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Same-Sex Marriage to be Brought to Supreme Court

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The question of same-sex marriage is being raised in courtrooms nationwide. Soon, it will be brought to the U.S.'s highest court.
Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases on same-sex marriage reports the New York Times.
One of the cases poses the question of whether federal government can discriminate against same-sex couples married in states were it is currently legal.
The second case, filed by Theodore B. Olsen and David Boies of California raises a likely more influential question: whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right even in states with provisions against it currently, reports the New York Times.
The Washington Post reports that nine states presently recognize same-sex marriages, while 41 do not recognize it and 30 explicitly prohibit it in their legislation.
The decision has not been made public as to date.

An Army private who has been implicated in the release of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables to the whistleblower site WikiLeaks claims he was tortured while being held awaiting trial, reports the Herald Sun.
The Herald Sun reports the leaker, Bradley Manning, obtained the cables while working as an intelligence analyst between 2009 and 2010 in Baghdad.
In March, Juan E. Mendez, a United Nations specialist on torture, presented a report to the UN's Human Rights Council that criticized the U.S. government for not allowing him to meet privately with Manning reports the Huffington Post.
Mendez told the Associated Press that while he never spoke with manning he was persuaded "that Pfc. Manning was subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" that violated the UN Convention Against Torture.
Ultimately, Manning is expected to seek to have his charges dismissed, though at minimum his legal aid is pursuing a reduction of his sentence by approximately seven years reports the Herald Sun. The trial will be held Tuesday reports the Herald Sun.

An official from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told the New York Times 5-Hour Energy, a high-caffeine and over-the-counter energy drink, has been cited in possible connection with 13 deaths over the last four years.
The Huffington Post reports the investigation was a follow-up after FDA reports potentially linked another beverage, Monster Energy, to deaths.
The Star Tribune reports some doctors currently advise their patients against the possible dangers associated with consumption of energy drinks. The Star Tribune reports Shelly Burgess, an FDA spokeswoman, warned against the risks of highly caffeinated beverages worsening underlying medical conditions in individuals.
Living Essentials, the company that produces 5-Hour Energy Shots, released in a statement that it was "unaware of any deaths proven to be caused by the consumption of 5-Hour Energy," reports the New York Times.

Pharmaceutical Lobbyists Fight Federal Oversight

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Mass-scale pharmaceutical companies known as "compounders" are being taken to task at Congressional hearings Wednesday and Thursday pertaining to a recent outbreak of steroids tainted with deadly meningitis reports the New York Times.
The hearings are debating whether Congress will strengthen federal oversight of the pharmaceutical industry said the New York Times.
David Ball, a spokesman for lobbyist group the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, told the Boston Herald, "Compounders are regulated by states, and state governments are the entities that should govern and monitor the activities of all pharmacists."
The Boston Herald reports the patchwork security provided by state regulations of pharmaceutical companies was in part responsible for the Massachusetts breach that allowed a deadly batch of Meningitis-tainted steroids to be released throughout the nation last month.

An inflammatory Facebook status posted by 22-year-old California native Denise Helms has erupted in a Secret Service investigation, the woman's loss of her job and coverage from multiple media outlets, reports the Daily Mail.
A screen-cap of the comment, which led Helms to delete her Facebook profile, was posted on Gawker that said, "And another 4 years of the 'n-word' maybe he will get assassinated this term..!!"
The Huffington Post reports Helms has lost her job at a California Cold Stone Creamery. Her former employer and store director Chris Kegle told the Huffington Post "We made the decision [to fire her] because of her comments, but also the community feedback. We are very into working with the community and doing community service. So when your community does not like you because of an employee, that's bad."
In interviews with Sacramento's Fox 40 News Helms refused to apologize for the message and told the organization the comment did not make her racist as she has may friends from different "ethnic groups."
The Daily Mail reports she also told Fox, "The assassination part is harsh and I'm not saying that I would go and do that or anything like that by any means but if it was to happen I don't think I would care one bit."

Occupy Wall Street Works Toward Debt Forgiveness

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A branch of Occupy Wall Street called the Rolling Jubilee is seeking donations to buy-up and relieve random citizens of distressed debts reports The Telegraph.
CNN said Rolling Jubilee has been spearheaded by Occupy's Strike Debt team to protest a "predatory" lending system. Rolling Jubilee will host a phone-a-thon in New York City on Nov. 15 called "The People's Bailout" to raise money for buying and erasing defaulted student loans, medical bills and other debts.
According to CNN, Rolling Jubilee will focus efforts on communities that have been hardest hit by the recession.
Rolling Jubilee's site says, "We cannot buy specific individuals' debt - instead, we help liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal."
An editorial from Forbes praised OWS's move and posited the advantage of having a third party buy-up an individual's debt: it saves the person from an overwhelming tax-rate at the end of the year.

