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Saturday, Jul 04th

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Philadelphia block party shooting leaves 10 wounded, including three children

Phladelphia shootingPolice say a shooting at a block party on Philadelphia's west side wounded up to 10 people, including a toddler and two other children.

An altercation at the party ended when someone fired a shotgun twice at about 10 p.m. on Saturday. Police believe the suspect then drove down the street and fired a handgun several times.

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Same-sex ruling will trigger next round of fights

same sex ruling problemsA U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriages in Michigan and across the nation will have sweeping ramifications for gays and lesbians, giving those who marry many rights that opposite-sex couples have, including tax benefits, hospital visitations, joint adoptions and more.

It won't be a complete victory, however.

Even if the court rules, as many expect this month, to overturn same-sex marriage bans in Michigan and three other states — and by extension in the rest of the country — it won't settle every legal question faced by same-sex couples. Much will fall to the states themselves to sort out.

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Charleston shooting: Emanuel AME church reopens for first service

Charleston church reopensThe South Carolina church where nine people died in a gun attack by an alleged white supremacist less than a week ago reopened to worshippers on Sunday.

Worshippers attended the first service at Charleston’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church since Wednesday, when Dylann Roof, 21, is alleged to have pulled a gun on members of a Bible study group. The church pastor, the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, a state senator, was among the nine people who were killed.

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Texas decriminalizing students' truancy

Texas decriminalizes truancyA long-standing Texas law that has sent about 100,000 students a year to adult criminal court for missing school is off the books, though a Justice Department investigation into one county's truancy courts continues.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday signed into law a measure to decriminalize unexcused absences and require school districts to implement preventive measures, The Texas Tribune newspaper reported. The new law will take effect Sept. 1.

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Texas abortion law teed up for Supreme Court review

Abortion law teed up for SC reviewAbortion is back before the Supreme Court, and the justices could signal by the end of June whether they are likely to take up the biggest case on the hot-button subject in nearly a quarter-century.

If the court steps in, the hearing and the eventual ruling would come amid the 2016 presidential campaign.

The court is considering an emergency appeal from abortion providers in Texas, who want the justices to block two provisions of a state law that already has forced the closure of roughly half the licensed abortion clinics in the state. Ten of the remaining 19 clinics will have to shut their doors by July 1, without an order from the Supreme Court.

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Charleston shooting: Confederate flag at heart of growing political storm

Confederate flagPressure is mounting on South Carolina to pull down the Confederate flag that continues to fly on the grounds of the state capitol, after a Republican legislator announced plans to introduce a bill to remove the divisive symbol that has inflamed feelings in the wake of the Charleston church shootings.

Norman “Doug” Brannon, a white legislator, said on MSNBC that he wanted to introduce the bill because of the death of his friend Clementa Pinckney, a reverend and state senator who was pastor of the Emanuel AME church and one of nine worshippers gunned down there on Wednesday night.

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Red-light camera CEO pleads guilty to bribing officials

bribery admission by redflex CEOThe former CEO of a company that sells and operates red-light cameras told a judge she bribed officials in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, to secure and maintain contracts with the cities.

Karen Finley, 55, of Cave Creek, Ariz., pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Ohio to conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, and honest services wire and mail fraud.

Between 2005 and 2013, Finley was CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems, a company that sets up cameras at intersections that snap photos of vehicles running red lights.

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