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Report: 21 US cities restrict sharing food with homeless people

homeless in USAIn the United States, 21 cities have restricted sharing food with homeless people through legislation or community pressure since January 2013, and about 10 other cities are in the process of doing so, the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) said in a report released Monday.

“One of the most narrow-minded ideas when it comes to homelessness and food-sharing is that sharing food with people in need enables them to remain homeless,” the report said.

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Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard indicted on 23 felony corruption charges

Mike HubbardMike Hubbard, speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives and a powerful leader in the state Republican Party, has been indicted by a grand jury and charged with 23 counts, including using his office for personal gain and soliciting things of value.

Late Monday afternoon, Hubbard reported to the Lee County Jail where he was booked.

If convicted, Hubbard faces a maximum penalty of two to 20 years in prison and up to $30,000 in fines for each count.

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The United States Is Number One ... but in What?

USA number oneAmerican politicians are fond of telling their audiences that the United States is the greatest country in the world. Is there any evidence for this claim?

Well, yes. When it comes to violence and preparations for violence, the United States is, indeed, No. 1. In 2013, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. government accounted for 37 percent of world military expenditures, putting it far ahead of all other nations. (The two closest competitors, China and Russia, accounted for 11 percent and 5 percent respectively.)

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Do Detroit's water shutoffs violate international law? UN to investigate.

Detroit water shut-offsTwo human rights experts from the United Nations plan to visit Detroit this weekend to investigate whether the city is violating international laws by disconnecting water service to thousands of homes belonging to people who haven't paid their utility bills, according to news reports.

The visit is coming in the wake of a letter sent to the UN Human Rights Council detailing potential human rights violations apparent in the water shutoffs. The letter – authored by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan – argues that the shutoffs are unjustified because many of those affected can't afford to pay their bills. The letter also says that the shutoffs disproportionately affect Detroit’s African-American residents.

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Native American schools face decayed buildings, poverty

native american schools in disrepairFederally owned schools for Native Americans on reservations are marked by remoteness, extreme poverty and a lack of construction dollars. They also are among the nation's lowest performing.

The Obama administration is pushing ahead with an improvement plan that gives tribes more control. But the effort is complicated by the disrepair of so many buildings, not to mention the federal legacy of forcing American Indian children from their homes to attend boarding schools.

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Justices allow Texas use of new voter ID law

SC JusticesThe Supreme Court said Saturday that Texas can use its controversial new voter identification law for the November election.

A majority of the justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit the state from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo identification in order to cast ballots. Three justices dissented.

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Federal judge overturns Wyoming gay marriage ban

Wyoming gay marriageA federal judge has ordered Wyoming to allow same-sex marriage but has stayed his decision so that the state can appeal if it wants.

U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl ruled Friday that the state must comply with a ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that permits same-sex marriage.

But he says his ruling will not take effect until next Thursday in order to allow time for the state to appeal.

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