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Saturday, Jul 20th

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Alec Baldwin 'Rust' case dismissed by judge over 'suppressed' evidence

Baldwin case dismissedThe judge in Alec Baldwin's "Rust" fatal shooting case has dismissed his involuntary manslaughter charge in the 2021 death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer on Friday afternoon dismissed the charge with prejudice, meaning prosecutors cannot refile the same claim. Baldwin cried as the judge read out her order, with wife Hilaria Baldwin, sister Elizabeth Keuchler and brother Stephen Baldwin leaning forward in their seats behind him.

The judge's order came during a motion hearing on the third day of the "30 Rock" actor's trial, after she dismissed the jury in an unusual move due to Baldwin's attorneys filing a motion to dismiss Thursday evening.

Baldwin's lawyers alleged in their filing that Santa Fe sheriffs and state prosecutors "concealed from Baldwin" evidence of the source of the bullet that killed Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.

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Bread and bullets: Some southern supermarkets now sell ammo out of vending machines

Ammo sold in vending machines

Adults in some U.S. states can now buy gun ammunition out of AI-powered vending machines right at their local grocery store.

The company that makes them argues it’s a safer way to sell ammo than online or off the shelf. But experts have raised concerns about increasing its availability in a country where gun violence is already widespread.

American Rounds LLC currently stocks its “automated ammo retail machines” in eight supermarkets across Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas (at least one was removed earlier this month from an Alabama location, per local news reports). They are launching another this week in Colorado and say many more are on the way.

“We had requests in Hawaii, requests in Alaska, from California to Florida and every state in between for the most part,” CEO Grant Magers told NPR. “We have currently about 200 grocery stores that we're working on fulfilling orders on machines for.”

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New Orleans accused of ‘running out the clock’ on retired priest’s rape charges

Accused priest

Key parts of New Orleans’s legal and religious establishments are “running out the clock” on rape and kidnapping charges pending against the admitted child molester and retired local priest Lawrence Hecker, an attorney for the case’s alleged victim said Thursday.

Richard Trahant delivered his comments after the clergyman, 92, received a sixth trial delay meant to help determine his mental competence.

“They’re … just hoping … that this old man’s gonna die [and] their troubles are gonna be over,” Trahant said outside the state courthouse handling Hecker’s case. “What the system is doing here … is putting this off.”

Earlier, a court-appointed psychiatrist, Sarah Deland, had said during a hearing that she could not issue an opinion on Hecker’s mental competence without him first undergoing an evaluation for dementia – a process that she estimated could take two months.

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Extreme heat in California: Hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, billions of dollars

124 degrees in Palm Springs, CA

A blistering California heat wave over the past week and through the Fourth of July holiday could be topped off by the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth. That kind of extreme heat has led to more deaths than wildfires and cost billions of dollars over a decade, according to the state insurance department.

Following through on a mandate from 2022,  a new report from the department looked at seven extreme heat events in the state from 2013 to 2022 and found they took the lives of several hundred Californians.

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Marshal shoots alleged carjacker near Justice Sotomayor's DC home

Justice SotomayorA deputy U.S. Marshal protecting Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor shot a teenager attempting to carjack the officer’s vehicle last week, according to court records and other reports.

The marshal was on duty with another officer in an unmarked vehicle when 18-year-old Kentrell Flowers allegedly approached the vehicle with a loaded firearm around 1:17 a.m. on July 5, according to a court filing.

The officers − both of whom were wearing shirts identify them as marshals − were protecting Sotomayor, who has a condo on the street where the shooting occurred, according to the Daily Mail, which first reported the connection.

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The Supreme Court curbed federal oversight of schools. It's a big deal.

AndreSCOTUS changin schools in USw Davis wanted protection after other students carved homophobic slurs into the door of his college dorm room.

Sydney Greenway hoped to avoid spending a week's grocery money on another textbook.

Tashiana Bryant-Myrick sought relief from the student debt hobbling her family's future.

For years, the U.S. Department of Education has been able to intervene to some degree in these scenarios. But a Supreme Court decision handed down just over a week ago reined in the agency's power to help everyday people. The news came as important deadlines loom for schools to implement key regulations, many of which now stand on shakier legal ground.

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Alec Baldwin goes on trial this week, nearly 3 years after fatal 'Rust' shooting

Alec Baldwin

Actor and producer Alec Baldwin goes to trial in New Mexico this week for involuntary manslaughter. In October 2021, while he was rehearsing a scene for the western film Rust, the gun he was holding went off, fatally shooting cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

The 66-year-old actor faces up to 18 months in prison if he’s convicted, but has pleaded not guilty. Since the shooting, he’s maintained his innocence, saying he was not responsible for the live bullet that was loaded into what was supposed to be a blank prop gun.

After the accident, Baldwin went on national television to walk through the events on set at Bonanza Creek Ranch. He told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he was handed the revolver and someone yelled “cold gun,” meaning the gun did not have live rounds.

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