PND News

TX: Appeals court says voter turnout suppression law violates Voting Rights Act

July 21, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday ruled that a Texas law requiring voters to show a government-issued form of photo identification before casting a ballot is discriminatory and violates the U.S. Voting Rights Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit also sent the case back to a district court to examine claims by the plaintiffs that the law had a discriminatory purpose. Critics of the law and others like it passed in recent years in Republican-governed states said such statutes are intended to make it harder for minorities such as African-Americans and Hispanics who tend to back Democrats to vote. Backers of these laws say they are necessary to prevent voter fraud. The New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit asked the district court for a short-term fix to be used in Texas in the November general election." (07/20/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-texasvoting-idUSKCN1002KJ  

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RNC: Cruz booed after refusing to endorse Trump

July 21, 2016
posted by

CNN CNN    

"Ted Cruz sensationally withheld an endorsement of Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention Wednesday, earning a chorus of boos from the floor before he was upstaged in a power play by the GOP nominee himself. In a dramatic development, as Cruz wrapped up his speech, Trump suddenly appeared in the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. He walked to join his family in a VIP area and flashed a thumbs-up -- a gesture that transmitted clear anger at the Texas senator's behavior. ... As delegates began to protest, Sen. Cruz's wife, Heidi Cruz, was heckled by Trump supporters shouting 'Goldman Sachs!' and escorted out by security." (07/21/16)

http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/20/politics/ted-cruz-republican-convention-moment/  

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Romania: Court rules constitution can be changed to ban marriage freedom

July 21, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Romania's Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled that a request from an anti-gay group to change the constitution to state that marriage is a union between a man and a woman is constitutional. The court's ruling paves the way for Romania's Parliament to vote to change the constitution, last revised in 2003, which now says marriage is between 'partners' without specifying gender. Any change would need to be approved by two-thirds of lawmakers. Gay rights groups protested the ruling, and dozens later protested in downtown Bucharest." (07/20/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Court-Romania-s-constitution-can-be-changed-on-8398134.php  

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Trump staff writer takes blame for Melania speech

July 21, 2016
posted by

The Great Cornholio Politico    

"Donald Trump's campaign for [not quite two] days refused to admit that Melania Trump's primetime convention speech contained passages lifted from Michelle Obama's 2008 address -- then suddenly released a statement Wednesday admitting that it was. Trump Organization staff writer Meredith McIver, in a statement taking responsibility for the plagiarism incident, said she had 'offered my resignation to Mr. Trump and the Trump family, but they rejected it.' ... The incident even briefly split the top ranks of the Republican National Committee, whose chairman Reince Priebus said Trump should 'probably' fire whoever was responsible, while his top lieutenant fiercely defended Melania Trump. That RNC official, chief strategist Sean Spicer, mockingly compared passages of the would-be first lady's speech to quotes from Twilight Sparkle from 'My Little Pony.'" [editor's note: Yes, I pretty much nailed what happened yesterday morning in a post at my blog. Wonder why it took the campaign almost two days to admit it? - TLK] (07/20/19)

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/trump-staffer-melania-speech-meredith-mciver-225878  

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Turkey coup attempt: Charges laid against 99 generals and admirals

July 21, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Turkey has formally charged 99 generals and admirals in connection with the weekend's thwarted coup attempt, just under a third of the country's 356 top military officers. Authorities have banned all academics from travelling abroad, as the purge of state employees suspected of being connected to the failed coup continues. More than 50,000 people have been rounded up, sacked or suspended. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to announce further measures. He chaired a five-hour emergency meeting of the National Security Council and was expected to lay out a series of emergency measures later on Wednesday." (07/20/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36843180  

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KS: Police chief says cop’s killing was not planned ambush

July 21, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"The killing of a Kansas City police officer was not a planned ambush but stemmed from the officer's attempt to stop a fleeing criminal, local authorities said Wednesday. Officials, nonetheless, expressed concern over anti-police rhetoric and the increase of tensions nationally over police-involved shootings. 'The crime does not fit the national narrative of planned attacks against law enforcement officers, but it does fit the narrative fact that words matter,' said police chief Terry Zeigler. 'The anti-hate speech has got to stop because the consequences are real.' Zeigler, Mayor Mark Holland and local clergy met with reporters following the fatal shooting Tuesday of Capt. Robert Melton. It was the second killing of a Kansas City police officer in two months." (07/20/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/07/20/kansas-police-chief-says-cop-killing-not-planned-ambush/87339260  

