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Wednesday, May 27th

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Nebraska senators override governor's veto, repeal death penalty

Nebraska senate overrides vetoNebraska has repealed the death penalty following a dramatic vote Wednesday by state lawmakers to override the governor’s veto.
The high-stakes vote to override the veto of Legislative Bill 268 was 30-19. It requires at least 30 of 49 senators to overturn a gubernatorial veto.

The outcome represented a defeat for first-term Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, who made an all-out effort to peel away some of 18 conservative senators who helped pass the repeal bill. Earlier in the session, lawmakers overrode the governor’s veto of a bill that raises the state gas tax.

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Black Mothers Judged Unfit at Higher Rate than White Mothers in NJ

Black childrenJameelah lost custody of her newborn son in the delivery room after she tested positive for marijuana. The baby was returned four days later after the state determined he wasn’t in imminent risk of harm — that’s the standard the state is supposed to prove in order to place a child in foster care.

That intervention landed Jameelah in rehab, which she must attend three days a week in order to maintain custody of her son. The mom of six from Newark thinks the state is too quick to remove children from black parents.

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Here’s how much corporations paid US senators to fast-track the TPP bill

Corporate money to Senate for fast tracking TPPA decade in the making, the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is reaching its climax and as Congress hotly debates the biggest trade deal in a generation, its backers have turned on the cash spigot in the hopes of getting it passed.

“We’re very much in the endgame,” US trade representative Michael Froman told reporters over the weekend at a meeting of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum on the resort island of Boracay. His comments came days after TPP passed another crucial vote in the Senate.

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Chelsea Manning reveals threats of 'disappearing' at Guantánamo Bay

Chelsea ManningThe American soldier Chelsea Manning has accused US military guards of threatening her with exile to Guantánamo Bay without trial or acknowledgment of her gender transition after she was apprehended as the source of one of the largest leaks of state secrets in history.

Writing in the Guardian from prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where she is serving a 35-year sentence, Manning marked the fifth anniversary of her military custody on Wednesday with the most personal first-hand account she has yet given of the “physical and emotional rollercoaster” of a whistleblower behind bars.

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US military accidentally shipped live Anthrax to nine labs

anthraxThe US military accidentally sent live Anthrax samples to as many as nine labs across the country.  There were no public threats from the mishap, a defence official said on Wednesday.

A US Defense Department laboratory in Utah had "inadvertently" shipped the samples to commercial labs.

Government health authorities are testing the samples. All Anthrax samples are believed to be secured, and there are no known exposures.

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Ford recalls more than 440,000 cars

Ford recallFord issued two big recalls Wednesday, one for power-steering problems on many of its recent-model sedans and crossovers, and the other to fix a heat-shielding issue on the new Ford Mustang.

The first recall involves 422,814 sedans and crossovers to fix faulty power steering that has resulted in four accidents, but no injuries.

The automaker says that there could be an electrical glitch in the steering gear that could result in loss of the electric power steering. If the power steering cuts out, the steering wheel is much harder to turn.

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Texas dam on verge of collapse

Texas dam on brink of collapseA Texas dam thought to be teetering on the brink of collapse as a result of non-stop rain, will last another day, according to a law enforcement official.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture warned local police shortly after midnight Wednesday the earthen dam at Padera Lake, in northeast Texas, was on the verge of failure. City engineers reassessed the situation later in the morning and found it was more stable than originally thought.

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Letter to Obama discussed at Post reporter's trial in Iran

Iran trialA letter a detained Washington Post journalist wrote to U.S. President Barack Obama has become a major topic of his espionage trial in Iran.  Jason Rezaian, the Post's 39-year-old bureau chief in Tehran, had his first hearing Tuesday.

At the hearing, Iran's semiofficial Mehr news agency reports that the letter Rezaian wrote was read aloud in Farsi.

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Bernie Sanders officially launches Democratic presidential campaign

Bernie sandersVermont Sen. Bernie Sanders kicked off his long-shot presidential campaign Tuesday with a pitch to progressives in the Democratic Party and others who want change from a “rigged economy” that favors the rich.

Sanders vowed to make income inequality, campaign finance reform and climate change mitigation his leading issues as he takes on Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

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