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Friday, Dec 19th

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A Landmark Retail Workers 'Bill of Rights' Passes Unanimously In San Francisco

retail workers bill of rightsAmid growing concern over erratic work schedules, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday passed a first-of-its-kind law aimed at securing more stable hours for retail workers.

Dubbed "the retail workers bill of rights," the law, which passed the 11-member, all-Democratic board unanimously, requires the city's large chain retailers to post workers' schedules at least two weeks ahead of time. Workers will be owed supplemental pay if unexpected changes are made to their schedules, or if they're required to be "on call" and their shifts are suddenly canceled.

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Justice Ginsburg Has Heart Surgery

Justic GinsbergSupreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a heart stent implanted Wednesday to clear a blocked coronary artery, court officials said.

The 81-year-old justice had the procedure at MedStar Washington Hospital Center after the blockage to her right coronary artery was discovered, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

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Arkansas, Mississippi gay marriage bans overturned

arkansas, mississippi gay marriage ban overturnedArkansas and Mississippi became the latest two states Tuesday to have their gay marriage bans overturned by federal judges, but there are no rushes to the altar as both orders are on hold so the states can consider appeals.

Like several states, Arkansas and Mississippi had voter-approved constitutional amendments pass in 2004 that defined marriage between one man and one woman.

In Arkansas, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker ruled in favor of two same-sex couples who had challenged the amendment. They argued the ban violated the U.S. Constitution and discriminated based on sexual orientation.

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Prosecutor faces new criticism over Ferguson case

Robert McCullochHe criticized the media. He talked about witness testimony that didn't match physical evidence. And he did it at night, as a city already on edge waited to learn if a grand jury would indict a white Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch — whose impartiality has been questioned since soon after Michael Brown was killed by Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9 — has come under renewed scrutiny since he appeared before television cameras to announce that the grand jury would not indict Wilson. A defensive McCulloch repeatedly cited what he said were inconsistencies and erroneous witness accounts. He never mentioned that Brown was unarmed.

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Washington DC Theater J Cancels Middle East Festival, Prompting Censorship Debate

J TheaterThe Jewish theater company in the nation’s capital is struggling to find its footing in the face of increasing efforts by donors and funders to steer it away from dealing with controversies related to Israel.

Theater J, a nationally acclaimed group under the auspices of the Washington DC Jewish Community Center, has canceled its annual Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival. The theatrical festival, which in the past has included works critical of Israeli policy, was asked to accept a rigorous vetting process of artists this year to limit that criticism.

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Ferguson businesses torched in overnight protests

Ferguson eruptsSmoke billowed from burned-out buildings and sidewalks were strewn with broken glass Tuesday morning after Ferguson erupted over a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer in the killing of unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Firefighters were dousing the blackened remains of some businesses and at least one was still ablaze. Some Ferguson stores that weren't burned had smashed display windows, but the streets of the St. Louis suburb were mostly clear.

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Prosecutor: No indictment in Ferguson case

No indictment in FergusonA white police officer will not face charges for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager in a case that set off violent protests and racial unrest throughout the nation, an attorney close to the case said Monday night.

A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson, 28, for firing six shots in an August confrontation that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the family. The decision had been long awaited and followed rioting that resembled war-zone news footage in this predominantly black suburb of St. Louis.

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