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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Last Updated: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 18:08
National News Clips
Birthplace of Chili Pepper Farming Revealed

LIVE SCIENCE: Chili peppers reign as the world's most widely cultivated spice crop; farmers grow them in bulk, and self-described chili-heads breed ever-spicier varieties of the fruit. But before they conquered cuisines around the globe, chili peppers were domesticated in Central and South America.

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Alaska OKs Bill Making Native Languages Official

NPR: If you're so inclined, and able, you could soon speak Tlingit, Inupiaq, or Siberian Yupik in Alaska with the knowledge that those and 18 other languages, including English, are officially recognized by the state. Alaska's Legislature approved a bill giving them that status Monday.

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You can’t take it with you; more than 40 percent of community college transfer students unable to transfer their credits to a four-year school

HECHINGER REPORT: Community colleges enroll about 40 percent of American undergraduates. But many question how rigorous the education is and doubt whether these two-year schools are properly preparing students for four-year degrees or good careers. Researcher after researcher has confirmed that students would be more likely to get a BA degree if they had started at a four-year college in the first place. (See citations here.)

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Oklahoma Supreme Court puts executions on hold for 2 who challenged drug-source secrecy

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: A sharply divided Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday put on hold the executions of two death row inmates who have challenged the secrecy surrounding the source of the state's lethal injection drugs. In a 5-4 decision, the court issued the stays one day before death row inmate Clayton Lockett was scheduled to be executed for the 1999 shooting death of 19-year-old Stephanie Nieman. The second inmate, Charles Warner, was convicted in the 1997 death of his roommate's 11-month-old daughter and was scheduled to die on April 29.

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Green groups push Earth Day agenda

THE HILL: Environmental groups are marking the 44th Earth Day on Tuesday with an assault on the Keystone XL pipeline, greenhouse gas emissions and other issues related to climate change. Activists hope to use the day to press the case against Keystone, which they say would worsen climate change, while spotlighting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) upcoming rule to limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

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GOP poll defies tide on gay marriage

POLITICO: Two conservative groups are pushing back on moves by the GOP to drop opposition to same-sex marriage from party platforms, releasing a poll of base voters taken last month that found in favor of defining marriage “only” as between a man and a woman.

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Abortion at heart of Ohio speech case

POLITICO: The Supreme Court will consider Tuesday whether an anti-abortion group can challenge an Ohio law that could have restricted it from publicly accusing a political candidate of voting for taxpayer-funded abortions in Obamacare.

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The death of the Sunday shows

POLITICO: The Sunday morning shows once occupied a sacred space in American politics. Today, many influential Washington players can’t even remember the last time they watched. The public affairs shows — “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation” and “This Week” — used to set the agenda for the nation’s capital with their news-making interviews and immensely influential audience. Now the buzz around the shows is more likely to center on gossipy criticism about the hosts, notably “Meet the Press’s” David Gregory, whose fate has become an incessant subject of conversation, most recently in a Washington Post story on Monday. Meanwhile, fans complain about the recurrence of familiar guests — Sen. John McCain again? — who simply relay party talking points that often go unchallenged.

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UN: 'Targeted killings' in South Sudan left hundreds dead last week

AL JAZEERA: U.N. human rights investigators have confirmed that hundreds of civilians were killed because of their ethnicity after rebel forces seized a disputed town in South Sudan last week, the United Nations said Monday.

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Report: New ice-dating technology gives insight on past climate

AL JAZEERA: Scientists have successfully dated 120,000-year-old Antarctic ice using a new method called radiometric krypton dating. The technique will allow them to study ice that is more than one million years old, which will reveal important details about the planet’s ancient climate cycles, according to a report released Monday.

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Court: U.S. must release memo on targeted killings

AL JAZEERA: A federal appeals court ordered the U.S. Department of Justice Monday to turn over key portions of a memorandum justifying the government's targeted killing of people, including Americans, who are linked to terrorism.

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Boy Scouts revoke charter for Seattle troop over gay scoutmaster

AL JAZEERA: A Boy Scout troop in Seattle announced on Monday that its charter had been revoked after its church sponsor refused to fire the troop’s scout leader because of his sexual orientation. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) withdrew the membership of Scoutmaster Geoff McGrath, 49, in March after he revealed to an NBC News reporter that he was gay.

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Justice Department plans clemency for 'thousands' of drug offenders

AL JAZEERA: The Obama administration expects thousands of federal drug prisoners to petition for leniency after it announces new criteria for clemency later this week, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Monday, sending the strongest signal yet that the government is serious about what could be the largest sentencing reprieve since the Vietnam War.

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Is India on the cusp of a gender revolution?

AL JAZEERA: In late March, Raveela Gangula rallied a dozen women to stop a drunken man from savagely beating his wife in Muthangi, a village in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Although they restrained him and called the police, he was released that evening without charges.

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Revealed: Biologists discover longest mammal migration in lower 48

AL JAZEERA: A new study finds that Wyoming's Red Desert mule deer trek 300 miles each year. En route, they leap over and wriggle under 100 fences, dash across five highways and scale 11,000-foot mountains.

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First sign of South Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy

REUTERS: The first distress call from a sinking South Korean ferry was made by a boy with a shaking voice, three minutes after the vessel made its fateful last turn. He called the emergency 119 number which put him through to the fire service, which in turn forwarded him to the coastguard two minutes later. That was followed by about 20 other calls from children on board the ship to the emergency number, a fire service officer told Reuters.

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Exclusive: U.S. force in Afghanistan may be cut to less than 10,000 troops

REUTERS: The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan may drop well below 10,000 - the minimum demanded by the U.S. military to train Afghan forces - as the longest war in American history winds down, Obama administration officials briefed on the matter say. Since Afghanistan's general election on April 5, White House, State Department and Pentagon officials have resumed discussions on how many American troops should remain after the current U.S.-led coalition ends its mission this year.

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Netflix plans price raise as streaming subscribers grow

REUTERS: Video streaming service Netflix Inc said it intends to raise its subscription price for new customers by $1 or $2 a month to help the company buy more movies and TV shows and improve service for its 48 million global subscribers.

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GM seeks court protection against ignition lawsuits

REUTERS: General Motors Co filed a motion in a U.S. bankruptcy court to enforce a bar on lawsuits related to ignition defects in cars sold before its 2009 bankruptcy as it fights a class action lawsuit that seeks to set aside the restriction. The plaintiffs also filed a class action lawsuit on Monday, seeking an order declaring that GM cannot use the bankruptcy protection to absolve itself from liabilities.

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