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School reform divides Chicago as protesters vow to continue hunger strike

Chicago school hunger strikeChicago protesters have angrily vowed to continue a hunger strike over school reform plans, reacting to the city’s announcement that it would reopen a South Side high school on its own terms.

The city’s public school department (CPS) on Thursday announced that formerly closed Dyett high school would reopen as an “open enrollment, arts-focused neighborhood high school and community innovation lab”.


2,000 Baltimore cases may be overturned because police used secret Stingray surveillance

Stingray surveillanceMore than 2,000 cases could be overturned in Baltimore as the first motion for a retrial is filed accusing the state’s attorney’s office and the police of “deliberate and wilful misrepresentation” of the use of the secret surveillance equipment known as Stingrays.

The motion, which was filed on behalf of defendant Shemar Taylor by attorney Josh Insley in the Baltimore city circuit court on Friday, says the state’s attorney’s office colluded with the police department to withhold “discovery” material from the defendants and the courts about the use of the Stingray device. Taylor was convicted of assault, robbery and firearm possession.


Virginia officer indicted in fatal Walmart parking lot shooting

William ChapmanA Virginia police officer who shot and killed a man in a Walmart parking lot was indicted Thursday on charges of first-degree murder and using a gun in a felony.

Portsmouth Circuit Court records show a grand jury indicted city Officer Stephen D. Rankin.

William Chapman II, 18, was shot April 22. Virginia State Police said the shooting occurred when an officer responded to a call from Walmart security about shoplifting, and a struggle ensued.


With defiant clerk behind bars, gay couple gets license to wed in Kentucky

Kim Davis jailedA gay couple walked out of a Kentucky courthouse with a marriage license Friday morning, a day after the county's defiant clerk was hauled to jail for refusing to license same-sex marriages, citing "God's authority."

William Smith Jr. and James Yates, a couple for nearly a decade, were the first to receive a marriage license in Rowan County, ending a months-long standoff.


Supreme Court May Review Texas Abortion Law That Wendy Davis Filibustered

Supreme CourtA national abortion rights group asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to review a pair of restrictions in Texas that would shut down eight abortion clinics across the state if it is allowed to go into effect.

"Without the court’s intervention, the impact on Texas women will be immediate and devastating, imposing insurmountable burdens on their access to essential reproductive health care statewide," said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.


Kentucky Clerk Found In Contempt For Refusing To Issue Marriage Licenses

Kentucky clerkA federal judge found a Kentucky clerk at the center of the national debate over gay marriage in contempt of court after she defied the Supreme Court by refusing to issue marriage licenses in protest of same-sex marriage.

Kentucky Public Radio's Ryland Barton reports that District Judge David L. Bunning ordered Kim Davis to be taken into custody by federal marshals "until she complies" with a court order.


Judge nullifies Tom Brady’s four-game NFL suspension

Tom BradyA federal judge took the air out of “Deflategate” Thursday, erasing New England quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension for a controversy that the NFL claimed threatened football's integrity.

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell went too far in affirming punishment of the Super Bowl winning quarterback. Brady has insisted he played no role in a conspiracy to deflate footballs below the allowable limit at last season's AFC championship game.


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