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NYC to scrap bail for non-violent crimes

Kalief BrowderThousands of New Yorkers accused of low-level or non-violent crimes won't face the prospect of raising cash for bail under a plan that seeks to keep such suspects out of the troubled Rikers Island jail complex.

The $18 million city plan, detailed to The Associated Press ahead of the announcement on Wednesday, allows judges beginning next year to replace bail for low-risk defendants with supervision options including daily check-ins, text-message reminders and connecting them with drug or behavioral therapy.

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Kansas governor's order shields clergy on same-sex marriage

BrownbackKansas' governor told state government agencies Tuesday that they can't punish ministers or religious groups for opposing same-sex marriage, and critics said he is sanctioning discrimination even as the state extends new benefits to gay and lesbian couples.

Gov. Sam Brownback issued an executive order in response to last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the nation. Brownback's order said the "imposition" of gay marriage could lead to "potential infringements" of religious liberties.

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South Carolina Senate Backs Bill To Remove Confederate Flag From Statehouse Grounds

S C flag- The South Carolina Senate voted Monday to remove the Confederate flag from a pole on the Statehouse grounds, though the proposal still needs approval from the state House and the governor.

The bill requires a two-thirds vote in each chamber; the Senate approved it 37-3. Gov. Nikki Haley has said she wants the flag to come down and will sign the bill.

Monday's vote comes less than a week after the 15th anniversary of South Carolina taking the flag off the Capitol dome where it flew since the early 1960s and moving it to beside a monument honoring Confederate soldiers.

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Chicago boy, 7, among victims as gun violence sweeps city

Chicago weekend of violenceGun violence in Chicago at the weekend left 10 people dead, including a 7-year-old boy, and more than 50 wounded.

Amari Brown was shot in the chest by a gunman who was targeting his father, a known gang member, according to police.

Police chief Garry McCarthy said the boy's father should not have been on the streets, telling reporters: "If [he] is in custody, his son is alive".

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N.Y. judge tosses conviction of ex-Goldman programmer Aleynikov

Goldman programmer releasedA New York judge has thrown out the conviction of former Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) programmer Sergey Aleynikov, saying prosecutors failed to prove that he broke an "obscure" law by copying some of the bank's high-frequency trading code.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Daniel Conviser issued his decision on Monday, overturning the verdict in May by a jury who found Aleynikov guilty of "unlawful use of secret scientific material," a violation of a rarely used 1967 law.

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Former Oregon bakery owners must pay $135,000 for denying lesbians wedding cake

Oregon bakery finedThe former owners of an Oregon bakery have been ordered to pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple who were refused a wedding cake, in the latest front in the battle between religious liberty and individual rights.
lRelated
Kentucky clerk against same-sex marriage: 'I hope they don't sue me'

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein, who owned the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham, Ore., to compensate the couple for emotional and mental suffering that resulted from the denial of service.

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The Americans are coming! Some in a Texas county fear an Obama-led U.S. military invasion.

The Americnas are ComingThe office of the Bastrop County Republican Party is in an old lumber mill on Main Street, with peeling brown paint and a sign out front that captures the party’s feelings about the Obama administration: “WISE UP AMERICA!”

Inside, county Chairman Albert Ellison pulled out a yellow legal pad on which he had handwritten page after page of reasons why many Texans distrust President Obama, including the fact that, “in the minds of some, he was raised by communists and mentored by terrorists.”

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