, of Church Hill, Maryland, waived his right to a preliminary hearing without appearing in court Friday in Delaware on state charges of sexual solicitation of a child under 18 and providing obscene material to a person under 18. He is charged separately in federal court with attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor.


Officer who shot and killed Corey Jones terminated by Florida city

Nouman RajaThe city of Palm Beach Gardens has fired Nouman Raja, the police officer who shot and killed Corey Jones.

In a press release issued Thursday, the city said:

"The City of Palm Beach Gardens has been cautiously and methodically considering the employment status of Officer Nouman Raja. Therefore, Officer Raja, a probationary employee with the city, has been terminated from employment effective Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015, at 5 p.m.


Walmart workers group plans 15-day protest leading to Black Friday

walmart workers set to walk outA Wal-Mart Stores Inc worker group that has pushed the retailer to raise pay and benefits is launching a 15-day protest leading up to Black Friday to rekindle the fight for a $15 per hour minimum wage and more opportunities to work full time.

The retailer has been a major target of the national movement to increase wages, and its decision earlier this year to raise wages to $9 an hour has rippled through the retail industry. Walmart has said the wage increase was not a response to the protests but an effort to improve conditions.


NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake: ‘I’ve had to create a whole new life’

Thomas DrakeFive years after becoming the first American to be charged for espionage in nearly four decades, Thomas Drake is still trying to rebuild his life.

In 2010, Drake, a senior executive with the National Security Agency from 2001 to 2008, was indicted by the Obama administration for leaking classified information under the Espionage Act after speaking out on secret mass surveillance programs, multibillion-dollar fraud and intelligence failures from 9/11.


Missouri state senator aims to block student's dissertation on abortion

Kurt SchaeferA University of Missouri doctoral student plans to continue research for her dissertation on the effects of the state’s recently imposed 72-hour waiting period for abortions, despite a state legislator’s push to block the research, the student told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview.

“I stand by my research project,” Lindsay Ruhr said Wednesday. “I feel that my research is objective, and that the whole point of my research is to understand how this policy affects women. Whether this policy is having a harmful or beneficial effect, we don’t know.”


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