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Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds Gov. Walker's public employee law

scott walker union billThe Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld a state law Thursday that ended most collective-bargaining rights for most public employees.

The law passed in 2011, months after Republican Gov. Scott Walker took office. Thousands of protesters converged on Madison while the bill was before the state legislature, and Democratic lawmakers left the state in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent a vote.

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Massachusetts governor signs law to limit protests at abortion clinics

Massachusetts abortion protest lawMassachusetts governor Deval Patrick on Wednesday signed into law a measure allowing to police to order anti-abortion protesters away from clinic entrances if their presence impedes public access.

The measure comes a month after the US Supreme Court knocked down a 2007 Massachusetts law prohibiting protests within 35 feet (11 meters) of the entrances of reproductive health facilities, a measure that the top court found violated the right to freedom of speech.

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West Virginians drive water to thirsty Detroit to ease shut-off pain

W Va. activists drive water to DetroitEnvironmental activists from West Virginia on Wednesday delivered more than 1,000 gallons of bottled water to residents of Detroit, where more than 15,000 of the city’s poorest people have had their water shut off — often for being unable to pay their bill — part of austerity measures imposed on the bankrupt city.

Bill DePaulo, with Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, drove a U-Haul truck to carry 1,080 gallons of water paid for by donations from West Virginians. He arrived at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Wednesday morning, one of four water distribution centers in the city, giving out about 300 gallons in just a few hours.

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Federal Review Stalled After Finding Forensic Errors by FBI Lab Unit Spanned Two Decades

FBI errors over decadesNearly every criminal case reviewed by the FBI and the Justice Department as part of a massive investigation started in 2012 of problems at the FBI lab has included flawed forensic testimony from the agency, government officials said.

The findings troubled the bureau, and it stopped the review of convictions last August. Case reviews resumed this month at the order of the Justice Department, the officials said.

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Boulder, Colorado told to stop issuing gay marriage licenses

gay marriage halted in BoulderBoulder County must stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples while the Colorado Supreme Court considers an appeal from the state's attorney general, justices said in a ruling Tuesday.

The court ruling was in response to an appeal from Republican Attorney General John Suthers, who has been trying for several weeks to get Boulder's clerk to stop giving marriage licenses to gay couples until there is a definitive ruling on same-sex unions from the U.S. Supreme Court.

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UCLA under water after 10 million gallons explode from water main

LA water main breakA water main exploded near the University of California-Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon, flooding much of the campus, Sunset Boulevard and Pauley Pavilion.

The 93-year-old pipe exploded at roughly 3:30 p.m., sending a geyser some 20 feet into the air just as rush hour was getting underway, diverting traffic and creating major problems around campus. Although no injuries were reported, flood waters were shin-deep in places, with students boogie boarding around campus and sliding down wet railings.

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Control of Detroit water department returned to mayor

Detroit water supplyControl of Detroit's massive municipal water department, which has been criticized by the United Nations and others for widespread service shutoffs to thousands of customers, has been returned to the mayor's office.

The move comes a week after the department said it would temporarily suspend shutoffs for customers who were 60 days or more behind on bills for 15 days, and a few months ahead of the expected handoff of financial control of the bankrupt city from a state-appointed manager back to Detroit's elected leaders.

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