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Sunday, Feb 18th

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Russell Simmons steps down from companies following new accusation from writer Jenny Lumet

Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons is stepping down from his various businesses after a new accusation of sexual misconduct against him, according to a statement he provided to The Hollywood Reporter Thursday.

The music mogul made the decision after new accuser, writer Jenny Lumet came forward in a guest column with the entertainment magazine accusing the Def Jam co-founder of forcing her to have sex in 1991.

Lument, the daughter of director Sidney Lumet and the screenwriter behind Rachel Getting Married,

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Mikayla Holmgren Blazes Trail As First State Miss USA Contestant With Down Syndrome

Minn. student with Down syndrome in Miss USA contest

Mikayla Holmgren made history Sunday night at the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, where she became the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in a state Miss USA pageant.

The 22-year-old Bethel University student from Stillwater, Minnesota, also won two awards: the Spirit of Miss USA Award and the Director’s Award.

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Kentucky Baptists threaten to kick out churches that think it's OK to hire 'practicing homosexuals'

Kentucky Baptists set to kick out churches that hire homosexuals

Southern Baptists have long opposed same-sex marriage and ordaining gay ministers, arguing that the Bible unequivocally rejects homosexuality as sinful and perverted.

The Louisville-based Kentucky Baptist Convention hasn't left that position to interpretation. The powerful Southern Baptist group, which has 2,400 churches and 750,000 members across the state, has ousted congregations that bless gay unions and welcome people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender as pastors and missionaries.

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Supreme Court Rejects Case Over Confederate Emblem On Mississippi Flag

SCOTUS rejects case over Confederate emblem on Mississippi flag

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up a case challenging the use of a Confederate emblem on the Mississippi state flag.

Carlos Moore, an African-American lawyer from Mississippi who petitioned the court, had argued in court documents that the flag, visible in state buildings, courts and schools, symbolically expresses support for white supremacy. The flag incorporates the Confederate battle flag in its upper left corner.

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Supreme Court refuses to take up Maryland's assault weapons ban

SCOTUS refuses to take up opposition to assault gun ban

The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear an appeal from gun owners and dealers in Maryland challenging the state’s ban on military-style rifles and detachable magazines.

The Maryland General Assembly enacted the ban in 2013 after a gunman killed 20 children and 6 adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit upheld the ban. That court said the weapons are excluded from Second Amendment protections because they are the kind of weapons most often used by the military.

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Massage Envy therapists accused of 180 sexual assaults

Massage Envy therapists accused of 180 sexual assaults

A chain of massage spas with almost 1,200 locations across the nation is facing hundreds of sexual assault complaints amid concerns that it ignored or mishandled the allegations.

At least 180 people have filed sexual assault civil suits, police reports or complaints to state boards against Massage Envy, its franchises and their employees, according to a Buzzfeed News investigation.

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Federal court overturns Texas ban on abortion procedure

Pro choice advocates win one in TexasA federal judge on Wednesday overturned Texas’ ban of a common second trimester abortion procedure, setting back the state's latest effort to limit abortion.

U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel said that the ban on “dilation and evacuation” abortions, approved by the Texas Legislature in May, would force women seeking second trimester abortions to resort to riskier, invasive alternatives.

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