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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Three Denver teens left the country without their parents' knowledge and booked flights to join the Islamic State, a journey that ended when they were stopped in Germany. The girls, 15- and 17-year-old sisters of Somali descent and a 16-year-old of Sudanese descent, were stopped at an airport in Frankfurt after their parents reported them missing on Friday. School officials found out about their trip after students told them the girls had discussed their plans on Twitter. "Some of the students (on Twitter) told them it was a bad idea, others said good luck," said Cherry Creek School District spokeswoman Tustin Amole.


Nelson Bunker Hunt, the down-home Texas oil tycoon who owned a thousand race horses, drove an old Cadillac and once tried to corner the world's silver market only to lose most of his fortune when the price collapsed, died on Tuesday in Dallas. He was 88. "A billion dollars ain't what it used to be," he said in 1980 after silver stakes he amassed with two brothers, Herbert and Lamar, fell to $10.80 from $50.35 an ounce. In barely two months, their holdings and contracts for purchases -- corralling a third to half the world's deliverable silver -- had plunged from a $7 billion value in January to a $1.7 billion loss in March.


In a Florida gubernatorial debate Tuesday night, Gov. Rick Scott (R) was asked whether he supports the concept of a minimum wage. "Sure," he replied. But when asked what it should be, he responded, "How would I know -- I mean, the private sector decides wages." He may not have an answer for where the minimum wage should be, but he's ensured that Floridians can't decide for themselves. In 2013, he signed a bill that bans local cities and counties from passing their own higher wages or other benefits like paid sick days. read more


Fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group seized at least one cache of weapons airdropped by U.S.-led coalition forces that were meant to supply Kurdish militiamen battling the extremist group in a border town, activists said Tuesday. The cache of weapons included hand grenades, ammunition and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, according to a video uploaded by a media group loyal to the Islamic State. The video appeared authentic and corresponded to AP reporting of the event.


South Korea has torn down a 43-year-old Christmas tower on the border with North Korea that the North had threatened to attack with artillery. The 59-foot steel tower, tipped with a cross, used to be illuminated with cascades of light bulbs around Christmas during the Cold War years. Batteries of loudspeakers sent Christmas carols drifting across the snow-capped border into the North, where the totalitarian regime repressed religious freedom.


The northern white rhinoceros is on the brink of extinction following the death of Suni, a 34-year-old male living at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. He was the second-to-last male not considered to be too old to breed, and there are now only six northern white rhinos left on the planet. Suni was discovered dead in his enclosure on Friday. A statement from the Conservancy noted that he appears to have died of natural causes; not at the hands of poachers. Thousands of the rhinos once roamed northern African savannahs. Ol Pejeta called their almost total disappearance "a sorry testament to the greed of the human race."


Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that current relations between Israel and Palestine were "unsustainable." He said at a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin, "The current situation, the status quo, is unsustainable." Earlier, Kerry drew an Israeli rebuke after he said, "There wasn't a leader I met with in the region who didn't raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation."


Vice: A new report from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a U.K.-based organization that tracks U.S. drone usage and the victims of drone strikes, makes clear quite how little we know about the casualties of these strikes -- which stretch the notion of "targeted" beyond recognition. According to that research, only 704 of the 2,379 dead have been identified, and only 295 of these were reported to be members of some kind of armed group. Few corroborating details were available for those who were described solely as "militants." More than a third of them were not designated a rank, and almost 30 percent are not even linked to a specific group. Only 84 of the dead are identified as members of Al Qaeda -- less than 4 percent of the total number of people killed.


Audio clips and photographs taken by police officers at the scene of a brawl involving the family of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin were released Tuesday by the Anchorage Police Department. At least two fights took place, according to witness statements -- one in the street in front of the home involving Todd Palin and son Track, and another behind the home, where multiple witnesses said they watched daughter Bristol Palin punch homeowner Korey Klingenmeyer repeatedly in the face. read more


Dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews hurled stones and slashed the tires of buses bearing ads promoting female worship at a key Jerusalem holy site, Israeli police said Tuesday. The attack, which happened on Monday night in Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood, underscores the still simmering tensions in Israel over religious extremists who want to separate the sexes in public spaces. The ads were posted by the group Women of the Wall, which seeks to achieve gender equality at the Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray. The advertisements showed girls and women wearing prayer shawls and holding a Torah scroll -- rituals seen by many Orthodox Jews as reserved for men only.


A man with a rifle shot a soldier standing guard at the War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, and witnesses said there were further shots fired in Centre Block on nearby Parliament Hill. Alain Merisier, who works at the cafeteria in the Parliament building, told CBC News that said he saw a man in a car at the Centre Block with a long gun. Witnesses said they then heard shots fired, and there was an unconfirmed report of a person injured outside the Library of Parliament. CNN reports that dozens of shots were fired inside the halls of Parliament.


At a Wasilla High School assembly Tuesday morning, U.S. Rep. Don Young (R) didn't temper his notoriously abrasive personality for his young audience. Numerous witnesses say Young, 81, acted in a disrespectful and sometimes offensive manner to some students, used profanity and started talking about bull sex when confronted with a question about same-sex marriage. read more


The media and political world stopped on Tuesday night to remember the life of former Washington Post Executive Editor Benjamin C. Bradlee, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 93. In a statement, President Barack Obama called Bradlee "a true newspaper man" for whom journalism "was more than a profession -- it was a public good vital to our democracy." Bradley led the Post for 26 years, most famously when Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the story of the Watergate break-in that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation. Bradlee's most important decision, made with publisher Katharine Graham, may have been to print stories based on the Pentagon Papers, a secret Pentagon history of the Vietnam War. The Nixon administration went to court to try to quash those stories. read more


The U.S. benchmark price dropped to $79.78 a barrel on Oct. 16, the lowest since June 2012. At that level, one-third of U.S. shale oil production would be uneconomic, analysts for New York-based Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. led by Bob Brackett said in a report yesterday. Drillers would add fewer barrels to domestic output than the previous year for the first time since 2010, according to Macquarie Group Ltd., ITG Investment Research and PKVerleger LLC. read more


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Daniele Watts, the Django Unchained actress who claimed racism by Los Angeles police when questioned in September for allegedly having sex with her boyfriend in a car on a public street has been charged with lewd conduct for the incident. Her boyfriend Brian James Lucas also was charged. They face up to six months in county jail and a $1,000 fine. read more


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