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Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, current leader Neon Vincent, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, wader, Man Oh Man, rfall, and JML9999. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, ek hornbeck, ScottyUrb, Interceptor7, BentLiberal, Oke and jlms qkw. The guest editors are Doctor RJ and annetteboardman.

Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.

Malaysia flight MH370: No time limit on search, says Tony Abbott

Rescue crews have put no time limit on the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said.
Mr Abbott told reporters near Perth, where the operation is being co-ordinated, that the hunt for flight MH370 was still being stepped up.
Ten aircraft and 10 ships are scouring the sea south-west of Perth for debris from the airliner.
The Beijing-bound plane disappeared on 8 March with 239 people on board.
The signal from its flight-data recorder lasts about 30 days.
The search teams are deploying a special tool known as a "towed ping locator" to find the recorder, which will be used once debris from the plane has been found.
BBC

Washington mudslide missing revised down 'substantially'

The number of people missing from last week's Washington state mudslide has been revised down substantially from 90 to 30, the authorities say.
The official death toll has risen to 18, with several bodies yet to be formally identified.
Rescue workers halted operations briefly on Saturday to observe a moment's silence for those who died.
It has been over a week since the town of Oso, north of Seattle, was struck by a 177ft (54m) wall of mud and debris.
The authorities say the number of those killed is believed to be at least 27 but that the official tally does not include those who have yet to be formally identified.

Jason Biermann, of the Snohomish Department of Emergency Management, said the crews were not always recovering complete remains, making it difficult to identify those killed.

Al Jazeera America

Report: NSA kept tabs on 122 world leaders

Intelligence gathering by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) included the creation of a special databank which targeted 122 world leaders, according to new leaks reported on Saturday by German newspaper Der Spiegel and The Intercept, part of the tranche of documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year.
The undated document includes the name of Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel, whom the NSA targeted in more than 300 separate reports.
Other leaders listed in the databank include the leaders of Peru, Somalia, Syria, Guatemala, Colombia and Belarus.

The new documents also show that the NSA obtained a top-secret court order in March 2013 to monitor German communications and that the U.S. intelligence counterpart in Britain, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), targeted three Germany companies for surveillance.

Al Jazeera America

Senegal closed its land border with Guinea on Saturday

Senegal closed its land border with Guinea on Saturday to try to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus, which Guinean authorities say is suspected of killing 70 people in what would be the deadliest outbreak in seven years.
The discovery of 11 people suspected to have died of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia in recent days has stirred concern that one of the most lethal infectious diseases known to man could spread in a poor corner of West Africa, where health systems are ill-equipped to cope.
Senegal's Interior Ministry said it had closed the land border with Guinea in the southern region of Kolda and the southeastern region of Kedougou.
"The governors of these regions have taken all the necessary steps to implement this decision," it said in a statement published by the official APS state news agency.
A spokesman for Guinea's government said it had not received any official notification of Senegal's decision. The extent of the epidemic is being exaggerated and only 19 cases of Ebola have officially been confirmed by laboratory tests, he added.
Al Jazeera America
A Mississippi woman convicted of murder could become the first female prisoner executed in the state in 70 years
A Mississippi woman convicted of murder could become the first female prisoner executed in the state in 70 years, as defense attorneys pressed for a last-minute reprieve on Thursday, arguing her son has repeatedly confessed to the crime.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood asked the state Supreme Court to execute Michelle Byrom, 57, for the 1999 shooting of her husband, Edward Byrom Sr.
But the court has not set Byrom's execution date, giving her attorneys hope the court will take up their motion to seek permission to file additional appeals.
Byrom has said she suffered years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse by her husband. She said she was hospitalized with pneumonia the day he died in what prosecutors alleged was a murder-for-hire scheme to collect insurance money.

Defense attorneys also hope the court will consider evidence indicating that Byrom's son has confessed many times to killing his father.

