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Tuesday, Dec 06th

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U.S. veterans build barracks for pipeline protesters in cold

US veterans build barracks for protestersU.S. military veterans were building barracks on Friday at a protest camp in North Dakota to support thousands of activists who have squared off against authorities in frigid conditions to oppose a multibillion-dollar pipeline project near a Native American reservation.

Veterans volunteering to be human shields have been arriving at the Oceti Sakowin camp near the small town of Cannon Ball, where they will work with protesters who have spent months demonstrating against plans to route the Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, organizers said.

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Federal civil rights trial under way in Rikers beating death

Rikerss IslandA federal civil rights trial is underway in New York City for a former Rikers Island guard accused of fatally beating an ailing inmate while the man was restrained and lying on the floor.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeannette Vargas told jurors Friday that defendant Brian Coll abused his power by "savagely" kicking inmate Ronald Spear to death in December 2012.

Defense lawyer Joshua Dratel (DRAY'-tehl) says Spear aggressively resisted guards' attempts to restrain him. He says Coll is not responsible for Spear's death.

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U.S. to forgive some $108B in student loan debt, report says

Student debt forgivenessAn estimated $108 billion in student loans will be forgiven in the next two decades as a growing number of borrowers seek income-driven payment assistance programs, the Government Accountability Office said Wednesday.

The GAO, in a report to Congress that analyzed the cost of income-driven repayment plans, found some $29 billion more in student loans will be discharged due to borrower death or disability. Overall, the sum is double the amount estimated by the U.S. Department of Education, the report found.

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People Burn The Flag Outside Trump Hotel To Protest His Latest Tweet

Protesters burn flag at Trump TowerA small group of hard-left activists burned foot-long U.S. flags outside the Trump International Hotel in New York on Tuesday, in an angry response to a tweet by President-elect Donald Trump that flag-burners should face legal consequences.

Social media was itself ablaze on Tuesday in response to Trump’s tweet, which suggested that burning the U.S. flag should be punishable by a year in jail or a revocation of citizenship.

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Charlotte police officer will not face charges in shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott

No chanrges against Brently VinsonNo charges will be brought against Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer Brentley Vinson in the September shooting death of a man in University City, the man’s attorney said Wednesday.

Keith Lamont Scott, 43, was shot Sept. 20 in a confrontation with officers outside his apartment. Video made at the scene records police calling on him to drop his gun, then four shots are heard.
Keith Lamont Scott . .

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2,000 veterans plan to protect Dakota Access pipeline protesters

Veterans to protect Dakota accessThe Veterans Stand For Standing Rock group said it plans to gather up to 2,000 veterans starting Sunday to help protect Dakota Access Pipeline protesters.

The group defines itself as a non-violent demonstration to defend protesters from what it describes as abusive and humiliating tactics committed by a "militarized police force."

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3 Resorts Reported Destroyed by Tennessee Wildfires

Tennessee wildfiresMore than 100 structures in the city of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, have been damaged, Mayor Mike Warner said Tuesday morning. More than 150 other structures have been damaged or destroyed in other parts of Sevier County, county Mayor Larry Waters told reporters at a news conference.

Warner, the Gatlinburg mayor, says he believes that his house is among those lost.

"But things can be rebuilt. Our downtown's intact, and that's really great for our economy" and the city's future, Warner said. "We will rebuild, and we will remain the premier resort community that we are. ... It will be OK."

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