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Monday, May 30th

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Texas board of education vote is critical for conservatives – and US schools

Texas school board electionThe question of how extreme is too extreme for Texas Republican voters may be answered on Tuesday evening, when voters are expected to favor a woman who believes that Barack Obama was a drug-addicted male prostitute, in an election that could put her on the brink of one of the most influential positions in the state’s education system.

Even amid the roiling rhetoric and outrageous claims that have infected American politics in recent months, Mary Lou Bruner has provided some standout soundbites that have surfaced during her bid to win her district’s Republican nomination for a place on the Texas state board of education.

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Appeals court throws out Bank of America $1.27 billion penalty

BOA fine thrown outA U.S. appeals court today threw out a $1.27 billion penalty levied against Bank of America in connection with shoddy mortgages sold by the former subprime giant Countrywide.

The loans in question were offered through Countrywide’s “hustle” program in 2007 and sold to now government-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac even though executives knew the mortgages did not meet certain quality standards.

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Supreme Court gives black death-row inmate new life

Timothy FosterThe Supreme Court Monday took a major step towards overturning a Georgia murder convict's death sentence by ruling that prosecutors impermissibly allowed racial considerations to taint the jury selection process.

The shorthanded court ruled, 7-1, in favor of Timothy Foster, who was convicted of murder after a trial in 1987. The only dissenter was Justice Clarence Thomas.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who has been broadly critical of the high court's jurisprudence on race, wrote the majority opinion holding that Prosecutors "were motivated in substantial part by race" when deciding whom to strike from the jury panel in advance of the trial.

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U.S. justices rule against Virginia Republicans in black voters case

SCOTUSThe Supreme Court on Monday left in place a lower court's ruling that Virginia's Republican-led legislature unlawfully considered race when drawing U.S. congressional districts by packing black voters into one of them in a move opponents said diluted black electoral clout.

The court ruled 8-0 against current and former Republican U.S. House of Representatives members who had challenged a June 2015 lower court ruling that threw out the district. The justices found that the Republican lawmakers did not have legal standing to bring the case.

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Baltimore officer acquitted of assault, other charges in arrest of Freddie Gray

Freddy Gray cop acquittedA Baltimore officer was acquitted Monday of assault and other charges in the arrest of Freddie Gray, dealing prosecutors a significant blow in their attempt to hold police accountable for the young black man's death from injuries he suffered in the back of a police van.

A judge also found Officer Edward Nero not guilty of reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. The assault charge carried a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and reckless endangerment carried a punishment of up to five years.

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Yale’s Renowned Global Justice Professor Is Accused Of Sexual Harassment

Yake orifessir Thomas PoggeA former Yale student has struggled for years to get the government to investigate her claims that a professor harassed her and that the school mishandled the case.

A federal complaint filed against Yale University claims the Ivy League school violated the gender equity law Title IX multiple times between 2010 and 2015 by mishandling reports that one of its well-known professors, Thomas Pogge, harassed students.

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Corrupt in its roots’: as Oakland police scandals pile up, residents not surprised

Richard PerkinsOlga Cortez was getting out of the shower and preparing for bed when she heard a loud banging outside. It was 9.30pm on 7 December, and the Oakland, California, mother saw a man she did not recognize furiously pounding on her front door.

“Open the fucking door,” he screamed, according to Cortez’s account. “Let me in!”

When her husband Nemesio cracked open the door to ask him to leave, the man, who smelled strongly of alcohol, allegedly kicked him in the stomach and grabbed Olga, who was wearing a bathrobe and fell to the ground – exposing her body. Another man came running out of their backyard and appeared to point a gun at the wife.

Their daughters, ages 11 and 13, stood in the doorway crying.

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