Al Jazeera America
Bitter tears of the American Christian Supermajority
The most persecuted minority in the United States is not Muslims, African-Americans or immigrants. It’s our Christian supermajority that’s truly oppressed.
Verily, consider three anecdotes from the past few weeks.
On March 2, three Baptist ministers in Akron, Ohio, arranged for the local police to mock-arrest them in their churches and haul them away in handcuffs for the simple act of preaching their faith. A video was posted on YouTube to drum up buzz for an upcoming revival show. A few atheist blogs object to uniformed police taking part in a church publicity stunt, but far more people who saw the YouTube video (24,082 views), in Ohio and elsewhere, took this media stunt as reality — confirmation of their wildest fears about a government clampdown on Christianity.

[snip]
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Needless to say (or maybe not) this news ticker of persecuted American Christians floats far and free from reality. More than 75 percent of the United States identifies as Christian; 57 percent believe in the devil, and nearly 8 in 10 Americans believe the Bible to be either the “inspired word” or literal word of God. Despite the constitutional separation of church and state, the government began under President George W. Bush to outsource social welfare programs to faith-based organizations (more than .98 percent, according to one 2006 study, of them Christian churches), and schools with religious ties (mostly Christian) in several states are now well fed by direct public subsidies.

N Y Times
Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come
YOKOHAMA, Japan — Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported Monday, and they warned that the problem is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control.
The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that periodically summarizes climate science, concluded that ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct.
The oceans are rising at a pace that threatens coastal communities and are becoming more acidic as they absorb some of the carbon dioxide given off by cars and power plants, which is killing some creatures or stunting their growth, the report found.
The image in this link shows melting icebergs in Greenland. The final documentary I saw in our filmiest today was called Expedition to the End of the World and was exactly about this issue. I recommend the movie whole-heartedly.

L A Times

Regulators twice declined to open GM ignition switch probes.

WASHINGTON -- Despite concerns that airbags failed to deploy in some General Motors Co. cars, federal regulators twice declined to open formal investigations to determine the cause, according to a congressional investigation into delays in recalling the vehicles.
In addition, the automaker approved the part that caused the problem, an ignition switch, although officials from the supplier said that testing indicated it did not meet GM's original specifications, a House Energy and Commerce committee said Sunday in a memo summarizing its probe.
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra and the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, David Friedman, are scheduled to testify Tuesday at a hearing by the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee into the reason for delays in recalling vehicles with the faulty ignition switch.
The part has been linked to a series of crashes and at least 12 deaths in six GM models and the recall of more than 2.4 million vehicles.
NHTSA and the Justice Department have opened investigations into why it took so long for GM to recall the vehicles. Documents indicate the company knew about the problem as early as 2001.
USA Today
Health care spending growth hits 10-year high
Health care spending rose at the fastest pace in 10 years last quarter, a development that could foreshadow higher costs for consumers this year.
Expenses for health care rose at a 5.6% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said last week. The jump triggered a sharp upward revision in the government's estimate of consumer spending overall and accounted for nearly a quarter of the economy's 2.6% annualized growth in the last three months of 2013.
Driving the increase was an $8 billion rise in hospital revenue — more than the previous four quarters combined, according to the Census Bureau and Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS economist Omair Sharif says the increase in hospitals' income was puzzling because the number of inpatient days dipped 1% during the fourth quarter.
NPR
Printing Wikipedia Would Take 1 Million Pages, But That's Sort Of The Point
A German-based group called PediaPress is trying to raise enough money to make a print copy of all of Wikipedia. That's right, Wikipedia, the ever-evolving, always-changing, inherently digital encyclopedia of information gathered by contributors all over the world. To say this would be a massive project is an understatement.
One thousand volumes, 1,200 pages each — more than one million pages in all — about 80 meters of shelf space. That's what it would take to make a printed version of Wikipedia. The idea is to let people see just how much information is in the online encyclopedia, says Christoph Kepper and his partners at Pediapress.
"Nowadays you just use Wikipedia every day without even thinking how large that might be ... the English Wikipedia has 4.5 million articles," Kepper says. "Nobody can imagine this number. It's only when you see this in print or in a physical form that you realize how large it really is."
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