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Study: Some fish can recognize human faces

July 20, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Scientists have shown for the first time how a species of tropical fish can distinguish between human faces. The archerfish used in experiments could demonstrate the ability to a high degree of accuracy; despite lacking the crucial neocortex part of the brain which other animals use for sophisticated visual recognition. The research, conducted by scientists from the University of Oxford and Australia’s University of Queensland, wanted to test the long-held belief that differentiating between human faces could only be accomplished by more sophisticated animals, such as primates. The archerfish, found largely in Australia and southeast Asia, was chosen for its ability to spit a jet of water; a technique it uses to shoot down insect prey even above the water level." (07/20/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/07/fish-can-recognize-human-faces-study-finds  

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MD: Driver playing Pokemon GO smashes into Baltimore patrol car

July 20, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A driver has smashed into a police car while playing Pokemon GO at the wheel. An officer's body camera caught the moment the Toyota RAV4 clipped the unoccupied, parked patrol car in Baltimore, Maryland, early on Monday. The driver pulled over about less than a mile down the road and showed police his phone connected to the hit app as he got out of the vehicle. When police asked if he was OK, the driver (who has not been named) said: 'That's what I get for playing this dumb*** game.' No one was injured in the incident." [editor's note: Attaboy, blame the game and not your own stupidity for playing it while driving - SAT] (07/20/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2016/07/20/driver-playing-pokemon-go-smashes-into-baltimore-patrol-car.html  

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FL: Video shows moments before North Miami Police shot unarmed man

July 20, 2016
posted by

WSVN 7 News    

"A therapist who works with people with disabilities is telling his story after he said police shot him while he was trying to help his patient with autism. Cellphone video was released Wednesday afternoon showing Charles Kinsey lying on the ground with his hands in the air, telling officers that weapons are not necessary. ... In his hospital bed and wearing bandages, Kinsey said, he was attempting to calm an autistic patient who ran away from a group home. Kinsey could be heard in the video saying, 'All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.' He is also heard asking his patient to calm down. " (07/20/16)

http://wsvn.com/news/local/video-shows-moments-before-north-miami-police-shot-unarmed-man/  

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Transgender students sue versus school bathroom rules in Maryland, Wisconsin

July 20, 2016
posted by

New Orleans Times-Picayune    

"Transgender high school students in Maryland and Wisconsin who were banned from boys' facilities in their schools have filed federal lawsuits arguing that the prohibitions violate their civil rights. The two lawsuits -- filed by transgender boys from Talbot County, Maryland, and Kenosha, Wisconsin -- are the latest actions in a flurry of litigation surrounding the question of how schools treat transgender students. The cases challenge the legality of restricting transgender students to unisex restrooms or to the restrooms that correspond with the sex shown on their birth certificates rather than allowing them access to the public-school bathrooms -- and locker rooms -- that match their gender identity." (07/20/16)

http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2016/07/transgender_students_sue.html  

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Fatwa No. 21,758: Saudi clerics ban Pokemon Go

July 20, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Top clerics in Saudi Arabia have issued a fatwa banning the playing of Pokemon Go as a form of gambling. The decree was issued by General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars on the website of the General Presidency for Scholarly Research and Ifta, Arab News reported Wednesday. The edict actually updates an existing ban on the Pokemon card and video games before they morphed into the mobile phone virtual reality game that has swept the world." (07/20/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/07/20/top-saudi-clerics-ban-pokemon-go/87330916/  

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Turkey’s Erdogan regime demands extradition of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen

July 20, 2016
posted by

Financial Times [UK]    

"Turkey has sent the US four dossiers on the alleged activities of Pennsylvania-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, following up on a demand for his immediate extradition that threatens to derail relations between the two Nato allies. Turkish officials on Tuesday also blamed Mr Gulen's followers for shooting down a Russian Su-24 in November. That incident brought Russian president Vladimir Putin's wrath on Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey's economy, in the form of travel bans for tourists and curbs on Turkish exports. The pilots were rounded up on Saturday, as part of what has become a wide-ranging purge of supposed plotters." (07/19/16)

https://next.ft.com/content/7287c982-4da2-11e6-88c5-db83e98a590a  

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Three US states sue Volkswagen over emissions scandal

