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Thu
27
Dec
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N. Tru Bass: A Free World Requires The Free Press, 2012 Records Extreme Numbers of Imprisoned Press Members

By: N. Tru Bass♦

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists in a special report, the imprisonment of journalists worldwide reached a record high in 2012.  The rise was said to be driven in part by the widespread use of charges of terrorism and other anti-state offenses. 

CPJ says, 232 individuals are behind bars on December 1, an increase of 53 over its 2011 count. 

The three nations with the highest numbers of imprisoned critical reporters and editors are Turkey, China and Iran.  They are the worst offenders making use of vague anti-state laws to silence dissenting political views including those expressed by ethnic minorities and people who can’t otherwise protect themselves from mismanaged bully governments. 

Thu
27
Dec
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5 Texan's Are On The AFC's Starting Team In January's Pro Bowl

The Texans are all over 2013’s Pro Bowl.  Eight players are being called the best in the league as the AFC face the NFC in late January.  

Houston's eight Pro Bowlers are the most of any team in the AFC this season and are the most in team history, surpassing the previous high of five back in 2009. The five starters are also a team record. This marks the ninth consecutive season that the Texans have had at least one player selected to the Pro Bowl.

Thu
27
Dec
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Syria's Police Commander Defected Via YouTube

 

The commander of Syria's military police has defected from President Bashar-al Assad's government and reportedly fled to Turkey.

Lt Gen Abulaziz al-Shalal is one of the highest-ranking officials to join the uprising against the Syrian regime.

Wed
26
Dec
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Houston Holiday Cold Snap

 

The severe weather Houston saw Christmas Eve and early Christmas Day brought strong winds with it.

While the winds continue to howl Tuesday evening, they have died down. Wind gusts ranged from 24 to 40 mph Tuesday night. Even though we saw high temps in the 70s on Christmas Day, over a six-hour period the temps dipped into the 30s.

Tue
25
Dec
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Pope Orders Peace In Troubled Lands

The Thinkering - Pope

Pope Benedict XVI has called for peace in global hot spots, including Syria, during his annual Christmas message to the world.



The pontiff prayed Tuesday that "peace would spring up for the people of Syria," a country where tens of thousands have died in anti-government unrest.

Mon
24
Dec
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Pope Reducing Overhead: Taxing The Poor

 

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state, has been ordered by Pope Benedict XVI to ensure that the Vatican's money managers "reduce costs in the face of a continuing inability to increase revenues".

So the traditional outdoor Nativity scene unveiled on Christmas Eve next to a giant illuminated Christmas tree in St Peter's Square has been paid for not by the Holy See but by the taxpayers of one of Italy's poorest regions, Basilicata, in the heel of Italy.

Sun
23
Dec
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New Gun Laws And The Problems Solved By Them

 

America has begun a long-overdue and serious conversation about gun violence and how to prevent it.

Old ideas are back on the table and new ideas are being raised, and maybe, just maybe, this time will be different. Maybe now the most obvious steps will be taken, and we can begin to tackle more nuanced problems.

Sat
22
Dec
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First Family Lands In Hawaii

 

Sat
22
Dec
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Randy Travis Said He Didn't Do It

 

Randy Travis said he didn't do it — the country star on Friday pleaded not guilty to a simple assault charge stemming from an August dust-up in a church parking lot.

Travis, appearing in a Plano, Texas, courtroom, requested a jury trial in the matter. He was cited in late August after he allegedly got involved in an argument between his girlfriend and her estranged husband. A court date's been set for March 11.

Fri
21
Dec
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Guns, Guns, Guns, Guns

This week President Obama announced a task force, headed by Vice President Joe Biden, to propose solutions to the epidemic of gun violence in America. What it will find is that under current court decisions, gun makers are above the law.

The unfathomably tragic Newtown school shooting was committed with a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle. A Bushmaster was also used in the terrifying Washington, D.C., sniper shootings of 2002.

Victims of the sniper shootings sued Bushmaster and received a $2.5 million settlement. I very much doubt that the survivors in Newtown will receive a dime.

That’s because between the sniper shooting in D.C. and the Newtown massacre, Congress passed a law — called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act — to protect gunmakers from lawsuits when their guns are used to murder and maim.

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