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Defectors, Google Earth map decades of horror in North Korea

A Seoul-based non-governmental organization has used Google Earth technology to enable North Korean defectors to “build a digital map of crimes against humanity in North Korea.” The Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) released a new report  Wednesday, the result of two years of research and interviews with 375 North Korean defectors, that identifies what it says are grave sites, murder locations and government offices that “may be used for future investigation and prosecution of crimes against humanity.” Hangings, public executions, cremation sites, and remote burial sites are ostensibly identified, said…

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Excitement builds for “Great American Eclipse”

On Aug. 21, the moon will slip between Earth and sun, casting a roughly 70-mile-wide shadow that will race across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina, giving tens of millions of Americans a chance to enjoy — and study — a fleeting but sublime spectacle, the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years. It has been dubbed, appropriately enough, the “Great American Eclipse.” “It really is fortunate,” said Matthew Penn, an astronomer with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory who is leading a nationwide effort to photograph the…

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Turkey’s Erdogan Refuses to Back Down in Feud With Germany

On Friday, a Turkish judge ordered the rearrest of four of those ten, who had been released awaiting trial. Critics say the Turkish judiciary is no longer independent from Mr. Erdogan’s government, after a vast crackdown on opponents that purged around 150,000 public employees, including more than 4,000 judges and prosecutors. Earlier this week, the German foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, called Mr. Steudtner’s arrest “absurd” and said it showed “that German citizens are no longer safe from arbitrary arrests” in Turkey. In remarks published in Bild on Friday, the foreign…

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CliffsNotes From the Procrastination Research Conference

It is a conference built on the idea that precisely because procrastination is problematic for so many people, it is worthy of serious investigation. Throughout the morning, Dr. Ferrari’s wife, Sharon, stood by the registration table, prepared to morph from greeter to guard if anyone tried to violate one of the meeting’s core rules: “There’s no day-of registration,” she said. Here is what we learned about who procrastinates, where they procrastinate and how to halt the loop of perpetual delay. Photo The 60 or so attendees at this year’s conference…

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Police officer charged with having sex with 15-year-old cadet

Robert Cain CBS Los Angeles / Robert Cain / Facebook LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles police officer has been charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old cadet, prosecutors announced Friday. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said 31-year-old Robert Cain is expected to be arraigned Friday on charges that include unlawful sexual intercourse. Cain was arrested in June amid a widening investigation into wrongdoing in the department’s cadet program for minors who are aspiring officers. Prosecutors said Cain befriended the teenage cadet and had sex with her on three…

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Hacked Ashley Madison users get $11.2M settlement

ST. LOUIS — A federal judge has approved an $11.2 million settlement between the website Ashley Madison and users who sued after hackers released personal information, including financial data and details of their sexual proclivities. U.S. District Judge John Ross in St. Louis gave preliminary approval on Friday to a class action settlement that was initially announced last week by Toronto-based Ruby Corp., the parent company of Ashley Madison, a website marketing itself as a place to have affairs. Lawsuits from around the country were consolidated in the Eastern District of…

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Texas school district approves paddling to punish students

THREE RIVERS, Texas — The board of trustees for a Texas school district has reinstated corporal punishment, CBS affiliate KHOU-TV reports. Officials with the Three Rivers Independent School District (ISD), nearly 75 miles south of San Antonio, approved the plan Tuesday night. Students will only be subject to paddlings if a parent signs off first. With the decision, Three Rivers ISD joined 26 other districts that allow corporal punishment. Students will receive one paddling for minor incidents, such as disobeying classroom rules. The new measure strays from the Houston Independent…

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“Don’t fear the fin,” Ocearch founder says

The shark tracking and research organization Ocearch is launching its next expedition along the shores of Montauk, on New York’s Long Island. On Friday, a group of explorers will begin focusing their research on tagging juvenile white sharks in the area.  During a conversation on “CBS This Morning,” expedition leader Chris Fischer spoke about the mission and the importance of keeping sharks populated in the ocean. “They are the balance keepers,” Fischer said. “If they thrive, the system thrives. No big sharks, no fish for our grandchildren.”  Play Video CBS This…

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Oxygen therapy revives brain of toddler who almost drowned

In one of the first such confirmed cases, an Arkansas toddler who suffered severe brain injury after nearly drowning has had that brain damage reversed, using a new treatment. The treatment is known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). It exposes a patient to pure oxygen within the confines of a carefully controlled pressurized chamber. During the therapy, the body gets three times the normal amount of oxygen, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The saga began with every parent’s nightmare. Just one day shy of her 2nd birthday,…

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Fetuses may be able to distinguish between languages

Fetuses might be able to differentiate between languages, a new study from the University of Kansas suggests. Researchers say the differences were clear from changes detected in the fetuses’ heart rhythms. In the study, a single bilingual speaker made two recordings — one in English and one in Japanese — that were then played to the fetuses of two dozen pregnant women. English and Japanese are thought to be rhythmically distinct, providing a helpful case study in language contrast. The fetuses were on average about one month away from full…

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