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Ambulance

Close call as many escape Texas collapse with minor injuries

More than 30 people in Texas were taken to area hospitals after a two-story building collapsed during a celebration - an accident that could have been far worse, authorities said.

The collapse of the second floor of a two-story garage in west Harris County at around 1 p.m. sent 36 people to area hospitals, but most suffered only minor to moderate injuries, Houston Fire Department Senior Captain Ruy Lozano told NBC News.

Crusader

Klu Klux Klan member claims he was fired from neighborhood watch for 'religious belief' in white superiority

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© Facebook
A former member of the Tacony Town Watch in Philadelphia is claiming that he was removed from the watch because of his "religious belief" in the superiority of the white race.

William Walters, the Grand Dragon of Ku Klux Klan-affiliated group East Coast Knights of the True Invisible Empire, told Philadelphia that the organization is "a Christian group," and on his Facebook page, he regularly argues that his racist beliefs are religious in origin:

Post by William Walters.

Walters said he plans on suing the Town Watch and the 65th Ward for his dismissal as soon as he finds a lawyer who will take his case. The American Civil Liberties Union already rejected him, and he has yet to hear back from the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Bulb

Massachusetts governor signs bill raising minimum wage to $11 per hour

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© REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER
Demonstrators protest outside a Burger King restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts May 15, 2014.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on Thursday signed into law a measure raising the minimum wage to the highest of any U.S. state, $11 per hour, by 2017.

The move comes as U.S. Democrats nationally are trying to make the minimum wage a key issue ahead of midterm congressional elections in November, framing the effort as a quest of conscience on behalf of the millions of Americans living on wages that have not kept up with rising costs of living.

"Raising the minimum wage brings a little relief to the working poor, many of whom do jobs we could not live without and who recycle money right back into the economy," Patrick said in a statement announcing the signing.

The law will raise the state's minimum wage in stages from its current level of $8 per hour and follows similar moves by neighboring Connecticut and Vermont.

Pistol

NRA challenging proposed law that would prevent convicted stalkers and domestic abusers from purchasing firearms

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The National Rifle Association (NRA) is challenging a proposed law that would prevent individuals convicted of stalking from purchasing firearms and expand the definition of "intimate partner."

The NRA sent letters imploring senators to oppose the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act of 2013, which Minnesota Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote to expand the definition of "intimate partner" to include "dating partners" and prohibit firearm sales to individuals who have been convicted of stalking.

"As a former prosecutor, I know how domestic violence and stalking can take lives and tear apart families," Sen. Klobuchar told the Huffington Post. "This is a commonsense bill that would protect victims and keep our families safe, and I will continue to work to move this legislation forward."

In the letter, the NRA argued that the legislation "manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as 'domestic violence' and 'stalking' simply to cast as wide a net as possible for firearm prohibitions."

V

New Yorkers gather over 53,000 signatures to force probe into WTC 7 collapse

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Conspiracy theorists have gathered more than 53,000 signatures to place a 9/11 "truther" measure on the ballot.

The nonprofit group NYC Coalition for Accountably Now wants voters to decide whether New York City's Department of Buildings should investigate the collapse of any building taller than 20 stories dating back to Sept. 11, 2001, reported Crain's New York Business.

The measure does not include the Twin Towers, so only the collapse of 7 World Trade Center would fit the description laid out by activists, who have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in their campaign to force an investigation.

The group's executive director insists his organization wants only to find out why 7 WTC collapsed and prevent future building collapses.

Heart - Black

South Dakota teen forced to wear 'Gaytard' name tag by fast food restaurant manager

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A South Dakota teen said his manager forced him to wear a demeaning nametag while working at his fast food job.

Tyler Brandt said his boss had been verbally abusive to him since the 16-year-old began working at a Mexican restaurant in Yankton, reported KELO-TV.

"I've been very vulnerable, and I've been allowing him to say things to me that shouldn't be said, and after a while I was just worried about being terminated from my position at Taco John's," the teen said.

The verbal abuse escalated, the teen said, and the manager pulled him into his office and gave Brandt a nametag that read "Gaytard."

"I put it on because I didn't want to upset him, and I felt that if I did do anything to upset him, it would cause me to lose my job because he'd be looking for ways to fire me," Brandt said.

Ambulance

Devastated mother comes home to find her children gunned down in apparent murder-suicide by son

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A mother in Stafford, Texas came home to find her daughter and her two sons shot to death in an apparent murder suicide. According to the Houston Chronicle, the victims were 23-year-old Faheem Mughal, 18-year-old Fahad Mughal and their 15-year-old sister, Rebecca Mughal.

Police told the Chronicle that they received a frantic 911 call around 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday from a woman who was screaming that her baby was dead. When officers arrived at the residence, the woman was outside. She told police that two of her children were dead.

Inside the house, however, officers found three bodies. Police said they removed multiple handguns and rifles from the scene and are conducting ballistics tests to determine which ones were used in the killings.

Fireball

Risky business report warns 1% of economic consequences from climate change

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The US economy could suffer damages running into the hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century due to climate change, according to a study released yesterday. The report, titled "Risky Business," is the first comprehensive assessment of the economic risks of climate change to the United States. It was commissioned by a panel of influential business leaders and former government officials, including hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Bush administration Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

"I have had a fair amount of experience over my career in attempting to understand and manage risk," said Paulson, alluding to the 2008 financial collapse. "In many ways the climate bubble is actually more cruel and more perverse."

Comment: Paying attention to the devastating effects of climate change and acting to provide a measure of food safety for the populace would be a good plan. Unfortunately these businessmen apparently lack understanding that the world has been cooling for the past 17 years, and that climate change may be of an entirely different order. Considering that this report has been prepared by and for the 1%, it is doubtful that protecting the populace is of any concern at all, protecting profits is more likely their primary concern. People worldwide are already experiencing the effects of soaring food prices.

Fire and Ice: The Day After Tomorrow
Rising food prices - not just your imagination
Food prices jumped 5.3% in Armenia in just one month
Food prices in U.S. to skyrocket in 2014
Global food system vulnerable due to growing population and climate change


Rose

Dehydrated Arizona teen dies after drinking Red Bull energy drink

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© gofundme.com
The athletic teenager, Lanna Hamann, died in Mexico on June 14 after drinking a Red Bull while dehydrated.
The young, athletic Lanna Hamann, 16, drank a Red Bull energy drink on the sunny beach of Rocky Point and went into cardiac arrest on June 14. Her crying mother told reporters: 'This is something that could have happened anywhere.'

A healthy Arizona teenage girl mysteriously died after drinking an energy drink while vacationing with friends in Mexico, reports say.

Lanna Hamann, a 16-year-old student at Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria, was rushed to a Rocky Point hospital on June 14 during a weekend trip with a friend and their parents.

The athletic teen, who played softball, was hanging out on the beach when she went into cardiac arrest and died.

Quenelle

Browser plugin unmasks political money trail by displaying campaign contributions

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A screenshot from allaregreen.us
Ever wonder where your congressperson's campaign contributions come from? A new browser plugin is aiming to shed light on the money trail, and it was built by a teenager.

While there are already great tools to help informed voters look into what special interests are impacting local and national politics, such as those by the Sunlight Foundation, the new web browser tool is possibly the easiest way so far to get a glimpse into the often shady underpinnings of corporate contributions.

The plugin automatically highlights the name of any US lawmaker as you browse through the web, and a simple hover produces a popup window with a quick rundown of where that politician's money is coming from.