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Wednesday, Sep 02nd

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Cuba dissidents won't attend US Embassy event

Cuba feteThe Obama administration doesn't plan to invite Cuban dissidents to Secretary of State John Kerry's historic flag-raising at the U.S. Embassy in Havana on Friday, vividly illustrating how U.S. policy is shifting focus from the island's opposition to its single-party government. Instead, Kerry intends to meet more quietly with prominent activists later in the day, officials said.

The Cuban opposition has occupied the center of U.S. policy toward the island since the nations cut diplomatic relations in 1961. The Cuban government labels its domestic opponents as traitorous U.S. mercenaries. As the two countries have moved to restore relations, Cuba has almost entirely stopped meeting with American politicians who visit dissidents during trips to Havana.

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Inmates: Guards Tortured Us After Escape

Inmates tortured after escapeiNght had fallen at the Clinton Correctional Facility in far northern New York when the prison guards came for Patrick Alexander. They handcuffed him and took him into a broom closet for questioning. Then, Mr. Alexander said in an interview last week, the beatings began.

As the three guards, who wore no name badges, punched him and slammed his head against the wall, he said they shouted questions: “Where are they going? What did you hear? How much are they paying you to keep your mouth shut?”

One of the guards put a plastic bag over his head, Mr. Alexander said, and threatened to waterboard him.

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Armed white men from Oath Keepers arrive in Ferguson, stoking tension

Armed white men go to FergusonFour white civilians carrying military-style rifles and sidearms patrolled a riot-torn street in Ferguson, Missouri, early Tuesday, saying they were there to protect a media organization, but they drew swift criticism from protesters in the mostly black neighborhood and from police who called their presence was "unncessary and inflammatory."

The appearance of the four men drew stares in the neighborhood, which was rocked by violence again Sunday night as protesters marked the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen whose death one year ago reignited a debate on race relations.

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Air controller study shows chronic fatigue

air controllersAir traffic controllers' work schedules often lead to chronic fatigue, making them less alert and endangering the safety of the national air traffic system, according to a study the government has kept secret for nearly four years.

Federal Aviation Administration officials have declined to furnish a copy of the report despite repeated requests and a Freedom of Information Act request by The Associated Press. However, the AP was able to obtain a draft of the final report dated Dec. 1, 2011.

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Ferguson Demonstrations: Authorities Declare State of Emergency in St. Louis County

Ferguson protestsSt. Louis authorities declared a state of emergency Monday as they prepared for a second night of protests marking a year since a police officer killed Ferguson teen Michael Brown.

The move was announced by St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, who cited the violence that marred protests Sunday night in Ferguson.

"The recent acts of violence will not be tolerated in a community that has worked so tirelessly over the last year to rebuild and become stronger," Stenger said in a statement.

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8 Found Dead Inside Houston-Area Home

8 dead in Houston area homeA man was taken into custody after eight people were found dead inside a Houston-area home.

The bodies of three adults and five children were discovered late Saturday after deputies went to the home in northwest Harris County for a welfare check, said Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Gilliland. When they arrived, no one answered the door.

"After several repeated times to get someone to come to the door, some more information was obtained that a male was in the home that had a warrant for an aggravated assault on a family member," Gilliland told ABC station KTRK-TV.

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Gov. Sam Brownback's brother accused of terrorizing rural neighbors

Jim BrownbackUndulating fields of crops and livestock-dotted pastures are the domain of a trigger-happy bully who brags about a political cloak of invincibility keeping him beyond reach of the law in faithfully conservative Linn County.

Adversaries say he has woven a liquor-infused tapestry of fear colored by intimidation, abuse and lies. The saga features stalking, death threats, trespassing, drive-by gunfire, massive explosions, cattle theft, loan defaults, hit-and-run driving and marital strife. Linn County Sheriff’s Department files bulge with complaints about him.

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