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Sunday, Nov 23rd

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Could You Be the Next Innocent American to Have Your Bank Account Seized by the Government?

IRA can seize your bank accountYou may be innocent, but that doesn’t mean a federal agent can’t grab your money and property at will — and keep it without any consequences.

The Internal Revenue Service is supposed to go after criminals who launder money or people who cheat on their taxes, but lately, agents have been going after ordinary Americans who have been accused of nothing, nada, zilch. Bewildered citizens are having their bank accounts seized and forking over thousands of dollars in legal fees to try to combat this gross violation of their rights — let’s just call it outright theft — often to no avail.

You could be next.

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'Born and raised' Texans forced to prove identities under new voter ID law

Texas ID lawEric Kennie is a Texan. He is as Texan as the yucca plants growing outside his house. So Texan that he has never, in his 45 years, travelled outside the state. In fact, he has never even left his native city of Austin. “No sir, not one day. I was born and raised here, only place I know is Austin.”

You might think that more than qualifies Kennie as a citizen of the Lone Star state, entitling him to its most basic rights such as the ability to vote. Not so, according to the state of Texas and its Republican political leadership. On 4 November, when America goes to the polls in the midterm elections, for the first time in his adult life Eric Kennie will not be allowed to participate.

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Sobering conditions at Narco Freedom’s three-quarter houses

Sobering conditions at drug free homesHenderson, a Harlem native who frequently wears a Yankees cap, arrives at the clinic by 8 a.m., where a single, faded blue sign by to the door reads, “NF We care.” It is one of 10 outpatient drug treatment centers in New York City run by the nonprofit Narco Freedom, which serves 6,000 people a year. Tax records show Narco Freedom received approximately $44 million in revenue in 2012, 83 percent of it from Medicaid.

Henderson lives in a three-quarter house — so called because it is a step between a halfway house and full independence — that’s also owned by Narco Freedom. The larger rooms house 12 men, divided among rows of bunk beds. Rent is $215 a month — standard among three-quarter houses in New York, since that’s what the city’s welfare agency, the Human Resources Administration, pays in temporary shelter assistance to landlords. (While Narco Freedom often applies directly to the HRA on behalf of tenants, Henderson says he pays the rent from his monthly $805 Social Security check.)

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Milwaukee family seeks charges in police shooting

Milwaukee family sues policeThe family of a black man shot 14 times by a white police officer in a Milwaukee park marks the spot where he died with red spray paint before starting a rally and marching through city streets.

"Shame on you. People of color are people, too," protesters chant while carrying signs declaring, "Black Lives Matter."

The rallies are one way Dontre Hamilton's family has kept his name in the news in the six months since his death. Smaller and more orderly than those in Ferguson, Missouri, the protests have not drawn national attention but have produced results. The man who shot Hamilton was fired, the first Milwaukee officer in decades to face such discipline in a fatal on-duty shooting.

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U.S. To Recognize Same-Sex Marriage In 6 New States

Same sex marriages recognized by USThe federal government is recognizing gay marriage in six more states and extending federal benefits to those couples, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Saturday.

Gay marriage recently became legal in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The government's announcement follows the U.S. Supreme Court's decision earlier this month to decline to hear appeals from five states that sought to keep their marriage bans in place. It brings the total number of states with federal recognition of gay marriage to 32, plus the District of Columbia.

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Florida Gov. Scott refuses to testify in records lawsuit

Rick ScottFlorida Gov. Rick Scott is holding firm against testifying in a bitter public records lawsuit.

A Tallahassee attorney asked Scott to appear Friday for a deposition. Steven Andrews wants information about private Google email accounts set up by the governor and two former aides. He maintains they were used by the Scott administration to sidestep the state's open records law.

Scott did not show up and was campaigning instead in South Florida.

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Gunman kills himself after opening fire on US high school

Gunman at high schoolA student opened fire at a school in Washington state on Friday. Police said the gunman was dead but provided no other details on casualties. Marysville-Pilchuck High School was on lockdown as officers evacuated the campus room by room.

A 17-year-old student told NBC News that her brother, a freshman, texted her that a student started shooting in the cafeteria about 10:30 a.m. PDT.

"I was in my classroom and someone pulled the fire alarm and we thought it was a fire drill and we ran out and they told us to go back in a classroom," said the student, Cindy Rodriguez. "We're scared."

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