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NEWS THAT MAKES YOU THINK... 07.28.14Israel and Hamas launched new attacks Sunday in the raging Gaza war, despite going back and forth over proposals for a temporary halt to three weeks of hostilities that have claimed hundreds of lives. After initially rejecting an Israeli offer Saturday for a 24-hour truce, Hamas said Sunday that it had agreed to hold fire ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. But as Israel's Cabinet met to discuss the offer and the ongoing war, rockets rained down on southern Israel. More@FoxNews Even as President Obama grapples with the crisis of immigrant children arriving at the Southwest border, White House officials are laying the groundwork for a large-scale expansion of immigrant rights that would come by executive action within weeks. Officials signaled strongly Friday that Obama's move would shield from deportation large numbers of immigrants living in the country illegally, as advocacy groups have demanded. Roughly 5 million of the estimated 11 million people who entered the country without legal authorization or overstayed their visas could be protected under a leading option the White House is considering, according to officials who discussed the proposals on condition of anonymity. More@LATimes MONROVIA, Liberia (July 27, 2014) — One of Liberia’s most high-profile doctors has died of Ebola, officials said Sunday, and an American physician was being treated for the deadly virus, highlighting the risks facing health workers trying to combat an outbreak that has killed more than 670 people in West Africa — the largest ever recorded. A second American, a missionary working in the Liberian capital, was also taken ill and was being treated in isolation there, said the pastor of a North Carolina church that sponsored her work. Dr. Samuel Brisbane, a top Liberian health official, was treating Ebola patients at the country's largest hospital, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in Monrovia, when he fell ill. He died Saturday, said Tolbert Nyenswah, an assistant health minister. A Ugandan doctor died earlier this month. The American physician, 33-year-old Dr. Kent Brantly, was in Liberia helping to respond to the outbreak that has killed 129 people nationwide when he fell ill, according to the North Carolina-based medical charity, Samaritan's Purse. More@OneNewsNow New Hampshire has been told to stop violating free speech rights of pro-life prayer counselors through a new law that had been passed. The New Hampshire law created a 25-foot zone of censorship outside abortion clinics. Under that law, pro-lifers were not permitted speak to people going in and out and were not allowed to stand on the public street or sidewalks. Abortion clinic employees were exempted from the law, allowing them to encourage women to enter clinics for abortions. Alliance Defending Freedom filed suit and obtained a court order halting the enforcement of the New Hampshire law, according to ADF attorney Matt Bowman. More@OneNewsNow A ‘graveyard’ of more than 70 trains from all over the United States was discovered by a young photographer and urban explorer in a forest in North Carolina. The trains, once filled with people, now sit decaying on winding tracks stretching through the snowy forest, infusing visitors with a certain apocalyptic feel. Among the many abandoned trains discovered and photographed by 24-year-old Johnny Joo are a passenger train from Philadelphia and several disused subway cars. There is also a cracked and broken New York street bus. More@DailyMail The Arizona College and Career Ready Standards, which are based on the Common Core State Standards Initiative, do not mandate that students learn cursive. Nor did Arizona's previous standards — those that AIMS is based on — or the standards of most of the other states that have new standards based on the Common Core. The standards require that students master keyboarding and a form of handwriting — that can be print or cursive, said Kathryn Hrabluk, associate superintendent for the Arizona Department of Education. California, Idaho, Kansas, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, are among the states that are either debating or have recently mandated that cursive be brought back to the classroom. Arizona has not joined the debate, possibly because many schools here still teach cursive despite the lack of a state requirement. More@AZCentral
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NEWS THAT MAKES YOU THINK... 07.01.14More@FoxNews President Obama suffered two final defeats in the Supreme Court on Monday, capping a 2013-2014 term in which the justices delivered several judicial hits to the White House while taking a firm stand against the unchecked power of the state. The administration’s losses on Obamacare rules and compulsory union dues served as a rebuke on the Supreme Court’s final day after months of judicial decisions to rein in big government on issues such as snooping without a warrant, campaign finance restrictions and Mr. Obama’s recess appointment powers. Just as damning was the way the court ruled in some of those cases. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. corralled unanimous votes on privacy and recess appointments — cases that dealt stinging defeats to Mr. Obama, himself a lawyer and former lecturer on constitutional law. In the more than five years that Mr. Obama has been in office, the court has rejected the government’s argument with a 9-0 decision 20 times. More@WashTimes The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, criticized for manipulating temperature records to create a warming trend, has now been caught warming the past and cooling the present. July 2012 became the hottest month on record in the U.S. during a summer that was declared “too hot to handle” by NASA scientists. That summer more than half the country was experiencing drought and wildfires had scorched more than 1.3 million acres of land, according to NASA. According to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in 2012, the “average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 77.6°F, 3.3°F above the 20th century average, marking the warmest July and all-time warmest month on record for the nation in a period of record that dates back to 1895.” “The previous warmest July for the nation was July 1936, when the average U.S. temperature was 77.4°F,” NOAA said in 2012. This statement by NOAA was still available on their website when checked by The Daily Caller News Foundation. But when meteorologist and climate blogger Anthony Watts went to check the NOAA data on Sunday he found that the science agency had quietly reinstated July 1936 as the hottest month on record in the U.S. More@DailyCaller The U.S. is sending another 300 troops to Iraq to increase security at the U.S. Embassy and elsewhere in the Baghdad area to protect U.S. citizens and property, officials said Monday. That raises the total U.S. troop presence in Iraq to approximately 750, the Pentagon said. The State Department, meanwhile, announced that it was temporarily moving an unspecified "small number" of embassy staff in Baghdad to U.S. consulates in the northern city of Irbil and the southern city of Basra. This is in addition to some embassy staff moved out of Baghdad earlier this month. Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Baghdad embassy "will be fully equipped to carry out" its mission. The White House announced that President Barack Obama had directed that 200 troops be sent to reinforce security at the embassy, its support facilities and Baghdad International Airport. More@ABCNews Hillary Clinton on Monday called the Supreme Court’s ruling in the contraception-related Hobby Lobby case “deeply disturbing.” The former secretary of state and possible Democratic front-runner skewered the decision during an appearance at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, hours after the Supreme Court ruled that for-profit employers don’t have to provide contraception coverage, mandated under Obamacare, if they have religious objections. “It’s the first time that our court has said that a closely held corporation has the rights of a person when it comes to religious freedom, which means the corporation’s … [‘closely held’] employers can impose their religious beliefs on their employees, and, of course, denying women the right to contraceptives as part of a health care plan is exactly that,” she said. “I find it deeply disturbing that we are going in that direction.” More@Politico Traveling to a foreign land and afraid you’ll go through Dunkin’ Donuts withdrawal? Worry not! Dunks is in 30 countries, and while you’ll find some of your favorite menu items (the Boston Kreme seems to be almost everywhere – it’s Lebanon’s most popular variety) abroad, there are also some pretty interesting options adapted to regional palettes you won’t find here. Some of these might seem pretty weird—even disgusting—but you could probably say the same about some of Dunks' American offerings (bacon donut sandwich, anyone?)