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US-appointed egg lobby paid food blogs and targeted chef to crush vegan startup

Egg lobby paid food blogsA government-controlled industry group targeted popular food bloggers, major publications and a celebrity chef as part of its sweeping effort to combat a perceived threat from an egg-replacement startup backed by some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names, the Guardian can reveal.

The lobbyists’ media counterattack, in possible violation of US department of agriculture rules, was coordinated by a marketing arm of the egg industry called the American Egg Board (AEB). It arose after AEB chief executive Joanne Ivy identified the fledgling technology startup Hampton Creek as a “crisis and major threat to the future” of the $5.5bn-a-year egg market.


Police cars' 'In God We Trust' decals draw complaints

Texas police carA police department in a rural Texas Bible Belt community has placed large "In God We Trust" decals on its patrol vehicles in response to recent violence against law enforcement officers. But a national watchdog group is contesting the decals as an unlawful endorsement of religion.

The decision this month to unveil the phrase in Childress follows a similar move by dozens of other police agencies elsewhere in the country. Leaders cite patriotism or other reasons for adding the phrase to vehicles.


Oregon Judge Refuses To Perform Same-Sex Marriages

Judge Vance D. DayA circuit court judge in Oregon's Marion County is refusing to perform same-sex marriages, claiming doing so would violate his First Amendment rights.  

Judge Vance D. Day, who has served in Oregon's Third Judicial District since 2011, has never married an LGBT couple, and has stopped performing marriages all together. Day says performing gay marriages would go against his religious beliefs, and has reportedly instructed his clerks to refer gay couples to other judges.


Fire at Planned Parenthood office in Washington state intentional, police say

Fire at Planned parenthood centerA fire that caused extensive damage at a Planned Parenthood office near Washington State University Friday was intentionally set, authorities said.

The blaze was reported at about 3:30 a.m. local time Friday in the town of Pullman, which is home to the university. Officials said it caused extensive fire, smoke and heat damage.

The damage was so extensive that the facility has been deemed unsafe by a building inspector, NBC News reported.


3 California deputies arrested for beating death of inmate

California deputies arrestedThree Northern California jail guards have been arrested after an inmate under their watch was found dead of multiple blunt trauma, authorities said.

Santa Clara County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. James Jensen said Thursday that the deputies — Rafael Rodriguez, 27, Jereh Lubrin, 28, and Matthew Farris, 27 — remain in custody without bail.

Medical Examiner Dr. Joseph O'Hara said that Michael James Pipkin Tyree, 31, died of multiple blunt force injuries, “visceral lacerations” and internal bleeding.


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.


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