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Saturday, Dec 20th

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Israel to build 283 homes on West Bank

Israel builds new homes in west Bankhas published tenders to build 283 homes in a West Bank settlement, days after announcing its biggest land grab on occupied Palestinian territory for three decades.

The expansion of the Elkana settlement, in the north-west of the West Bank, was approved in January and the tenders were published on Thursday, Israel's land authority said.

It came after Israel announced its biggest land grab in the West Bank since the 1980s, saying it planned to expropriate 400 hectares (988 acres) of land in the south of the territory, between Bethlehem and Hebron.

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Bogus Photo Does Not Show Ferguson Cop Darren Wilson's Injuries; It's Not Even Him

Bogus Ferguson cop photoUnarmed teen Michael Brown was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, but the circumstances leading up to his death remain unclear. Though Ferguson police have said that Wilson's face was injured in an altercation with Brown moments before the shooting, Wilson has yet to come forward and speak publicly.

On Tuesday, Chicago firefighter Kevin O'Grady shared a Facebook photo he claimed showed a injured Wilson in the hospital after the incident. As it turned out, the man pictured is not Darren Wilson, but that didn't stop the image from going viral.

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Labor Day stems from deadly labor strike, but few Americans know the history

Pullman strikeMonday is the day to celebrate the American worker and his sacrifices and economic and social achievements.  You do know that, right?

If you don’t, you’re not alone.  Few recall the bloodstained origins of this holiday as we fire up the grill, throw on the burgers and dogs and turn on the U.S. Open tennis or maybe the Yanks, Mets or another ballgame.

And, in a sign of the times, the Sunday morning network news shows didn’t even offer their usual, token pre-Labor Day weekend spot for the head of the nation’s labor movement.

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Utah fracking fine highlights wastewater pond threat

fracking in utahWhen fracking causes controversy, it’s often because of wells — either the ones used to inject chemicals and water into the ground to break up gas-rich shale rock or the ones used to dispose of all the waste and water left over from the injection process.

Often overlooked is a another way to dispose of that waste: massive surface ponds in which fracking water is stored until it can be recycled or buried or is left to slowly evaporate. Those ponds, which can grow to several acres in size, dot the landscapes of virtually every state that produces natural gas.

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100,000 Elephants Killed In 3 Years As Poaching Rates Climb In Africa, Study Finds

elephantPoachers killed an estimated 100,000 elephants across Africa between 2010 and 2012, a huge spike in the continent's death rate of the world's largest mammals because of an increased demand for ivory in China and other Asian nations, a new study published Monday found.

Warnings about massive elephant slaughters have been ringing for years, but Monday's study is the first to scientifically quantify the number of deaths across the continent by measuring deaths in one closely monitored park in Kenya and using other published data to extrapolate fatality tolls across the continent.

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Leading Sierra Leone doctor is second med worker to die of Ebola

Secind dictor dies if ebolaSierra Leone is in mourning after a leading virologist who risked his life to treat dozens of Ebola patients became the latest health care worker to die from the lethal virus, which has now killed more than 670 people across West Africa.

Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan was working at the Kenema Government Hospital in eastern Sierra Leone when Ebola broke out in the country for the first time this spring.

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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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