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It's Been Reported
for the week ending 14 January 2018

Obamas Criticized For Lavish Library Plans,
Including 'Test Kitchen'

(Fox News) — In their effort to break the mold, the planners of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago are taking heat for some less-than-lofty features in the sprawling complex. Namely, a "test kitchen."

Reports first surfaced last fall that the monument to the first black president's legacy was taking on an activity-center vibe.

There would be a museum – but also a basketball court, possibly a room for yoga classes, and a test kitchen to teach visitors "about the full production cycle of nutritious food."

It's a reference to former first lady Michelle Obama's campaign for healthy eating and lifestyles.

But Chicago Tribune columnist Ron Grossman trashed the "test kitchen" idea as not worthy of the ideals and history for which the presidential center is supposed to stand.
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 Huma Abedin And Anthony Weiner
Withdraw Their Divorce

(Page Six) — Say it ain't so, Huma. Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her jailed sext-a-holic hubby, Anthony Weiner, have withdrawn their pending divorce case, The Post has learned.

Abedin was scheduled to appear in Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon for a compliance conference in their contested divorce. Instead, one of her attorneys submitted paperwork signed by both parties agreeing to end the case, a court source told The Post.

The judge announced from the bench that the case was "discontinued."

“In order to reduce any impact of these proceedings on their child, the parties have decided to reach a settlement swiftly and privately,” Abedin’s lawyer, Charles Miller, and Weiner’s attorney, Margaret Donohoe, said in separate statements.
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 Connecticut City's Elected Body
Eliminates Gender Pronouns


STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — The legislative body in Stamford, Connecticut, has removed gender pronouns from its written rules.

The Board of Representatives voted last week to remove "he/she" and "his/her" from its rules of order, replacing them with specific titles, including president and clerk, the Advocate newspaper reported.

The measure passed unanimously with one abstention.

The change was proposed by three Democrats elected to the 40-member board in November, including Raven Matherne, the state's first openly transgender elected official. It does not change the way the rules are followed or carried out, she said.

"It's an act to acknowledge the members of this board, just as in each of our districts and the city at large, cannot always be described as he or she," Matherne said.
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Sewage Flows In Massachusetts  Rivers
Cost To Fix Runs To Millions


(Boston Herald) — Some 2.8 billion gallons of untreated wastewater – including raw sewage – is pouring into Bay State rivers and streams annually during heavy rainfall, state records show.

One severe trouble spot is the Merrimack River, where the problem threatens progress from decades of work to clean up what was once declared among the nation's Top 10 dirtiest waterways.

"In 2017, I'm shocked that the levels of contamination in the outflows, and the amount of raw sewage flowing into the river is still at the magnitude it's at," said Amesbury Mayor Kenneth Gray.

A Halloween weekend storm dumped 8 million gallons of wastewater into the Merrimack when power was knocked out to the Lawrence treatment plant, where there is no backup generator.
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 California: Muslim Immigrant (Honor) Kills
Two Daughters Following Custody Dispute

(Sacramento Bee) — American mother Amy Hunter arrived at a parking lot near her home in West Sacramento on New Year's Eve to pick up her daughters, Sara, 9 and Sophie, 12, only to find them dying beside the corpse of their father.

The car was parked at the designated drop-off point for the girls, near West Sacramento's City Hall in the US.

The victims' parents had been involved in a custody battle for years, reported Sacramento Bee.

The two girls were later declared dead by West Sacramento Police in a murder-suicide by their father, Hamdy Rouin, 46, a Tunisian immigrant who was also found dead in the car.

The mother described her ex-husband Rouin as an abusive man and heavy drinker who had hit her, and threatened her to take the girls away to Tunisia, according to sacbee.com.
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India's Highest Court To Revisit 16th-Century Ban
On Gay Sex

(AJC) — In India, homosexual acts are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. But on Monday, the country's highest court announced it will re-examine the ban.

Enacted by the British 153 years ago in 1860, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code outlaws "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" and also bans oral sex between man and woman, holding that only penile-vaginal sex was not "against the order of nature."

About 200 people have been prosecuted under Section 377, and activists say the law is often used to intimidate or blackmail gay people, the Guardian reported.

Following a petition filed by five Indians who said they are living in constant fear of being prosecuted, the Supreme Court said a larger group of judges would reconsider the constitutional validity of the law.
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Hamas Official Shot In Head In Gaza 'Accident'

(BBC) — A senior Hamas figure in Gaza has been shot in the head in what the militant Palestinian group says was an accident.

Imad al-Alami shot himself while "inspecting his personal weapon in his home" and was in a critical condition, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.

Medical sources say Mr Alami, a former member of Hamas's political bureau who has close ties to Iran, is being treated at a hospital in Gaza City.

There was no independent confirmation of the circumstances of the incident. Some initial reports suggested it might have been an assassination attempt.

Mr Alami, who is reportedly in his 60s and is also known as Abu Hamam, was one of the founders of Hamas.

In 2003, the US declared him a "specially designated global terrorist".
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'Bad Luck' For Black Car Owners
In Turkmen Capital: Impound


(RFE/RL) — Turkmenistan's president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, thinks white cars bring good fortune. And that's bad luck for owners of black cars in the capital.

For weeks, officials in Ashgabat have been impounding black vehicles without warning, wreaking havoc for owners who need special permission for repainting and then reregistering their cars.

While there don't appear to have been any official announcements, Berdymukhammedov has expressed frustration at swank black cars in the capital, known as the "city of white marble," and motorists told RFE/RL that the traffic stops and towing of parked dark cars began late last month.

The campaign is also foisting unforeseen costs on residents in a city where the State Statistics Committee puts the average monthly wage at under 1,200 manats, roughly $300 at the government-established exchange rate or less than $200 per month at the black-market rate that many are forced to use.
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Grandad's Testicle 'Exploded' After Contracting African Salmonella On Dream Holiday To Tunisia

TUNISIA (Sun) — A man's testicle "exploded like a volcano" after he got a rare disease on holiday.

David Worsley, 59, caught African salmonella, a strain of the infection which was confined to his genital area, in Tunisia.

The grandad was in agony as his privates swelled to ten times their normal size when he got home. His left testicle then burst as he had a bath and he is now taking legal action against tour operator TUI.

He said: "I was told that I had a rare form of salmonella called African salmonella.

"After the holiday, my testicle had swollen to the size of a grapefruit and it was so heavy it was like it was made of glass.
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Man Stabs Wife To Death For Changing TV Channel

CARLISLE, AR (Arkansas Online) — A Carlisle man was charged Monday with capital murder after he told police he stabbed his wife to death after she changed the television channel while he was outside having a smoke.

When Tony Thomas, 58, came back inside Nov. 19 and saw the channel had been changed, he asked his wife, Elke Thomas, what the score was of the football game he'd been watching, according to a court document.

Thomas told police his wife began yelling at him and an argument ensued. He got a knife from the wall and began stabbing her, according to an affidavit from Anthony Counts, a detective with the Lonoke County sheriff's office.

"He claimed he'd blacked out and when he 'came to,' he was over her with a knife in his hands," according to the affidavit.
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