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Thursday, Jul 31st

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Federal judge: Michigan's presidential primary law unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds agreed with the American Civil Liberties Union, arguing on behalf of several small political parties, that the law's provision giving the list of voters' partisan preference only to the Democratic and Republican parties violated the rights of other parties.

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Spy-in-the-sky drone sets sights on Miami

Miami police could soon be the first in the United States to use cutting-edge, spy-in-the-sky technology to beef up their fight against crime.

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CLICKING ON THE WRONG WEB SITE IS NOW A FEDERAL CRIME

The FBI has recently adopted a novel investigative technique: posting hyperlinks that purport to be illegal videos of minors having sex, and then raiding the homes of anyone willing to click on them.

Undercover FBI agents used this hyperlink-enticement technique, which directed Internet users to a clandestine government server, to stage armed raids of homes in Pennsylvania, New York, and Nevada last year. The supposed video files actually were gibberish and contained no illegal images.

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US legal system 'worse than Russia'

A survey of 180 in-house counsel working in five European countries identified the US as the jurisdiction they were keenest to avoid, with 29 per cent naming it the country they were most concerned about facing a major dispute in.

The US attracted almost twice as many votes as Russia and China. Despite fears of political interference and corruption in their legal processes, both were named by just 16 per cent of in-house counsel as their most feared jurisdiction.

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FBI provided flawed data for terrorism watch list, audit says

A Justice Department study says inaccurate and outdated information resulted in innocent people being kept on the list while real threats were not added in a timely fashion.

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Ohio's voting machines are now an official crime scene

At least 15 touch-screen voting machines that produced improbable numbers in Ohio's 2006 statewide election are now under double-lock in an official crime scene. And the phony "Homeland Security Alert" used by Republicans to build up George W. Bush's 2004 vote count in a key southwestern Ohio county has come under new scrutiny.

The touch-screen machines were locked up after Ohio's new Democratic Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, tried to vote last fall. On November 6, she spotted a gray bar with the words "candidate withdrawn" in a slot where the name of Democrat Jay Perez should have appeared. Her husband, voting nearby, told her Perez's name did appear, as it was supposed to, on his machine.

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President weakens espionage oversight

Almost 32 years to the day after President Ford created an independent Intelligence Oversight Board made up of private citizens with top-level clearances to ferret out illegal spying activities, President Bush issued an executive order that stripped the board of much of its authority.
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The White House did not say why it was necessary to change the rules governing the board when it issued Bush's order late last month. But critics say Bush's order is consistent with a pattern of steps by the administration that have systematically scaled back Watergate-era intelligence reforms.

"It's quite clear that the Bush administration officials who were around in the 1970s are settling old scores now," said Tim Sparapani, senior legislative counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union. "Here they are even preventing oversight within the executive branch. They have closed the books on the post-Watergate era."

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