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Trending In Our News Feeds Obama fires IRS commissioner, moves to extinguish flames in Washington. At a press conference yesterday, President Obama announced he has fired acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller. The move came as part of Obama’s attempts to resolve the three scandals which have rocked Washington this week. To address the Justice Department/AP scandal, Obama asked Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to reintroduce the Free Flow of Information Act to Congress. The bill would protect journalists from revealing sources by allowing judges to deny subpoenas of the media. To address the Benghazi scandal, the White House released 100 pages of emails and documents on the Benghazi attack. TIME tells you what the emails reveal.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives grilled Attorney General Eric Holder for more than four hours yesterday on the Justice Department’s surveillance of the Associated Press. Holder said he knew little about the spying because he recused himself from the decision to investigate the AP’s phone records. Buzzfeed has a hilarious mash-up video showing how much Holder just does not know.
Scientists successfully clone human stem cells. Scientists from the Oregon Health and Science University in Beaverton reported they have cloned human stem cells, in a paper published yesterday. Shoukdhrat Mitalipov and his colleagues used therapeutic cloning, the method used to clone Dolly the sheep, to create stem cells that can form various type of human tissue. One of their secrets? Using caffeine to prevent donor eggs from prematurely activating.
Mitalipov’s study is sure to reignite the heated global debate over stem cell research. Proponents claim stem cell advances will cure a range of illnesses, including Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Opponents argue it is immoral to destroy lab-produced embryos that have the ability to develop into people. Want to know more about stem cells? The BBC describes what they are and why they’re so controversial.
Keppler spacecraft derailed by mechanical problem. NASA announced yesterday the Keppler spacecraft may be unable to complete its mission because of issues with one of its directional wheels. If NASA can’t find a way to fix the broken wheel, Keppler will have to abort its mission. While the spacecraft has already identified 130 Earth-like planets, it was scheduled to collect two more years of data. Former astronaut John Grunsfeld remains optimistic: “I wouldn’t call Kepler down and out yet.”
Abercrombie & Fitch signs Bangladesh safety contract. Abercrombie & Fitch became the second American brand to sign a landmark safety agreement to improve working conditions in Bangladesh, yesterday. The trade union that drafted the agreement, IndustriALL, reported 31 companies have signed the pact so far. The agreement holds retailers responsible for carrying out factory inspections and paying for safety improvements. However, major American brands have yet to sign on. Gap is reportedly “six sentences” away from coming on board, but the company has liability concerns. Walmart has opted to develop its own safety plan to inspect the 279 factories it uses in Bangladesh, within the next six months. The company has not agreed to pay for factory improvements. The BBC has a great video that breaks down the profits from a pair of pants to show why retailers have to lead the way on improving safety standards.
Google unveils music service. Google unveiled a range of new products in the keynote speech at its annual I/O developer’s conference, yesterday. An executive introduced Google Play Music All Access, the company’s entry into the subscription music market. Users can sign up for a 30-day trial, after which the service will cost $9.99 a month. Google also announced Google Play For Education, a new app store featuring education software. The education software will likely see a fall release. Other developments included a Chrome update that lets you control your Google account with your voice, and a new Google+ that automatically enhances your photos. Check out The Verge’s awesome roundup. In response to yesterday’s news, Google shares jumped 3.3% to close at a record high of $915.
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Must Reads From PolicyMic David Axelrod is Starting to Sound an Awful Lot Like a Republican (John Giokaris, @JohnGiokaris) – In what was probably his most honest moment on TV of his entire career, David Axelrod admitted that the government is simply too large to control. He also took the time to blame bureaucrats for idiotic and dangerous actions.
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What We’re SharingFood guru Michael Pollan: “Some of my best friends are germs” (NYT Magazine).
Is this what winning looks like? VICE profiles the state of Afghanistan today.
Does government surveillance really have a “chilling effect” on journalism? (New Republic)
Got a scoop to leak to the press? This is how to do it (Wired).
Dr. Dre is donating $70 million to USC to groom the next Mark Zuckerberg (Bits).
If you want KFC in Gaza, you’ll have get it through underground tunnels (CSM).
23 of the best pieces of advice ever given to graduates (Business Insider).
8 rejection letters received by best-selling authors (Mental Floss).
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