Power Outages Following Hurricane Sandy Continue

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The BBC reports nearly 1 million homes remain powerless in the Northeast following Hurricane Sandy. New York City had never experienced flood-waters over the 11-feet seen in an 1821 hurricane reported National Geographic.
Utility supplier ConEd said 228,000 customers in Manhattan currently without power should have it restored Saturday, though that would still leave 400,000 others in the city out-of-power reports NBC. ConEd also expressed hope that most power would be restored by Nov. 11, reported NBC.
"It is virtually impossible to protect the system from a storm like Sandy," Clark Gellings, a fellow at the industry's Electric Power Research Institute told National Geographic.
ConEd underground equipment was designed to withstand up to 12.5 feet of water, but Sandy's reached 14 feet and blew up the substation, reported National Geographic.
Throughout power-outages, the Huffington Post reported residents have expressed fear of high crime and limited ability to contact law enforcement.

A former Central Intelligence Agency officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to one charge of disclosing the name of an undercover CIA agent, reported Reuters.
The man, John Kirakou, is expected to serve 2 1/2 years in a minimum-security prison reported The Washington Post. Reuters said this instance marks the first time in 27 years an American has been jailed for exposing the identity of an undercover CIA operative.
Kiriakou has a history of aiding journalists by supplying information about CIA practices including waterboarding and specifically the interrogation of al Qaeda agent Abu Zubaydah, reports Reuters.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema told Reuters the ruling was "reasonable under the circumstances" as it was the same sentence given to I Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a former White House aide who blew a CIA officer's cover in 2007. Libby was spared prison as Bush minimized his sentence, said Reuters.
The Justice Department agreed to drop four other charges against Kiriakou, including that he had lied to the CIA's publication review board regarding the contents of his memoir prior to publishing, reports The Washington Post.
Previously, Kiriakou pleaded not guilty to all charges, stating that he had never knowingly shared classified information, reported The Washington Post. According to The Washington Post, the charges eventually leveraged against him stemmed from e-mail exchanges with reporters and responses to FBI agents' claims he had disclosed confidential information.

A group of Christian leaders collaborated on a letter sent to Congress urging them to hold hearings to investigate whether Israel has violated the terms of U.S. foreign aid recipients, reports the Haaretz, citing concern "about the massive amounts of U.S. military aid for Israel, and how those funds are used to perpetuate occupation."
In response, Jewish leaders withdrew attendance from a scheduled Christian-Jewish Roundtable that was slated for October 22-23 in a public letter published on the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. The letter states that anti-Zionism has gone "virtually unchecked" and that the Christian group's public letter to Congress was "a step too far."
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs aided in starting these meetings between Christian and Jewish leaders in 2004, reports the NYT. The meetings have focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to Makari. "The roundtable is a setting where we have discussed the very difficult issues of the Middle East together, where there are passionate perspectives expressed," Makari told Hareetz. "Different perspectives should not be a reason to suspend meeting; this is a setting where we should be present to discuss such issues, perhaps especially when we may not agree."
Jewish groups have invited representatives of the Christian churches who sent the letter to meet with top officials in a "summit" specifically addressing the situation. Christian leaders say they are considering, reported the New York Times.
The majority of organizations that penned the Christian letter are from Protestant churches, although other signers included the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches, the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the American Friends Service Committee (a Quaker organization) and the Mennonite Central Committee and two Catholic representatives, reports the NYT.
The letter urged investigation of human rights violations committed only by Israel, a matter which has upset Jewish leaders further reports the NYT.
"Where's the letter to Congress about Syria, which is massacring its own people?" Rabbi Steven Wernick, the chief executive of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism told the NYT. "When Israel is the only one that is called to account, that's when it becomes problematic."
Foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority halted last year in connection to violations of the same agreement Christians are calling for investigation of in Israel. reports the NYT. Congress is currently re-evaluating aid to Egypt, said Makari.
Jewish leaders reported upset at "the lack of communication to Jewish partners in advance of the letter's release" in their public letter.
Ethan Felson, vice president and general counsel of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs told the NYT, "What we're seeing is people in the mainstream Jewish community, doves and hawks, who are really feeling at a point of exhaustion."

Broad security measures are in consideration by a U.S. judge for the military tribunal that will sentence the five prisoners charged in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Proceedings began Saturday at a Guantánamo military tribunal. The opening tribunal resulted in no defendant's submission of a plea. Delays were acknowledge as likely by the judge prior to the trial's tentative May 2013 date.
Possible protections from security breaches could include barring the accused from publicly discussing their treatment while in custody at overseas CIA prisons, reports the Associated Press.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion against this possible judicial order on May 2. The motion stated that the censorship was founded on "a chillingly Orwellian claim" reported the Miami Herald. The Herald also reported First Amendment lawyer David Schulz's urging of the release of "substantial probability" of harm to national security in his objection motion filed May 16.
If the protective order stands it will require the use of a 40-second delay of court proceedings recordings to censor sensitive information. Spectators of the trial will be seated behind sound-proof glass, and therefore unable to hear any parts of trial prior to censorship.
The residing judge must decide whether the order will stand or not prior to any further development of the trial reports the Associated Press.

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