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Ferguson elects two African-Americans to City Council

Ferguson electionTwo black candidates were elected to the Ferguson City Council on Tuesday, increasing African-American representation in the St. Louis suburb where poor race relations have been a focal point since the August shooting death of an 18-year-old black man by a white police officer.

The election means that half of the six-member City Council in Ferguson, a town where two-thirds of the 21,000 residents are black, will now be African-American. The lone black incumbent councilman was not up for re-election. The mayor, who has the authority to cast tie-breaking votes, is white.


Russian Hackers Have Been in White House System for Months, Officials Say

hackers hit white houseRussian hackers penetrated the White House non-public, non-classified computer system for several months last year, forcing the White House to shut down the system for several days, U.S. officials said.

The hacked system is not used for classified information, but is used by the White House advance and press office, the general counsel’s office, and officials in the budget and legislative liaison offices.

One person briefed on the hacking said the Russian invaders were difficult to detect and difficult to remove from the White House computer network, and some believe the hackers could still be hiding inside the system tonight.


South Carolina officer charged with murder after shooting man in the back

Scott murder charge against copA white police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, has been charged with murder over the fatal shooting on Saturday of a 50-year-old black man, Walter Scott, marking a remarkably swift move for justice in a fatal police incident.

North Charleston police chief Eddie Driggers said officer Michael Slager, 33 had been arrested and charged with murder.

Footage of the shooting, which occurred around 9.30am after Scott was pulled over for a traffic violation, reportedly shows Slager firing eight times at Scott, who is running away.


Edward Snowden bust on Brooklyn park war memorial replaced with hologram image

Snowden Snowden still stands.

Hours after an illegal bust of NSA leaker Edward Snowden was erected, and removed, Monday from a Brooklyn war monument, another group of activists replaced the sculpture with a hologram.

Members of The Illuminator collective created an image of the bust and shined it on top of a pillar at the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene park — the same place an unidentified group had earlier placed a four-foot tall, 100-pound bust of the 31-year-old Snowden.


Appeals court upholds dismissal of Barack Obama immigration action lawsuit

Obama immigration lawsuitA federal appeals court’s ruling Tuesday upholding the dismissal of a lawsuit over President Barack Obama’s first major executive action to aid illegal immigrants could help the Obama administration fight a more significant suit that has resulted in Obama’s second wave of immigration orders being halted nationwide.

A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that several immigration agents and the state of Mississippi lacked legal standing to sue over Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program because evidence that the agents or the state would be harmed by the effort was too speculative.


Official: Power-plant blast responsible for DC power outages

power outages dc areaThe White House, State Department, and Capitol were affected by widespread power outages reported across Washington and its suburbs Tuesday afternoon, and an official says they were caused by an explosion at a Maryland power plant.

D.C. Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management spokeswoman Robyn Johnson says about 8,000 customers in Washington were affected Tuesday afternoon.

Utility company Pepco says it's investigating. Spokesman Sean Kelly said he didn't have details about locations or how many customers were affected overall.


Texas Bill Would Name Judges Who Give Minors Permission to Have Abortions

texas teen abortion billIn 38 states, it is illegal for a minor to terminate a pregnancy without one parent's knowledge. (Some of those 38 states go further, and require a parent's permission.) Girls who are afraid or unable to involve their parents can ask a judge for permission instead.

This confidential process, which the Supreme Court helped establish in the late '70s and early '80s, is called judicial bypass.


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