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Wednesday, Apr 16th

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LGBT Christian College Students Fight For a Voice

LGBT Christian studentsAs more students come out at evangelical colleges, administrators are cracking down on campus groups and faculty who give them support. A new advocacy group wants to change that.

This week, while international LGBT rights advocates continue to spotlight repressive anti-gay policies and violence in Russia, some are focusing their protests closer to home.

Friday morning in Los Angeles, a new LGBT support coalition for Christian college students and alumni, Safety Net, is launching publicly with a prayer vigil protest of a meeting of hundreds of Christian college administrators. The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), representing 119 U.S. evangelical and fundamentalist higher education institutions and 55 international affiliates, is holding its quadrennial conference in LA, this year focused on the theme of “Engaged Community.”

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If Obama Orders the CIA to Kill a U.S. Citizen, Amazon Will Be a Partner in Assassination

Amazon Cloud contractPresident Obama is now considering whether to order the Central Intelligence Agency to kill a U.S. citizen in Pakistan. That’s big news this week. But hidden in plain sight is the fact that Amazon would be an accessory to the assassination.

Amazon has a $600 million contract with the CIA to provide the agency with “cloud” computing services. After final confirmation of the deal several months ago, Amazon declared: “We look forward to a successful relationship with the CIA.”

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Police break transatlantic network of US and Italian crime families

Crime families bustedPolice in Italy and the US have carried out a series of arrests in a joint operation aimed at smashing a new trafficking route for drugs and weapons that officials said had brought together the Gambino crime family of New York and the Calabrian mafia, or 'Ndrangheta.

Raffaele Grassi, an Italian police spokesman, said 24 people had been arrested, with two more still being sought. Seventeen of them had been detained in Italy, he said, and seven in New York by the FBI.

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Snowden used simple technology to mine NSA computer networks

SnowdenThe National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden used inexpensive and widely available software to plunder the agency’s networks, it has been reported, raising further questions about why he was not detected.

Intelligence officials investigating the former contractor, who leaked thousands of documents to media outlets including the Guardian last year, determined that he used web crawler software designed to search, index and back up websites to “scrape” highly classified files, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

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The Beatles Invasion, 50 Years Ago: Sunday, Feb. 9, 1964

Beatles on Ed Sullivan ShowJust before 2:30 on the afternoon of Feb. 9, the Beatles got the signal to take their places for the first of two full dress rehearsals in front of a full, hysterical audience. If they seemed daunted at making their American debut, it didn’t show. They plugged in and waited patiently behind a curtain, exchanging relaxed, easy grins, as Ed Sullivan wandered onstage.

Sullivan was an improbable TV star. Stiff as cardboard and about as endearing, the 62-year-old emcee had, a profile in TIME said, as much charisma as “a cigar-store Indian.” He was painfully awkward in front of the camera, but he had an uncanny instinct for spotting talent and the ability to give it a national showcase. As such, he was a powerful star maker, to say nothing of an American icon. If you tuned in on Sunday nights, as a majority of TV watchers did, you were in for “a really big shew.”

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I sold my house and traveled the US giving socks to the homeless

homeless in the USI'm just a regular guy. I've been a special education teacher most of my life. I've had great moments and crummy ones, including a very low period after a divorce. But as I neared retirement, I looked at life and everyone around me differently.

One night as my friend Craig and I were walking to the entrance of the Chicago Blackhawks game, I had a revelation. My friend and I have been going to the games for a decade, and the same homeless man was always stands at the same corner holding his cup asking for change and is polite as he can be. If he receives nothing he still says "God Bless You, have a good night." I know there are many homeless like this in many cities.

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Toyota close to $1 billion deal to settle U.S. probe:

ToyotaToyota Motor Corp (7203.T) is close to a deal to pay $1 billion to settle a U.S. criminal investigation into how it disclosed customers' complaints about unintended acceleration years ago, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing anonymous sources.

Toyota could reach a deal with U.S. authorities within weeks, the Journal quoted the sources as saying, ending a four-year probe into one of the Japanese automaker's most embarrassing international episodes.

The deal under negotiation could still collapse, or the settlement amount could change, the sources were cited as saying.

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