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New July 2013

Here are the fair-trade hipster shoes you’ve been waiting for

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OlibertéForget giving hipster shoes to people in Africa (cough, TOMS). How about giving them jobs? Oliberté is that shoe company — with the added perk of giving you a way to buy your chukka boots and flats with less guilt. OlibertéOliberté bills itself as a fair-trade, sustainable clothing brand based in sub-Saharan Africa, paying its workers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, more than double the minimum wage. The factory is the world’s first to be certified by Fair Trade USA. So in addition to fair pay, workers get benefits like 90-day maternity leave, reasonable work hours, no exposure to certain toxic chemicals, and decisionmaking via employee committee. Adds Treehugger: The shoes and bags are made from locally sourced leather, purchased from farmers who raise free-range cattle that typically live six to eight years. The company works with a tannery that is careful not to pollute and recycles its chrome … Although not all of the components are sourced from Ethiopia, the natural rubber used from the soles is also local. They work to make the factory zero-waste, recycling and reusing anything that’s left over from leather scraps to glue cans. And although the shoes aren’t cradle-to-cradle, you can mail ’em back to Oliberté when they’re worn out, and the company will find ways to recycle them. Other than the carbon emissions from shipping shoes halfway around the world — and yeah, that’s a big caveat — they sound pretty spiffy.Filed under: Business & Technology, Living

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Ukraine’s ‘Chocolate King’ could edge new-look Yulia for president

Petro Poroshenko, a 48-year-old billionaire, emerges as leadership favourite

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Karl Rove loses it after Fox guest calls Chris Christie report a ‘whitewash’

Republican strategist Karl Rove on Sunday accused a Fox News co-panelist of a personal “attack” after he called an internal investigation that cleared New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) for closing the busiest bridge in the world for political retribution a “whitewash.”…

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SNL: Reluctant ‘Obama’ struggles to repeat social media success of ‘Between Two Ferns’

The opening skit of this week’s episode of Saturday Night Night lampooned the Obama Administration’s last-minute efforts to get young people to sign up for Obamacare. The skit begins with “President Obama,” played by Jay Pharoah, praising the effort of his social media guru…

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Priest tells Fox News: ‘Noah’ movie left out God and will ‘pay for it dearly’

A Catholic priest, who is serving on the Archdiocese of New York, and also employed as an analyst by Fox News, has warned that people associated with the movie “Noah” will “pay for it dearly” because they had used the word “creator” instead of God. Fox News host…

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Enrollment milestone called ‘proof of concept’ by Obamacare supporters

By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s embattled U.S. healthcare law, having survived a rollout marred by technology failures, reaches a milestone on Monday with the end of its first enrollment wave, and with the administration likely to come close to its goal…

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This Texas man is fighting the drought one tank of rainwater at a time

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How do you get to be the mayor of Tank Town? Practice, practice, practice! Or else, wait. I’m confused. Richard Heinichen became the mayor of Tank Town by building one rainwater storage tank in central Texas in 1994. Back then you could still get groundwater from a well, but apparently it smelled gross. He started out as a rainwater evangelist for the supplemental, sulfur-free benefits, but ended up as deus ex machina during Texas’ crippling droughts. Heinichen helped neighbors build their own rainwater tanks at first, then decided to turn the whole thing into a business. He built 16 tanks on his own property and sold some 1,300 others. He consults with hundreds of people a year about installing their own rainwater tanks. (Perplexingly, he’s also started bottling and selling his rainwater, Cloud Juice, but we hope he is at least using recycled bottles.) Now, during the worst drought in decades, Heinichen’s hometown of Dripping Springs, Texas, is running severely short on drips. This video fills in the details, with whimsy added in the form of charming water tank paintjobs and a soundtrack straight out of a Noah Baumbach movie. Heinichen points out that a single gravity-fed tank could support two people for almost a year. If the drought lasts longer than that? Store more water. Long live Tank Town. Filed under: Article, Climate & Energy, Living

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Taiwan stages massive anti-China trade pact rally

Tens of thousands of Taiwanese protesters took to the streets in Taipei on Sunday in a bid to pressure embattled President Ma Ying-jeou to retract a controversial trade pact with China. The protesters, many wearing black shirts and headbands reading…

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Documents reveal secretive Hollywood group’s shady donations to conservative politicians

Before Republican Senator Ted Cruz flew to Los Angeles to speak to Hollywood’s secretive right-wing organization, Friends of Abe (FOA), Cruz suggested to the Hollywood Reporter that IRS’s reluctance to immediately ordain FOA as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-free charity was a left-wing government…

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Climate change threatens to wipe out Latin America coffee crops – and farmers

Under the coffee bushes, Rosibel and Benjamín Fijardo are on their knees, scraping carefully through a litter of dead leaves and dried mud. They are scavenging for stray coffee berries, fallen when the harvesters went through the plantation last week. After 20 minutes, Benjamín has a plastic cup…

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Piers Morgan closes last show with parting shot at NRA for ‘bullying this nation’s politicians’

CNN’s Piers Morgan closed his final show for the network thanking his viewers, but he didn’t end it without taking a shot at one his biggest adversaries: the NRA and the gun culture that they promote. Morgan began his closing remarks thanking his staff and the network for the…

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NM GOP rep fires new press secretary over tweet about Jews going ‘up in smoke’

Seventy-two hours after Rebekah Stevens had been introduced as communications director for Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., the congressman asked for, and received, her resignation after fall-out from her Twitter account became too large of a distraction for his office, according to the Albuquerque…

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Hundreds of children abandoned by smugglers en route to US: Mexico

Authorities in Mexico said Saturday they found more than 370 children dumped by people smugglers while trying to make their way into the United States. The National Institute of Migration (INM) said the huge number of children, from different nations in Central America, were discovered in just a…

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Florida couple arrested, facing charges for starving and torturing their eight children

A Hillsborough, Florida, man and woman are in jail after police went to their home and discovered two of their eight children suffering from physical abuse and severe malnutrition after being denied food by the couple. The mother, Jamie Hicks, 43, has been charged with two counts of aggravated…

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US, Dutch men arrested attempting to deposit billions in fake bonds in Vatican bank

Vatican police on Saturday apprehended an American and a Dutch man who were trying to deposit billions of euros and US dollars in fake bonds in the Vatican bank. The men were stopped by the police when they approached one of the guarded gates at the Vatican and asked to be let through to the…

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New U.S. guidelines could put most Americans on cholesterol-lowering drugs

Nearly every male and most women over 55 could fall under new US guidelines for who should take cholesterol lowering drugs, researchers said Saturday, stirring fresh controversy in the medical world. If applied to a group of 5,000 otherwise healthy people over that age in The Netherlands, 96…

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Video game makers blame ‘Satan’ for inability to launch Biblical role-playing game

The makers of a Biblical role-playing game that follows the life of Abraham are blaming their lack of success and inability to fund the project on the influence of Satan. Speaking with Polygon, Richard Gaeta, co-founder of Phoenix Interactive explained the company’s problems starting cropping…

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