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Friday, Oct 24th

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Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down Voter ID Law

Voter IDArkansas' highest court on Wednesday struck down a state law that requires voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot, ruling the requirement unconstitutional just days before early voting begins for the Nov. 4 election.

In a decision that could have major implications in the state's election, the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that determined the law unconstitutionally added a requirement for voting.

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Court tosses Arizona's no-bail law for immigrants

Russell PearceAn appeals court on Wednesday struck down a voter-approved Arizona law that denies bail to immigrants who are in the country illegally and have been charged with a range of felonies that include shoplifting, aggravated identity theft, sexual assault and murder.

An 11-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the law violates due-process rights by imposing punishment before trial. The court also said the law was a "scattershot attempt" at confronting people who flee from authorities and that there was no evidence the law dealt with a particularly critical problem.

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Toyota recalls 1.67 million Toyota, Lexus cars

Toyota recallJapan's Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Wednesday it would recall a total 1.67 million vehicles globally in a voluntary move to address three separate defects including a faulty brake master cylinder that could hinder the brake's performance.

Toyota said in an email it was not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths resulting from the defects. Some 1.05 million vehicles will be recalled in Japan and 615,000 overseas, covering Toyota models Crown Majesta, Crown, Noah, Voxy, Corolla Rumion and Auris, as well as more than a dozen Lexus models.

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NYC prosecutor: Nix convictions in '85 killing

David McCallum They were 16 when they confessed to kidnapping and killing a stranger and taking a joyride in his car. They quickly recanted but were convicted of murder.

Now, almost 30 years later, Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson plans to ask a judge Wednesday to throw out the convictions of David McCallum and the late Willie Stuckey, saying their convictions hinged on made-up confessions peppered with details seemingly supplied by police. Their cause was championed by one of the nation's most famous exonerees, former prizefighter Rubin "Hurricane" Carter.

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Transgender military personnel openly serving in 18 countries to convene in DC

transgender militarTransgender military personnel from 18 countries who allow them to serve openly will gather in the U.S. to talk about their experiences -- and discuss whether the U.S. military could join them.

The American Civil Liberties Union will co-host what it says is the first gathering of transgender military personnel on U.S. soil. The troops will convene to share lessons learned and best practices for open and inclusive military service, said the ACLU, which is co-hosting Monday’s event with The Palm Center.

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Second Texas healthcare worker with Ebola had traveled by plane

ebolaA second Texas healthcare worker who tested positive for Ebola after caring for a patient with the virus had traveled by plane a day before she reported symptoms, U.S. and airline officials said on Wednesday.

The worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas had taken a Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas-Fort Worth on Oct. 13, the officials said.

She was isolated immediately after reporting a fever on Tuesday, officials of the Texas Department of State Health Services said. The health worker had treated Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of Ebola and was the first patient diagnosed with the virus in the United States.

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A Murder Mystery at Guantanamo Bay

GitmoThere’s more of a mystery to how three Guantanamo detainees died on June 10, 2006, than I realized when I described their deaths as suicides in a recent article about force-feeding methods at the notorious US prison. Some very experienced investigators who have examined the evidence suspect the three were victims of homicides amid the torture regime employed by President George W. Bush’s underlings.

Scott Horton, whose upcoming book Lords of Secrecy contains new insights into the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Tenet go-ahead on torture and other abuses, has supplied me with additional detail highly suggestive of foul play by CIA interrogators.

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Toronto hospital implants Canada’s first “bionic eye”

bionic eyeWhen 76-year-old Ian Nichols’ grandchildren were born over the last 20 years, he loved holding them in his arms, but a vision impairment prevented him from seeing them as they grew.

That has changed. Nichols is one of two patients to have recently undergone once unimaginable “bionic eye” surgery at Toronto Western Hospital, the first time the procedure was performed in Canada.

The Beach resident has been blind for roughly 20 years since developing retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye condition. During the three-hour surgery, his eye was cut open, a microchip was inserted and the incision closed with 20 tiny stitches.

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Hong Kong Police Dismantle Protesters’ New Blockade

Hong Kong protestsScores of Hong Kong police officers moved in on pro-democracy protesters who blockaded a road near the city government’s headquarters early this morning, using pepper spray and taking away some demonstrators.

The clashes are the most serious since the police used tear gas two weeks ago as they tried to disperse crowds that are occupying key roads in the city. A group of more than 100 demonstrators had seized the Lung Wo Road underpass yesterday evening, initially forcing outnumbered police to retreat.

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