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Tuesday, Jul 07th

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Obama Plans Broader Use of Clemency to Free Nonviolent Drug Offenders

Obama and clemency for drug usersSometime in the next few weeks, aides expect President Obama to issue orders freeing dozens of federal prisoners locked up on nonviolent drug offenses. With the stroke of his pen, he will probably commute more sentences at one time than any president has in nearly half a century.

The expansive use of his clemency power is part of a broader effort by Mr. Obama to correct what he sees as the excesses of the past, when politicians eager to be tough on crime threw away the key even for minor criminals. With many Republicans and Democrats now agreeing that the nation went too far, Mr. Obama holds the power to unlock that prison door, especially for young African-American and Hispanic men disproportionately affected.

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Ford recalls 432,000 North American vehicles over software bug

Ford recallsFord Motor Company on Thursday announced the recall of more than 430,000 vehicles in North America due to a bug in a software module that, in some cases, can prevent the cars' engines from turning off.

In a news release, the automaker said the recall affects more than 432,000 2015 model Focus, C-MAX and Escape vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The company said the body control module needs an update.

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Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm

Ohio slave traffickingFour people were indicted Thursday in a slave-labor ring that smuggled Guatemalan teens and adults into the United States and forced them to live in squalid conditions while working at an Ohio egg farm.

Federal investigators said recruiters enlisted adults and teens in Guatemala, some as young as 14, on the promise of good jobs in the United States and a good education. The laborers were smuggled across the border to Marion, located about 50 miles north of Columbus, where they lived in dilapidated trailers. They were forced to work at a chicken farm where they spent 12 hours a day cleaning coops, debeaking chickens and loading and unloading crates of chickens. The indictment said the workers were threatened with bodily harm if they refused work.

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Surveillance shows fired NOPD officer striking 16-year-old inmate with shackles

New Orleans cop beat teenA teenage girl struck by a shackle-wielding New Orleans police officer told authorities last year that she was having nightmares about her violent treatment at the city’s juvenile detention center, according to an investigative file released this week.

The September run-in prompted the firing last month of Officer Terrance Saulny, a 25-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department who was found to have used excessive force in restraining the bipolar 16-year-old at the Youth Study Center.

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Judge blocks new Florida law that delays abortions 1 day

Pro choiceA Florida judge is blocking a new state law that requires women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion.

Chief Circuit Judge Charles Francis on Tuesday blocked the law one day before it was scheduled to take effect.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit after Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed it into law

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Tennessee Train Derailment Turns Air Toxic, Displaces Thousands

Tennessee train derailmentA train car carrying hazardous material derailed and caught fire in eastern Tennessee overnight, prompting the evacuation of thousands of residents, local authorities said Thursday.

A CSX Corporation train carrying acrylonitrile, used in a variety of industrial processes, derailed on Wednesday night in Blount County, 19 miles south of Knoxville, local WATE-TV reported. CSX said in a statement that acrylonitrile is flammable and dangerous if inhaled.

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Recreational Marijuana Is Now Legal In Oregon

Pot legal i OregonRecreational marijuana is legal in Oregon as of today.

People 21 and older can now possess up to an ounce of pot when away from home and up to 8 ounces at home. It's also legal to grow up to four plants per household.

However, there's no way to legally buy it unless you're a medical marijuana patient, writes The Oregonian. The newspaper says that "the Oregon Legislature and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission are still crafting regulations that will shape the state's regulated industry. Sales of marijuana aren't expected to begin until late 2016, though lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell to recreational consumers this year."

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