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Jun 20 2014

The Breakfast Club: 6-20-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone’s welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Breakfast News

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Ukraine military has closed off border with Russia, speaker says

Ukrainian forces have completed an operation to close off the country’s eastern border with Russia, Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov told Ukraine’s Parliament on Friday.

His announcement, citing Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, came a day after NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO had seen a “new Russian military buildup” near the border with Ukraine.

This, Rasmussen said, involved “at least a few thousand more Russian troops deployed to the Ukrainian border, and we see troop maneuvers in the neighborhood of Ukraine.”

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There are now more than 50 million displaced people, highest since World War II

The war in Syria. The war in South Sudan. The conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, Kenya and Afghanistan. It adds up.

There are now a staggering number of refugees, asylum-seekers and displaced people.

In fact, a U.N. agency reported Friday, the number in 2013 exceeded 50 million people.

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Japan Says It Worked With South Korea on WWII Sex Slave Apology

Japan consulted with South Korea when compiling a 1993 apology to women trafficked to its military brothels across Asia before and during World War II, according to a government-backed report issued today.

The Korean side urged Japan to include wording stating that the women were coerced, according to the report on the Kono Statement apologizing to the “comfort women.” The study was released as the two governments sparred over South Korea holding live-fire military drills around tiny Japan Sea islets claimed by both nations.

South Korea “deeply” regrets Japan’s investigation into the Kono statement and the report undermines confidence in the apology for wartime sex slavery, its foreign ministry said in a statement on its website. “Our government made it clear that the search for truth was not subject to bilateral negotiations, and only provided its view informally due to repeated requests from the Japanese side,” it said.

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Thai junta acts to stem foreign workers’ exodus

Thailand’s military leaders are scrambling to stem an exodus of foreign workers that is hurting the already faltering economy and exposing pitfalls in the junta’s rule by diktat.

Hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to have fled after the generals who seized power on May 22 in Bangkok launched a crackdown on illegal employment – and then sought to woo some leavers back.

The stampede has laid bare tensions between Thailand’s reliance on foreign labour – some of it illicit – and the coup leaders’ agenda of stoking nationalism and clamping down on alleged corruption and lawlessness.

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Central Park Five – wrongfully convicted in 1989 rape – settle with city for $40 million

Five black and Latino men – wrongfully convicted 24 years ago in the sensational Central Park jogger case that whipped New York into a racial frenzy – have reached a $40 million settlement with the city, a source familiar with the terms said Thursday.

Now middle-aged, the men were teens when they were arrested in 1989 amid a wave of corrosive and polarizing outrage over the savage rape of a 28-year-old woman.

Convicted in 1990, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana and Yusef Salaam were in prison just shy of seven years, while Kharey Wise served nearly 13.

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Obama to extend family leave to gay couples

President Obama is directing the Labor Department to create rules making sure that gay couples are eligible for benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the White House said Friday.

Under the rules, employees would be eligible for leave to care for a same-sex spouse who is ill, regardless of whether they live in a state that recognizes gay marriage.

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CIA Tried to Make Bin Laden ‘Demon Doll’

The CIA once considered a 12-inch, red-faced, devil-eyed action figure of Osama bin Laden to spook U.S. families into hating the al-Qaeda leader. But the government-contracted demon doll never made it to store shelves.

The Washington Post reports that in 2005 – while bin Laden remained the most wanted man in the world – the CIA developed three prototypes of the doll featuring faces painted with a heat-dissolving material designed to peel off and reveal a red face with piercing green eyes and black facial markings.

The code-name for the bin Laden figures was “Devil Eyes.” The project was discontinued after the prototypes were developed in 2006, the Post reports.

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2nd officer suspended in slitting of dog’s throat

A second Baltimore officer has been suspended while the department investigates his role in the slitting of a dog’s throat, while the animal’s owner says it took her days to find out how the dog died.

Court documents say Officer Thomas Schmidt held the dog down while a fellow officer cut the animal’s throat on Saturday. Schmidt has been suspended with pay during the investigation, Baltimore Police spokesman Jeremy Silbert said.

“This is so criminal what’s happened,” said the 45-pound dog’s owner, Sarah Gossard. “It makes me sick.”

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Cosmic inflation: Confidence lowered for Big Bang signal

Scientists who claimed to have found a pattern in the sky left by the super-rapid expansion of space just fractions of a second after the Big Bang say they are now less confident of their result.

The BICEP2 Collaboration used a telescope at the South Pole to detect the signal in the oldest light it is possible to observe.

At the time of the group’s announcement in March, the discovery was hailed as a near-certain Nobel Prize.

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Sun worshippers beware: tanning may be addictive

This may give dedicated sun worshippers reason for pause. A new study suggests that regular tanning not only may raise the risk of skin cancer but also may be addictive.

A study published on Thursday found that chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation triggers the release of endorphins – the so-called feel-good hormones – that function through the same biological pathway as highly addictive opiate drugs such as heroin and morphine.

The study involved laboratory mice, but the researchers said they believe the findings are applicable to people because the biological response of skin to UV radiation in mice is so similar to humans.

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Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.

Booker T. Washington

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Breakfast Tunes

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