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Wednesday, Oct 22nd

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Obama to 'unlock' cellphone rights: How free will you be?

lockinh cellphoneA bill passed by Congress and waiting to be signed by President Obama represents a big win for consumers, who have long sought ability to "unlock" cellphones – allowing them to be used on any carrier's plan. But it does not mark the end of the battle and could be only a temporary victory.

The issue may seem obvious on its face: If consumers buy phones, why should a telecom giant be able to tell them how to use it? But the Library of Congress backed the patent office in 2012, saying that most unlocking amounted to illegal tampering according to US copyright law.

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Bowe Bergdahl Thanks Obama for ‘Saving His Life’

Bow BergdahlU.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has a new lawyer to defend him as the Army investigates the circumstances surrounding his kidnapping by the Taliban in 2009. And the former hostage wants President Obama to know that he is grateful the U.S. government traded five Taliban commanders in exchange for his release in May.

“Sergeant Bergdahl is deeply grateful to President Obama for saving his life,” Bergdahl’s new lead counsel Eugene Fidell told The Daily Beast in an interview Wednesday, adding that the former Taliban prisoner had personally authorized him to say that.

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Mexico restricts soft drink TV ads to fight obesity

Mexico bans soda adsMexico is restricting television advertising for high-calorie food and soft drinks, as part of its campaign against obesity, the government says.

Such ads will be banned with immediate effect on terrestrial and cable TV between 14:30 and 19:30 on weekdays and between 07:30 and 19:30 at weekends.

Restrictions will also be imposed on similar ads shown at the cinema.

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Mo. governor vetoes three-day abortion waiting period

Jay NixonMissouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have required a 72-hour wait for women seeking abortions, asserting that legislators showed a "callous disregard for women" by granting no exception for rape and incest victims.

Republican legislators quickly vowed to override the governor's decision, and they may have the numbers to do so. The GOP-led legislature approved the plan earlier this year only one vote shy of the supermajority needed to undo a veto.

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Report: Obama drone policy destabilizing for world, US democracy

Obama drones destabilize the worldDrone technology and the way the United States uses it has the potential to destabilize battlefields, governments and even American democracy, according to a new report by a task force that includes former U.S. military officials.

The report, released by the Stimson Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank, surveyed the Obama administration’s use of drones and concluded that while they can be a powerful and effective force in wars, they can also interfere with the sovereignty of other nations and cause unnecessary conflict abroad. The report also suggested that the Obama administration’s secrecy surrounding U.S. drone programs is to blame for the public’s current misconceptions and fears about the aircraft, which are also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

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Teaching creationism as scientifically valid now banned in all UK public schools

Creationism museumThe United Kingdom has banned the teaching of creationism as scientifically valid in all schools receiving public funding.

The government released a new set of funding agreements last week including clauses which specifically prohibit pseudoscience.

"The parties acknowledge that clauses 2.43 and 2.44 of the Funding Agreement [which preclude the teaching of pseudoscience and require the teaching of evolution] apply to all academies. They explicitly require that pupils are taught about the theory of evolution, and prevent academy trusts from teaching 'creationism' as scientific fact," one clause reads.

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WikiLeaks Reveals Global Trade Deal Kept More Secret Than the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Global trade secretsEmbattled WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange announced Wednesday from London the publication of a secret draft text of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), a controversial global trade agreement said to make it easier for corporations to make profits and operate with impunity across borders.

The whistleblower and transparency website WikiLeaks published on Thursday the secret draft text of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), a controversial global trade agreement promoted by the United States and European Union that covers 50 countries and is opposed by global trade unions and anti-globalization activists.

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