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Wednesday, Apr 16th

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Florida state attorney denies reports FBI agent in Todashev shooting cleared

Ibrahim TodashevFlorida state prosecutors on Friday denied that they had cleared an FBI agent who shot dead a friend of the Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev while interrogating him.

The FBI is understood to have concluded that the officer who shot Ibragim Todashev, 27, was left with no alternative but to fire in self defence after being struck on the neck with a metal pole.

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Judge strikes down Michigan's ban on gay marriage

gay marriageA federal judge has struck down Michigan's ban on gay marriage, the latest in a series of decisions overturning similar laws across the U.S.

Judge Bernard Friedman ruled Friday after a trial that mostly focused on the impact of same-sex parenting on children. Two nurses who've been partners for eight years claimed the ban violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution.

It was not clear if gay marriages could begin immediately.

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Bernie Madoff: 'JPMorgan knew'

MadoffThe financial world was stunned to learn in 2008 of Bernard Madoff’s years-long, multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme.

But according to Madoff, one Wall Street bank knew long before then that something was wrong — and chose not to do anything.

“JPMorgan knew it,” he said as part of a wide-ranging interview last week at a medium-security prison here, where Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence after pleading guilty in March 2009 to massive investment and securities fraud that devastated thousands of clients.

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DOJ To Clear FBI Agent In Shooting Of Man Tied To Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects

Ibragim TodashevA Florida prosecutor and an internal FBI investigation have cleared an unnamed FBI agent in the shooting of a 27-year-old man connected to the brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombing, a law enforcement official confirmed to The Huffington Post. A separate inquiry by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is expected to follow suit, the official said.

Ibragim Todashev was killed in his apartment when he allegedly got into a tussle with the agent while being questioned. The agent was probing Todashev's suspected involvement in a triple murder in 2011 that might have been connected to him and Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev was killed in the events following the bombing, and his younger brother Dzhokhar is currently facing federal charges.

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Founder of Hate-Spewing Westboro Baptist Church, Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. dies

PhelpsThe Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., who founded a Kansas church widely known for its protests at military funerals and anti-gay sentiments, has died according to his son Tim Phelps.

This news comes after some speculation about his health and whether or not he was in hospice care.

Members of the Westboro church, based in Topeka, frequently protest at funerals of soldiers with signs containing messages such as “Thank God for dead soldiers,” and “Thank God for 9/11,” claiming the deaths are God’s punishment for American immorality and tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.

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US tech giants knew of NSA data collection

Tech giants knoew of NSA collectionsThe senior lawyer for the National Security Agency stated unequivocally on Wednesday that US technology companies were fully aware of the surveillance agency’s widespread collection of data, contradicting months of angry denials from the firms.

Rajesh De, the NSA general counsel, said all communications content and associated metadata harvested by the NSA under a 2008 surveillance law occurred with the knowledge of the companies – both for the internet collection program known as Prism and for the so-called “upstream” collection of communications moving across the internet.

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Oklahoma unable to buy lethal injection drugs for upcoming execution

Execution drugOklahoma was not able to obtain the drugs needed to conduct an execution scheduled for this week, but the state aims to buy alternative chemicals for the lethal injection by the time the death sentence is carried out on Thursday, officials said Monday.

Several states, including Oklahoma, have had difficulty obtaining the chemicals traditionally used for lethal injections after some pharmaceutical companies clamped down on sales due to opposition to capital punishment. As a result, some states are turning to less regulated drugs for lethal injection — drugs that critics say lack purity and can cause undue suffering.

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