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Monday, Jan 23rd

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N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory concedes election 'despite continued questions'

Pat McCroryNorth Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday conceded defeat in the state's gubernatorial election nearly a month after Democrat Roy Cooper was declared the winner.

McCrory made the announcement through a YouTube video. He previously said massive voter fraud led to his narrow loss.

"Despite continued questions that should be answered regarding the voting process, I personally believe that the majority of our citizens have spoken, and we now should do everything we can to support the 75th governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper," McCrory said in the video. "The McCrory administration team will assist in every way to help the new administration make a smooth transition."

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What's the future of US for-profit immigrant detention?

Future of private detention centers in USWhen Sulma Franco fled her native Guatemala in 2009, she planned to reach the United States and apply for asylum on humanitarian grounds.
Fault Lines - Punishment and Profits: Immigration Detention (23:51)

But things did not turn out as Franco, a 32-year-old member of the LGBT community, had imagined.

"I left Guatemala for many different reasons," she said, explaining that she was a victim of violence because of her LGBT rights activism. Due to legal reasons, she cannot elaborate on the events that led to her departure.

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Walmart agrees to $7.5 million settlement in same-sex spouse discrimination suit

Walmart settles suitWalmart announced a settlement in a lawsuit accusing the company of denying same-sex spouses health insurance benefits.

Walmart agreed to pay $7.5 million to compensate more than 1,000 potentially eligible employees whose spouses were denied spousal benefits between 2011 and 2013 before the company changed its policy on Jan. 1 2014 when the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, the New York Times reported.

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Oakland fire: Nine die during California club night

Oakland fireAt least nine people have died in a fire during a club night near San Francisco, authorities say.

The fire started at 23:30 local time on Friday (07:30 GMT Saturday) in Oakland, police told the BBC.

The venue was hosting a concert by electronic group Golden Donna. The event's Facebook page indicates a number of people are missing.

Local broadcasters said some 13 other people were missing. The KTVU network said about 50 people were inside.

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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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