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Tuesday, Jul 26th

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Three crew members missing, one injured after two freight trains collide in Texas near Panhandle

Trains collide in Texas panhandleAt least one person was injured and three crew members are missing after freight trains collided in Texas on Tuesday morning, causing officials to evacuate the area.

The accident occurred near the town of Panhandle, about 25 miles northeast of Amarillo. The collision at about 8:40 a.m. involved two BNSF freight trains, with each train carrying two crew members.

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Judge Rules Mississippi Clerks Can’t Use Religious Beliefs To Deny Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Same sex marriageA federal judge on Monday ruled that clerks in Mississippi may not recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples based on religious beliefs, despite a bill passed by the state legislature intended to carve out that exception for them.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves said that the recusals on religious grounds granted by the state’s so-called “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act”, or House Bill 1523, violated the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 ruling legalizing gay marriage.

The Supreme Court’s decision is commonly referred to as the “Obergefell” case after lead plaintiff James Obergefell.

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Supreme Court spurns abortion restrictions in two more states

SCOTUS thwarts abortion restrictions in two more statesReverberations from the U.S. Supreme Court's major ruling backing abortion rights were felt on Tuesday as the justices rejected bids by Mississippi and Wisconsin to revive restrictions on abortion doctors matching those struck down in Texas on Monday.

The laws in Mississippi and Wisconsin required doctors to have "admitting privileges," a type of difficult-to-obtain formal affiliation, with a hospital within 30 miles (48 km) of the abortion clinic. Both were put on hold by lower courts.

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Supreme Court strikes down Texas abortion clinic regulations

Texas abotyion law overturned by SCOTUSThe Supreme Court has struck down Texas' widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics in the court's biggest abortion case in nearly a quarter century.

The justices voted 5-3 Monday in favor of Texas clinics that protested the regulations as a thinly veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get an abortion in the nation's second-most populous state.

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U.S. Supreme Court Backs Gun Curbs in Domestic-Violence Cases

SCOTUS upholds gun ban on domestic abusersThe Supreme Court ruled in a decision announced Monday that a reckless domestic assault qualifies as a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, and therefore bars individuals from owning or buying guns under federal law.

“A person who assaults another recklessly ‘use[s]’ force, no less than one who carries out that same action knowingly or intentionally,” wrote Justice Elena Kagan, who authored the majority opinion. She was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Samuel Alito.

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Justices overturn former Va. governor McDonnell's corruption conviction

SCOTUS overturns McDonnell convictionThe Supreme Court granted a reprieve Monday to a former Republican governor of Virginia convicted of corruption, and in doing so made it harder for prosecutors to use federal fraud statutes against public officials.

In a sweeping decision that could have an impact on politicians and prosecutors who tangle over bribery, extortion and fraud statutes, the justices unanimously sided with former governor Bob McDonnell. Once seen as a potential Republican vice presidential candidate, McDonnell was convicted in 2014 and sentenced to two years in prison for accepting luxury gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman in exchange for government favors.

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Highlights From New York’s Gay Pride Parade

Gay Pride ParadeHillary Clinton joined New York City's annual gay pride parade Sunday afternoon, making a surprise appearance alongside Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Rev. Al Sharpton.

Clinton joined revelers near the Stonewall Inn, the site where the modern gay rights movement took root. It was recently declared national monument.

The campaign's supporters were out in full force with the presumptive Democratic nominee during the parade, which fell this year on the first anniversary of a landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

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