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Thursday, Jun 30th

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Arizona orders Tuscon to end Mexican American Studies Program

Arizona orders Tuscon to end Mexican American Studies ProgramThe class began with a Mayan-inspired chant and a vigorous round of coordinated hand clapping. The classroom walls featured protest signs, including one that said “United Together in La Lucha!” — the struggle. Although open to any student at Tucson High Magnet School, nearly all of those attending Curtis Acosta’s Latino literature class on a recent morning were Mexican-American.

For all of that and more, Mr. Acosta’s class and others in the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American program have been declared illegal by the State of Arizona — even while similar programs for black, Asian and American Indian students have been left untouched.

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State historians find more errors in textbooks

Historians find errors in textbooksA team of historians have racked up a long list of big errors in two social studies textbooks custom-written for Virginia schools. In the books published by Five Ponds Press, students will find that 12 states joined the Confederacy instead of 11, Thomas Jefferson began his presidency in 1800 instead of 1801 and the United States entered World War I in 1916 instead of 1917.

The historical inaccuracies were brought to light last month following the review of the books "Our Virginia: Past and Present" and "Our America: To 1865," both published by the Weston, Conn.-based company.

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The 'Fallout' Of The CIA's Race To Get Khan

A Q KhanIn early 2004, A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, was placed under house arrest for his role in an international nuclear trafficking network. For five years, Khan was confined to his home, after admitting that he shared nuclear secrets with countries including North Korea, Libya and Iran.

At the time, President George W. Bush declared the breakup of Khan's nuclear black market as a major victory for the United States. But in a new book about the takedown of Khan's network, two journalists argue that the United States should have acted much sooner — and when they did, it was too little, too late.

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'Earmarks' to nowhere: States losing billions

Earmarks to nowhere: states lose billionsAlmost 13 years ago, Rep. David McIntosh, R-Ind., directed $375,000 in federal funding "to improve State Road 31" in Columbus, Ind., a city at the edge of his district.

The McIntosh "earmark" seemed routine at the time, like almost 2,000 other congressional pet projects that lawmakers inserted into the 1998 highway bill. But there was a problem: "There is no State Road 31 that travels through Columbus, only U.S. 31," says Will Wingfield, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation.

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So Much for "Impartial" Justice: Antonin Scalia Attends Michele Bachmann's Tea Party

Justice: Antonin ScaliaThe decision by Justice Antonin Scalia to serve as a featured speaker in an event on January 5 organized by far-right Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's Tea Party-oriented "Constitutional Conservative Caucus," is just the latest in a series of actions and statements by the Justice that threaten the integrity of the federal judiciary.

A cornerstone of the American legal system is the notion that judges and justices interpret the law fairly and impartially. This fundamental principle of our democracy is undermined when Supreme Court justices serve as willing agents of a transparently political entity like the Tea Party movement, which has an aggressive legislative and judicial agenda that is directed, in part, at the Court itself.

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Strained States Turning to Laws to Curb Labor Unions

Scott Walker, governor of WisconsinFaced with growing budget deficits and restive taxpayers, elected officials from Maine to Alabama, Ohio to Arizona, are pushing new legislation to limit the power of labor unions, particularly those representing government workers, in collective bargaining and politics.

State officials from both parties are wrestling with ways to curb the salaries and pensions of government employees, which typically make up a significant percentage of state budgets. On Wednesday, for example, New York’s new Democratic governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, is expected to call for a one-year salary freeze for state workers, a move that would save $200 million to $400 million and challenge labor’s traditional clout in Albany.

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In Isolated Utah City, New Clubs for Gay Students

Gay Center in conservative Utah citySome disapproving classmates called members of the new club “Satanists.” Another asked one of the girls involved, “Do you have a disease?” But at three local high schools here this fall, dozens of gay students and their supporters finally convened the first Gay-Straight Alliances in the history of this conservative, largely Mormon city.

It was a turning point here and for the state, where administrators, teachers and even the Legislature have tried for years to block support groups for gay youths, calling them everything from inappropriate to immoral.

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