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Federal report faults police actions during Ferguson unrest

Fedeal report Ferguson policePolice antagonized crowds gathered to protest in Ferguson, violated free-speech rights and made it difficult to hold officers accountable, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report summary obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The summary cited “vague and arbitrary” orders to keep protesters moving that violated their rights of assembly and free speech. It is part of a longer “after-action” report to be delivered this week to top police officials in Ferguson, St. Louis city and county and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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Investigators Probe Fires At 6 Black Churches In 5 Southern States

black church firesInvestigators continue their examination of a fire at the Glover Grove Baptist Church of Warrenville, S.C.

Fires damaged Glover Grove and some other black churches in the days following nine shooting deaths at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, raising concerns that the incidents were hate-inspired arsons.

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Supreme Court Places A Stay On Abortion Law In Texas

Texas abortion lawThe Supreme Court has placed a stay on a lower court's ruling that upheld new abortion standards in Texas, to give opponents of a controversial 2013 law time to take their case to the nation's highest court.

The stay is temporary: If the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, the stay will be lifted and the law will take effect. If the justices agree to hear the case, the stay would remain in effect until a ruling is issued.

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Supreme Court upholds Oklahoma lethal injection process

Supreme CourtThe U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a drug used by Oklahoma as part of its lethal injection procedure does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, dealing a setback to opponents of the death penalty.

The court, in a 5-4 decision with its conservative justices in the majority, handed a loss to three inmates who objected to the use of a sedative called midazolam, saying it cannot achieve the level of unconsciousness required for surgery, making it unsuitable for executions.

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Texas AG: State workers can deny marriage licenses to gay couples

Gov. AbbottTexas’ Attorney General on Sunday stated that county clerks, judges and justices of peace could deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples for religious reasons, arguing that the Supreme Court did not abolish religious liberty.

Ken Paxton, in his non-binding legal opinion, went on to add that “numerous lawyers” would be made available to defend public officials refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, according to the Associated Press.

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San Francisco, Chicago and New York are among US cities hosting gay pride events

Gpay Pride PradeHundreds of thousands of people on Sunday packed gay pride events from Chicago to New York City, Seattle to San Francisco, with overall attendance expected in the millions for what amounted to a celebration of a freshly endorsed right to marry.

In San Francisco, a parade that at times resembled a rainbow-colored dance party snaked through downtown. Cheerleaders, dancers and proud families of lesbians and gays swooped up Market Street as spectators flocked 10 to 15 people deep along both sides.

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Escaped NY state inmate Sweat shot and in custody: reports

SweatDavid Sweat, the surviving prison escapee on the run in northern New York, was shot by a state trooper on Sunday, according to three people briefed on the matter. His condition was unknown.

Mr. Sweat, 35, was alive and in custody, according to two of the people.

The shooting occurred after a State Police sergeant saw Mr. Sweat walking down a road toward him, according to one of the people. The sergeant ordered Mr. Sweat to stop, but he broke into a run and the sergeant, a firearms instructor, opened fire, the person said. It was not immediately clear how many shots were fired or whether Mr. Sweat was armed.

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