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Monday, Mar 30th

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Appeals court voids gag order in coal executive's trial

Don BlankenshipA federal appeals court Thursday overturned a judge's order gagging participants in the trial of a former coal mining executive facing criminal charges in connection with a 2010 mine disaster that killed 29 people in West Virginia.

The judge was acting at the request of five media organizations.

The 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said the order issued by U.S. District Court Judge Irene Berger in connection with the prosecution of former Massey Coal CEO Donald Blankenship ran afoul of constitutional guarantees of public access to criminal proceedings.

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New York's LaGuardia airport closed after plane mishap: FAA

Delta plane skids LaGuardiaAn aircraft skidded on the runway at LaGuardia Airport and crashed into a fence as it tried to land amid a blinding wintry mix Thursday morning, Port Authority officials and sources familiar with the situation tell NBC 4 New York.

It wasn't clear how many people were on the Delta plane, an MD-88 headed to New York from Atlanta, Georgia, when it slid off the runway around 11 a.m. MD-88 planes seat 149 passengers. The airport shut down all of its runways immediately after the skid.

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DOJ says Ferguson police violated African-Americans' free speech rights

Ferguson cops violated free speech of African AmericansThe scathing Department of Justice report that says the Ferguson Police Department (FPD) routinely violated the rights of African-Americans also includes evidence that freedom of speech was regularly denied to anyone who dared to talk back to an officer.

The six-month investigation concluded that officers in the St. Louis suburb denied people their First Amendment rights, making arrests for offences often referred to as “contempt of cop’’ cases — in which people are taken into custody for talking back to officers, for recording public police activities or for lawfully protesting perceived injustices. All are activities protected by the Constitution.

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Darren Wilson will not face federal charges in Michael Brown shooting

darren wilsonDarren Wilson, the white police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, led to months of unrest and revived a debate on race and law enforcement in the US, will not face federal criminal charges.

The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that after a six-month inquiry it has concluded no civil rights charges should be brought against Wilson for killing Michael Brown. A grand jury in St Louis decided last November not to indict Wilson on state charges.

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Slashing a Safety Net: The Demolition of Workers’ Comp

worker's compOver the past decade, state after state has been dismantling America’s workers’ comp system with disastrous consequences for many of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer serious injuries at work each year, a ProPublica and NPR investigation has found.

The cutbacks have been so drastic in some places that they virtually guarantee injured workers will plummet into poverty. Workers often battle insurance companies for years to get the surgeries, prescriptions and basic help their doctors recommend.

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Rikers Island inmates stop sexual assault of guard

Rikers IslandA group of inmates at Rikers Island prison in New York saved a female guard from being raped after she was trapped inside a watch post with another inmate who was attacking her.

The inmates tore away the plexiglass surrounding the watch post, allowing one slender inmate to slip in and unlock the door from the inside. Several inmates then entered the post and physically stopped the attack before the guard could be raped.

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GOP Idaho lawmakers object to Hindu prayers

Hindu prayer given IdahoThree lawmakers refused to attend the Idaho Senate's daily invocation after objecting to the offering of a Hindu prayer.

Rajan Zed, guest chaplain, gave a lengthy prayer in both English and Sanskrit on Tuesday that focused on selflessness and peace. Senators from both sides of the aisle shook his hand and thanked him for coming.

However three lawmakers, all Republican, only came back onto the floor once the prayer was over: Sens. Steve Vick of Dalton Garden, Sheryl Nuxoll of Cottonwood and Lori Den Hartog of Meridian.

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