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12:01 am
Thu December 1, 2011

States Fail In Fight Against Sex Trafficking

A placard of a child sits on a table during a conference Oct. 31 on human sex trafficking in Atlanta. The Georgia Department of Education estimates that about 5,000 girls in the state are at risk for trafficking each year.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 5:10 am

Too many states still inadvertently provide safe havens when it comes to sex trafficking — even when children on the streets bear the consequences. That's the conclusion of a new report released Thursday by the advocacy group Shared Hope International.

The study grades each state on whether it has laws to protect children who are pushed into the sex trade — and to punish the adults who seek out those services. Leaders of the group say there's lots of room for improvement. More than half of the states they examined got grades of D or F.

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Around the Nation
12:01 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Occupy Protesters Consider Political Future

Occupy Wall Street protestors have been removed by police from public spaces in Los Angeles and Philadelphia this week. Some cities still have active 24-hour protests in place, though earlier this month the original Occupy encampment — on Wall Street — was also shut down.

Now activists in New York and elsewhere are talking about the movement's next phase, including the degree to which Occupy activists get involved in the 2012 election.

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Around the Nation
12:01 am
Thu December 1, 2011

In Miami, Plans For Mega-Casinos Bring Hope And Ire

An design rendering shows the Genting Group's proposed casino and resort complex on Miami's Biscayne Bay. The Malaysian developer's plans are meeting resistance in Florida, where casinos are tightly controlled.
Resorts World Miami

A high-stakes gamble is playing out in Miami, where a Malaysian developer, the Genting Group, plans to spend more than $3 billion to build what it touts as the world's largest casino.

And that's just the opening bid. Other big names in the gaming industry have joined an effort to persuade Florida to approve what are being called "destination casinos."

But there are many opponents to expanding gambling in the state, including religious groups, hotels and restaurants, and The Walt Disney Co.

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Middle East
6:29 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

For Iranian-Americans, Sanctions Can Be A Minefield

At the beginning of last year, Mahmoud Reza Banki's future looked bright. He was a senior associate at the prestigious consulting firm McKinsey and Co., and had been accepted to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

But Banki, 35, was arrested in January 2010 and charged with accepting large money transfers from Iran that violated U.S. sanctions against that country.

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The Two-Way
6:11 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

45,000 Told To Evacuate German Town Before WWII Bomb Defusement

This upcoming weekend, a team of German explosive experts and members of the army are scheduled to defuse an unexploded bomb found in the city of Koblenz in Germany. The bomb — with 3,000 pounds of explosives — is a remnant of World War II that emerged in the Rhine River because of low water levels.

As if that wasn't curious enough, authorities ordered half of the city's residents — 45,000 people — to leave, while they get the job done.

Der Spiegel reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
5:53 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Medicare Offers Expanded Coverage To Battle Expanding Waistlines

Keeping off the pounds is tough at any age. Now seniors are getting a helping hand from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has announced that it will cover screening and counseling for obesity as a free preventive service for Medicare beneficiaries.

Coverage is effective immediately.

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World
5:24 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

U.S. Considers Sanctions On Iran's Central Bank

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves in Pakdasht, southeast of Tehran, Nov. 23. Ahmadinejad on Wednesday said he was surprised at European moves to isolate Tehran's central bank.
HO Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 11:13 pm

Iran has been dealing with economic sanctions for years, but the country could soon face measures tougher than anything it has encountered before: Legislation moving through the U.S. Congress would target the central bank of Iran, with the likely effect of severely limiting Iran's oil exports.

Such sanctions would almost certainly damage Iran's economy. The challenge would be to make sure other countries are not hurt as well, given the fragile state of the global economy and the tight global oil market.

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Energy
5:17 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Big Solar Project Moves Forward Without Uncle Sam

SolarCity has received financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch to install solar electricity systems on houses on military bases, like one here at Soaring Heights Communities at Davis Monthan Air Force Base outside Tucson, Ariz.
Lend Lease

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 4:05 am

We've heard a lot about Solyndra, a solar panel maker that went bankrupt despite lots of federal subsidies. But on Wednesday, a solar installation company and one of the country's biggest banks announced a billion-dollar project to put solar systems on the roofs of military housing. And they're doing it without the kind of federal help Solyndra got.

When SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive came up with a plan to put solar on the rooftops of military housing around the country, he was sure he'd need federal backing to get loans for such a big project.

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Energy
5:17 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

A Debate Over Who Regulates Gas 'Fracking' in Pa.

A drilling rig looms behind a barn in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
Scott Detrow StateImpact Pennsylvania

A new Pennsylvania law could curb municipalities' ability to zone and regulate hydraulic fracturing — or "fracking." And that raises questions about how much say a local government should have over what goes on within its borders.

State lawmakers are grappling with how to update Commonwealth's decades-old Oil and Gas Act to catch up with a natural gas drilling boom.

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The Two-Way
5:13 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Survey: Americans Will Forfeit $34 Billion Worth Of Vacation Days In 2011

A traditional arabic Dhow sails in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 5:28 pm

For the past few years, the travel site Expedia has conducted a survey about the world's vacation habits and like in years past, this year's survey found that the United States is one of the countries that gives its workers fewer vacation days and one of the countries in which workers leave the most number of vacation days unused.

CNN Money reports:

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