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Friday, Oct 31st

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The Most Important Super Bowl Ad You Didn't See

redskinsAt roughly $4 million per 30-second slot, this ad never had a chance of making the airwaves during Super Bowl XLVIII. But you should watch it anyway.

Created by the National Congress of American Indians, the ad touches on the rich history of Native American communities. It mentions iconic figures like Sitting Bull, Hiawatha, Jim Thorpe, and Will Rogers. It highlights many aspects of Native American identity: Proud. Forgotten. Survivor. Mother. Father. Son. Daughter. Underserved. Struggling. Resilient.

"Native Americans call themselves many things," the narrator concludes. One thing they don't call themselves, however, is Redskin.

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Dylan Farrow resurrects Allen molestation claim

Woody AllenDylan Farrow renewed molestation allegations against Woody Allen, claiming the movie director sexually assaulted her when she was 7 after he and actress Mia Farrow adopted her.

In an open-letter to The New York Times posted online Saturday, Dylan Farrow made her first public comments about the 1992 incident. In a letter to op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof, she said she was moved to speak out because of Hollywood's continued embrace of Allen.

"That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up," wrote Farrow. "I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls."

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Kiss me, I'm an atheist

atheistIn Pope Francis’ Christmas address, he extended a surprise olive branch to atheists. But the reach was backhanded. “I invite even nonbelievers to desire peace,” he offered. Even nonbelievers? How magnanimous.

Religious tolerance has increased dramatically over the last few decades, at least in the United States. But one group remains behind the pack: atheists. A 2012 Gallup poll asked Americans if they would vote for a well-qualified presidential candidate nominated by their party if the person happened to be “X.” Catholic? Ninety-four percent said yes. Jewish? Ninety-one percent. Mormon? Eighty percent. Muslim? Fifty-eight percent. Trailing them all — and well behind blacks, women, Hispanics, and gays and lesbians — were atheists, at 54 percent.

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FBI Burglars from ’71 Confess

fbi burglers On March 8, 1971, a group of eight Vietnam War protestors broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation field office in Media, Pennsylvania and stole hundreds of government documents. The burglars were never caught but several are now stepping forward and claiming responsibility for the break in.

The stolen memos, reports and internal correspondence they found provided the first tangible evidence that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI was systematically targeting and harassing hundreds of American citizens then known collectively as “the New Left.”

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Jihad Jane: Despite cooperation, U.S. seeks 'decades' in prison

Jihad JaneThe Pennsylvania woman who called herself Jihad Jane and a teenage accomplice from Maryland provided "very significant" assistance to U.S. authorities in several terrorism investigations but still remain threats to the public, prosecutors say in new court filings.

Prosecutors said Colleen LaRose, 50, should be sentenced to "decades behind bars" for her role in a failed 2009 plot to kill Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist who offended many Muslims by drawing the Prophet Mohammed on the head of a dog.

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Wells Fargo agrees to $541 million loan settlement

wells fargoWells Fargo & Co will pay a net $541 million to Fannie Mae to settle claims over defective home loans, completing the government-controlled mortgage company's efforts to have banks buy back troubled loans made before the financial crisis.

Fannie Mae said on Monday it has reached settlements worth roughly $6.5 billion over loan buybacks with eight banks, including Wells Fargo, the nation's largest mortgage lender and fourth-largest bank by assets.

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I worked on the US drone program. The public should know what really goes on

US drone programWhenever I read comments by politicians defending the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Predator and Reaper program – aka drones – I wish I could ask them some questions. I'd start with: "How many women and children have you seen incinerated by a Hellfire missile?" And: "How many men have you seen crawl across a field, trying to make it to the nearest compound for help while bleeding out from severed legs?"

Or even more pointedly: "How many soldiers have you seen die on the side of a road in Afghanistan because our ever-so-accurate UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicle] were unable to detect an IED [improvised explosive device] that awaited their convoy?"

Few of these politicians who so brazenly proclaim the benefits of drones have a real clue of what actually goes on. I, on the other hand, have seen these awful sights first hand.

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