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Wednesday, May 27th

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Baltimore police turn over Gray investigation to state prosecutor

Baltimore police chiefBaltimore Police Department Commissioner Anthony Batts announced Thursday that the results of the department's investigation into the death of Freddie Gray — who died after he was critically injured in police custody — has been turned over to a state prosecutor.

Batts told reporters that during the course of the investigation, 30 detectives were dedicated to focus on the case as their "full-time job."

The commissioner stressed that the investigation is still not over and that "if new evidence is found, we will follow it," going on to say that Gray's family and the community "deserve transparency and truth."

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Christie associate who ordered 'Bridgegate' closures will plead guilty

David WildsteinAccording to a Bloomberg News report published on Wednesday, David Wildstein, who ordered the lane closures at the center of the so-called "Bridgegate" scandal, plans to plead guilty to unspecified criminal charges.

Wildstein, who went to high school with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), was the director of interstate capital projects at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He was appointed by the governor.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg eviscerates same-sex marriage opponents in court

Ginsburg v attorney to retain ban on gay marriageAt a turning point in history where most of the male members of the US supreme court seemed unsure which way to turn, one justice stood out during Tuesday’s hearing on the constitutionality of gay marriage for her spatial awareness.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has long been a liberal champion – dubbed ‘Notorious RBG’ by her younger fans – for her withering dissent from the court’s increasingly conservative consensus.

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Texas considers more abortion limits after clinic closures

Greg AbbottTwo years after Texas adopted sweeping abortion restrictions despite Wendy Davis' star-making filibuster, Republicans are pushing a smaller encore of additional limits for new Gov. Greg Abbott to sign within the next month.

New battlegrounds over abortion access for minors and insurance don't pack the same impact of a 2013 measure that would leave as few as eight abortion facilities in Texas if a federal appeals court upholds stringent new clinic standards. That decision is potentially still weeks out.

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After riots, Baltimore residents work to restore peace

BaltimoreMid-morning, when the crew outside Shake and Bake Family Fun Center was ready to pack it in, Jasmine Forbes and Emma Richardson were still clearing old brush out of a gutter, taking turns holding a trash bag. The friends had been cleaning all morning, and would keep at it, in different spots around West Baltimore, well into the afternoon.

“I’ve turned my back on my community so many times,” says Ms. Forbes, who works at the Maryland Science Center. “I can’t sit and watch my brothers and sisters suffering anymore. We need to do better as a community, as for everyone – black, white, whatever race you are. Everyone needs to do better.”

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Botched Executions, Supreme Court Weighs Lethal Drug Cocktail

Execution drugsThe U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in three death penalty cases testing what drug combinations constitute cruel and unusual punishment when used to execute a convicted murderer by lethal injection.

It is the second time in seven years that the justices have looked at the lethal injection question, and it comes after three botched executions over the past year.

Oklahoma was the first state to execute prisoners by lethal injection. The three-drug cocktail it developed and used for the first time in 1977 was soon adopted by every other capital punishment state. It was seen as the most humane way to impose the death penalty.

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8th graders struggle in US history, civics on national exam

US stedents test grades lowTime for another history lesson.

Only about a quarter of eighth graders showed solid performance or better in U.S. history, civics and geography on tests known as the Nation's Report Card.

The 2014 results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress released Wednesday were similar to those four years ago when the assessments were last administered. Students did better overall in U.S. history and civics than their peers in the 1990s when the tests were first given, but geography scores have remained stagnant since 1994.

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