Family awarded $3 million in first US fracking trial

After three years of legal wrangling, a Texas family has won its case against a company engaged in hydraulic fracturing near their home. The family, which suffered tangible health deterioration after the fracking began, was awarded $3 million.

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China says more than half of its groundwater is polluted

Nearly 60% of China’s underground water is polluted, state media has reported, underscoring the severity of the country’s environmental woes.

The country’s land and resources ministry found that among 4,778 testing spots in 203 cities, 44% had “relatively poor” underground water quality; the groundwater in another 15.7% tested as “very poor”.

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No-fly list used by FBI to coerce Muslims into informing

Naveed Shinwari hasn’t seen his wife in 26 months. He suspects it’s because he refused to become an informant for the FBI.

In February 2012 Shinwari, who has lived in the US since he was 14, flew to Afghanistan to get married. He says that before he could get home to Omaha, Nebraska, he was twice detained and questioned by FBI agents who wanted to know if he knew anything about national security threats. A third FBI visit followed when he got home.

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NYPD’s Twitter Request for Photos Backfires

The NYPD, through its Twitter page, innocuously asked people on to post pictures of themselves interacting with New York’s Finest — complete with the hashtag myNYPD.

But instead of happy pictures of cops posing with tourists and helping out locals, Twitter erupted with hundreds of photos of police violence, including Occupy Wall Street arrests and the 84-year-old man who was bloodied for jaywalking on the Upper West Side earlier this year.

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One fifth of China’s farmland polluted

A fifth of China’s farmland is polluted, according to an offical report based on the results of an extensive survey.

Soil pollution has long been a concern in China due to the country’s rapid industrialisation and the report carried on the website of the Ministry of Environmental Protection confirms the extent of the problem. The report states that pollutants in more than 16% of Chinese soil exceeds national standards and that figure rises to 20% for arable land.

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The ticking time-bomb at the bottom of the Baltic Sea

THERE IS something dangerous lurking in the shallow waters of the Baltic Sea. Nearly 70 years after the victorious Allies dumped thousands of tonnes of Nazi chemical weapons and chemical agents into the Baltic Sea, experts have warned of an environmental disaster as the weapons corrode and their deadly contents spill into sea.

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French parliament bans cultivation of GM maize

France’s lower house of parliament adopted a law on Tuesday prohibiting the cultivation of any variety of genetically modified maize, saying it posed a risk to the environment.

France adopted a decree last month to halt the planting of Monsanto’s insect-resistant MON810 maize, the only GM crop allowed for cultivation in the European Union.

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The US is an oligarchy

The US government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country’s citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities has concluded.

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Adolf Hitler Hunted in Argentina

Adolf Hitler was hunted in Argentina by FBI agents because the Fuhrer of Nazi Germany was thought to have fled there while Berlin burned during the dying embers of the second world war.

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America’s Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953

Soon after the 2004 U.S. coup to depose President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, I heard Aristide’s lawyer Ira Kurzban speaking in Miami. He began his talk with a riddle: “Why has there never been a coup in Washington D.C.?” The answer: “Because there is no U.S. Embassy in Washington D.C.” This introduction was greeted with wild applause by a mostly Haitian-American audience who understood it only too well.

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