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Friday, Jul 01st

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Connecticut Court Upholds Abolishing Death Penalty For Existing Death Row Inmates

Connecticut death penalty ban upheldThe Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld its ruling that extends the state’s 2012 death penalty repeal to the 11 inmates already on death row.

State lawmakers initially made the 2012 death penalty repeal prospective so it would apply only to future crimes. The state Supreme Court’s 5-2 decision on Thursday upholds its 4-3 ruling from last August that extended the repeal to inmates who were already sentenced, thus converting their sentences to life without parole.

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Monsanto Ordered to Pay $46.5 Million in PCB Lawsuit in Rare Win for Plaintiffs

Monsanto loses psb suitYesterday’s 10-2 verdict in St. Louis Circuit Court awarded $17.5 million in damages to the three plaintiffs and assessed an additional $29 million in punitive damages against Monsanto, Solutia, Pharmacia and Pfizer, the St. Louis Dispatch reported.

PCBs were used to insulate electronics decades ago. Before switching operations to agriculture, Monsanto was the sole manufacturer of the compound from 1935 until 1977. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned PCBs in 1979, due to its link to birth defects and cancer in laboratory animals. PCBs can also have adverse skin and liver effects in humans. PCBs linger in the environment for many decades.

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Kenneth Starr's job in peril for handling of Baylor University sex assault cases

Ken StarrHe was a leading cast member in that seemingly distant drama of Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky and the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Now Kenneth Starr, bete noire of liberals in America, is making a comeback, though not entirely of his choosing.

Starr, the president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, is facing mounting pressure over how the university has handled reports of rape and assault by football players. The university says its governing board is still studying the results of an internal investigation and has refused to confirm speculation that Starr will be ousted.

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Gov. Nikki Haley signs bill outlawing abortion after 19 weeks

Niki Haley signs 20 wk abortion lawGov. Nikki Haley on Wednesday signed a bill that makes it illegal for a woman to get an abortion after her pregnancy reaches 19 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest.

The legislation was passed out of the Senate last week.

The bill would allow doctors to perform abortions past 20 weeks only if the fetus has been diagnosed with an “anomaly” and will die, or the mother’s life is threatened. Doctors who disobey the new rules would face jail time.

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Ex-teacher who says Noah's Ark killed dinosaurs loses board of education bid

Texas school board voteWhen Texas takes up always-contentions revisions of science and social studies coursework in 2017, a former schoolteacher who believes dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark and Democrats killed John F Kennedy won’t have a vote.

Mary Lou Bruner lost her Republican primary runoff for a seat on the powerful Texas state board of education on Tuesday night, just two months after a near-outright victory that would have put her on the brink of having a say in what more than five million schoolchildren learn in classrooms and read in textbooks.

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Texas board of education vote is critical for conservatives – and US schools

Texas school board electionThe question of how extreme is too extreme for Texas Republican voters may be answered on Tuesday evening, when voters are expected to favor a woman who believes that Barack Obama was a drug-addicted male prostitute, in an election that could put her on the brink of one of the most influential positions in the state’s education system.

Even amid the roiling rhetoric and outrageous claims that have infected American politics in recent months, Mary Lou Bruner has provided some standout soundbites that have surfaced during her bid to win her district’s Republican nomination for a place on the Texas state board of education.

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Appeals court throws out Bank of America $1.27 billion penalty

BOA fine thrown outA U.S. appeals court today threw out a $1.27 billion penalty levied against Bank of America in connection with shoddy mortgages sold by the former subprime giant Countrywide.

The loans in question were offered through Countrywide’s “hustle” program in 2007 and sold to now government-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac even though executives knew the mortgages did not meet certain quality standards.

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