July 20, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Three US states have taken legal action against Volkswagen in the wake of the carmaker's emissions scandal. New York, Massachusetts and Maryland all filed lawsuits on Tuesday. New York's Attorney-General called the use of 'defeat devices' a 'widespread conspiracy' and a 'cunningly cynical fraud' committed by all levels of VW management. The company said the allegations were 'not new' and that the carmaker had been cooperating with US authorities. 'It is regrettable that some states have decided to sue for environmental claims now, notwithstanding their prior support of this ongoing federal-state collaborative process,' VW said." (07/19/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36837951  

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OH: University pulls out of hosting presidential debate over safety concerns

July 20, 2016
posted by

The Hill The Hill    

"A university in Ohio is withdrawing as the host of the first presidential debate of the general election season over safety concerns, according to Dayton Daily News. Wright State University President David Hopkins said that fears in the wake of recent terrorist attacks and the rising cost of security prompted the school to drop out from hosting the Sept. 26 debate. 'I can't assure the safety of our students and the community,' Hopkins said. Hopkins noted that the local community and state weren't able to raise the funds to cover the $8 million needed to put on the debate." (07/19/16)

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/288356-university-pulls-out-of-hosting-presidential-debate-over  

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Study: States with medical cannabis see decline in employee sick leave

July 20, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"While the misconception remains that stoners are lazy and unmotivated, a new study shows that marijuana may keep people on the job both healthy and productive. In a July study published early online for the journal Health Economics, researchers found statistically significant declines in employee sick leave in states that allow safe and legal access to medical cannabis, reports Marijuana.com. According to the numbers provided in the report, businesses in medical marijuana states reported an 8 to 15 percent drop in employee absences related to illness compared to states that still prohibit medical cannabis." (07/19/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/07/19/states-with-medical-marijuana-see-decline-in-employee-sick-leave-study-finds  

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Queen takes issue with Trump’s use of “We Are The Champions”

July 20, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"The hits just keep on coming from the Melania Trump speech last night. Prior to her address, her husband, Donald Trump, dramatically strode on stage to introduce her with Queen's We Are the Champions booming through Quicken Loans Arena. The song played again as Trump re-joined his wife on stage after the speech, which hours later would be consumed in controversy over charges a section of it was plagiarized from Michelle Obama's 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention. Queen may or may not take issue with the speech itself, but the British rock band made clear their feelings about the use of their anthem. 'An unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes,' the band succinctly said on Twitter on Tuesday morning." (07/19/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/07/19/queen-melania-donald-trump-we-are-the-champions/87284780  

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US Fish and Wildlife Service removes lesser prairie chicken from endangered list

July 20, 2016
posted by

Midland Reporter-Telegram    

"Pursuant to court rulings by Judge Robert Junell of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has removed the lesser prairie chicken from its list of endangered or threatened wildlife. Junell's ruling in September in a lawsuit brought by the Permian Basin Petroleum Association and several New Mexico counties overturned the bird's listing as 'threatened.' He upheld that ruling on Feb. 29. Lesli Gray, public affairs specialist with the service, said that removing the chicken from the listing does not constitute action 'on our part' regarding the biological determination of whether or not the species merits listing as an endangered or threatened species." (07/19/16)

http://www.mrt.com/news/state_and_national/article_897f839a-4e07-11e6-8ad7-bb98f4600ff9.html  

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IOC delays decision on banning Russia from Rio Olympics

July 19, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Russia's participation in the Rio Olympics remained in jeopardy on Tuesday after the International Olympic Committee said it would 'explore legal options' for banning the country from the Games. At an emergency IOC Executive Board meeting in Switzerland, a day after an independent report detailed a systematic, state-run doping program in Russia, members fell short of an immediate ban but announced a series of other measures. A five-man disciplinary commission was set up to start proceedings against Russian officials mentioned in the report, which described extensive doping and cover-ups at the Sochi Winter Olympics hosted by Russia in 2014. The IOC also said it would not organize or give patronage to any sports event in Russia, including the planned 2019 European Games, and that no member of the Russian Sports Ministry implicated in the report would be accredited for Rio." (07/19/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-sport-doping-olympics-idUSKCN0ZZ1XB  

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Watchdog: HUD’s Castro violated federal law by touting Clinton in interview

