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Wednesday, Nov 26th

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Washington may become model for gun measures

Gun law vote in Washington stateWashington voters decisively backed expanded background checks for guns, a victory for advocates of stricter gun laws who say they will use the momentum from this win to pursue similar measures in other states.

With the passage of Initiative 594, Washington joins six other states and the District of Columbia with laws that require universal background checks for all sales and transfers of firearms, though it is the first to pass such a law through a citizen-driven initiative on the ballot.

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Gay marriage bans in four states upheld on appeal

gay marraige ban upheld in four statesThe same-sex marriage movement lost its first major case in a federal appeals court Thursday after a lengthy string of victories, creating a split among the nation's circuit courts that virtually guarantees Supreme Court review.

The 2-1 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit reversed district court rulings that had struck down gay marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

More important, it gives Supreme Court justices an appellate ruling that runs counter to four others from the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th circuits. Those rulings struck down same-sex marriage bans in Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, Idaho and Nevada, leading to similar action in neighboring states.

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Razor Blades, Vodka, Heroin Easy to Smuggle Into NY's Rikers Island Prison: Probe

Riker's Island security breachContraband is so easy to get inside Rikers Island that just about any inmate with money can get their hands on drugs or weapons, a city Department of Investigation probe revealed.

DOI released its findings Thursday after a large-scale undercover investigation into the screening and security protocols at the city’s sprawling jail complex.

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Prosecutors plan to throw out 28 drug indictments

FBI crime labFederal prosecutors plan to dismiss charges against 28 defendants in drug cases because an FBI agent may have been involved in tampering with evidence including firearms and narcotics.

The FBI is in the process of investigating the alleged misconduct, according to court papers in the matter.

At a court hearing Thursday for four of the defendants, a federal judge said he will review the government's plan to dismiss the cases without prejudice, which leaves the door open for the government to refile charges at a later date.

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GM tells court it not liable for claims over pre-bankruptcy cars

GM 'not liable' for pre 2009 deathsGeneral Motors (GM.N) said in a court filing on Wednesday that it should not have to face lawsuits based on safety issues in cars made before its 2009 bankruptcy, including a faulty ignition switch that led to the recall of 2.6 million cars earlier this year.

The brief, filed in Manhattan bankruptcy court, lays out GM’s legal arguments and is the opening salvo in litigation from GM drivers who say the automaker should make them whole for losses related to recalls this year.

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36 more priests named in new Chicago Archdiocese abuse files

36 priests accused of abuseThe Chicago Archdiocese released the files on 36 more priests accused of sexually abusing children Thursday morning, adding to a list of 30 other priests identified in January.

Cardinal Francis George said the voluntary release of the internal files, coming just two weeks before his retirement, is part of an effort to rebuild trust with the community.

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Feeding the homeless in Florida: Act of charity or a crime?

feeding the homelessDespite being charged with violating a new law by feeding the homeless in South Florida, 90-year-old Arnold Abbott said he's not deterred and even went back out to serve more food at a public park.

The faceoff in Fort Lauderdale over the ordinance restricting public feeding of the homeless has pitted those with compassionate aims against residents and businesses trying to protect their neighborhoods.

Abbott, affectionately known as "Chef Arnold," and two South Florida ministers were charged last weekend as they handed out food. They were accused of breaking the ordinance and each faces up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

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