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Oregon standoff: Militants say they'll reveal exit plan Friday

Oregon occupiersThe armed militants occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge announced Tuesday morning that they will drive into Burns at the end of the week to hold a community meeting and inform residents when they will leave.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Friday evening, said Robert "LaVoy" Finicum. The location has yet to be determined. All are invited to attend, Finicum added.


National Guard to distribute water in Flint

national Guard to distribute water in FlintGov. Rick Snyder late Tuesday activated the Michigan National Guard to help distribute bottled water and filters in Flint and asked the federal government for help dealing with a drinking water crisis that began months ago.

Snyder's executive order triggering the Guard's deployment is intended to bolster outreach to residents, whose tap water became contaminated with too much lead after the city switched its water supply in 2014 to save money while under state financial management. Local officials first declared a public health emergency in Flint in October in response to tests that showed children with elevated levels of lead.


Wheaton College students rally in support of hijab-wearing professor

Professor Hawkins to be firedDozens of students at Wheaton College in suburban Chicago protested on Monday against the school's move to terminate an associate professor who said Christians and Muslims worship the same God — a statement she made while wearing a hijab to show solidarity with women who face Islamophobia.

Students filled the steps of the school's Edman Memorial Chapel chanting "Reinstate Doc Hawk," a nickname for Larycia Hawkins. The Protestant evangelical college said in a Jan. 5 statement on its website that its provost had begun a process for terminating her.


More than 100 people shot in Chicago in first 10 days of 2016

120 shot in chicago in first 10 day s of 20216More than 100 Chicagoans have been shot in the first 10 days of 2016 — a jarring figure three times more than last year.

At least 19 people were shot and killed between New Year’s Day and Monday morning, including someone gunned down just blocks away from the mayor’s home, the Chicago Tribune reported. Another 101 were injured by firearms.

Those shocking figures far surpass last year’s tally: During the same time period in 2015, nine people had been killed and 31 had been injured. By the end of the year, nearly 3,000 people had been shot.


High court: Florida death penalty system is unconstitutional

US Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Florida's system for sentencing people to death is unconstitutional because it gives too much power to judges — and not enough to juries — to decide capital sentences.

The 8-1 ruling said that the state's sentencing procedure is flawed because juries play only an advisory role in recommending death while the judge can reach a different decision.

The court sided with Timothy Lee Hurst, who was convicted of the 1998 murder of his manager at a Popeye's restaurant in Pensacola. A jury divided 7-5 in favor of death, but a judge imposed the sentence.


Report charts history of abuse at Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon sexual abuses reportedA new report by a federal watchdog outlines a history of harassment on river trips through Grand Canyon National Park in which male park employees allegedly propositioned female colleagues for sex, touched them inappropriately and made lewd comments.

The report obtained by The Associated Press comes after 13 current and former Grand Canyon employees filed a complaint in September 2014 saying women had been abused over 15 years. It was released Tuesday by the Department of the Interior's Office of Inspector General.


Pressure grows on Oregon militia as former Bundy backers call for retreat

Oregon standoffAs the armed siege of an eastern Oregon wildlife refuge entered its second week, the rightwing militia faced increasing pressure to surrender – including from former supporters of the occupation’s leader.

Ammon Bundy, the Nevada rancher who organized the takeover of the Malheur national wildlife refuge headquarters, avoided reporters all weekend as some of the protesters began to leave the occupation and as local residents and activists who had previously backed Bundy demanded that he and his militiamen retreat.


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