July 19, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Housing Secretary and potential Democratic vice-presidential prospect Julian Castro violated federal law when he touted Hillary Clinton's candidacy in a media interview earlier this year, according to a federal watchdog report released Monday. The seven-page report by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel concluded Castro violated the Hatch Act, which bars most Executive Branch officials from expressing their political views while on official business. According to the report, he crossed the line during an April 4 interview that mostly was about HUD’s plans to increase Internet access to children and other agency-related issues. Castro, though, responded to a question during the Yahoo News interview about Clinton’s presidential bid." (07/19/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/07/19/watchdog-huds-castro-violated-federal-law-by-touting-clinton-in-interview.html  

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OH: College pulls out of US presidential debate

July 19, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Wright State University in Ohio said on Tuesday it had decided not to host the first U.S. presidential debate scheduled for Sept. 26, citing mounting costs and security concerns, and the event will now be held at Hofstra University in New York. 'This is a very difficult decision,' Wright State President David Hopkins said in a statement on the Beavercreek, Ohio, college’s website. 'But there has been a growing crescendo of concern about what it would take to guarantee the safety and security of the campus and the community. The expense would be daunting.' The Committee on Presidential Debates said in a statement that the debate would now be held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, which held a presidential debate in 2012 and agreed to serve as an alternate site this year." (07/19/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/07/ohio-college-pulls-out-of-us-presidential-debate-citing-security  

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Trump campaign denies Melania’s speech plagiarizes parts of Michelle Obama’s

July 19, 2016
posted by

CNN CNN    

"The Donald Trump campaign on Tuesday denied allegations that Melania Trump plagiarized a Michelle Obama speech on the first night of the Republican National Convention, calling the accusation 'just really absurd.' 'To think that she would do something like that knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night is just really absurd,' Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort told CNN's Chris Cuomo on 'New Day.' At least one passage in Trump's speech Monday night plagiarized from Obama's address to the Democratic National Convention in 2008. Side-by-side comparisons of the transcripts show the text in Trump's address following, nearly to the word, the would-be future first lady's own from the first night of the Democratic convention in Denver nearly eight years ago." (07/19/16)

http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/19/politics/melania-trump-michelle-obama-speech/  

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VA: High court to hear Republican anti-voter lawsuit

July 19, 2016
posted by

WHTC 1450 AM    

"In a case that could have an impact on the November presidential election, the Virginia Supreme Court will hear a Republican lawsuit on Tuesday challenging the restoration of voting rights of 206,000 felons by Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe. If upheld, McAuliffe's order could help tip Virginia, a swing state where the vote is traditionally close in presidential elections, in favor of Democratic White House candidate Hillary Clinton. ... The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, led by leaders of the Republican-controlled state legislature, contend that McAuliffe's April 22 order is unconstitutional since it is a blanket restoration of voting rights to felons."

http://whtc.com/news/articles/2016/jul/19/virginia-high-court-to-hear-republican-lawsuit-over-voting-rights/  

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Rancor reigns as bitterly divided Republicans begin national convention

July 19, 2016
posted by

New York Times    

"Rancor and hard-edged attacks dominated the start of the Republican National Convention on Monday as speakers branded Hillary Clinton as a liar who deserved to be in prison and two African-American Republicans ridiculed the Black Lives Matter movement. The divisive day even swept up the presumptive nominee, Donald J. Trump. Renegade delegates forced a floor fight in an effort to embarrass him, and his top aide called Ohio's governor 'petulant' for not endorsing Mr. Trump." (07/18/16)

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/19/us/politics/republican-convention-donald-trump.html  

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Obama administration asks SCOTUS to rehear immigration case

July 19, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"In a last-ditch effort to revive a White House plan to protect up to 4 million immigrants from deportation, the Obama administration on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rehear a case on which the eight-member court was split 4-4 last month. The June 23 high court decision left in place a lower court ruling that blocked the plan, which has never been in effect. The court is currently one justice short following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. In a filing, the Justice Department asked the court to take a second look at the case once it has a full complement of nine justices." (07/18/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-immigration-idUSKCN0ZY2LG  

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SC: Good Samaritan stops armed robbery … by throwing her car keys

July 19, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A sharp eye and a sense that something was very, very wrong led a Good Samaritan in South Carolina to save another woman from a potentially more terrible fate than she had already been enduring. This witness to a crime in progress in Rock Hill, South Carolina, used her car keys, of all things, to interrupt an armed robbery, a potential kidnapping and perhaps more. In so doing, she ended up saving another woman's life. Judging by her smart, swift actions, she would do it all over again if she had to." [editor's note: I have to say, she was lucky he was this inept - SAT] (07/18/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/07/18/good-samaritan-stops-armed-robbery-with-her-car-keys.html  

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