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Sunday, Nov 23rd

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Justices to review Arizona districting commission

Supreme courtThe Supreme Court said Thursday it will consider a challenge by Arizona Republicans to the state's congressional districting map.

Arizona voters created an independent redistricting commission in 2000 in an effort to take politics out of the process.

But the GOP-led state legislature complained in a lawsuit that the Constitution exclusively gives power to draw maps for congressional districts to elected state lawmakers.

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Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigns

Julia PiersonJulia Pierson, the first female director of the Secret Service, resigned her post Wednesday after a fence jumper gained access to the White House on Sept. 19 and a subsequent congressional inquiry uncovered other security lapses.

Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson announced the resignation in a statement. He also announced that the DHS would take over an internal inquiry of the Secret Service and that he would appoint of a new panel to review security at the White House.

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Appeals court blocks some North Carolina voting changes

North Carolina voting A federal appeals court has blocked North Carolina from ending same-day voter registration and out-of-precinct voting in connection with this fall's elections.

In a 2-1 ruling issued Wednesday, the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said the changes appeared to run afoul of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, a provision that prohibits practices that discriminate on the basis of race.

Judge James Wynn, joined by Judge Henry Floyd, found that the district court erred by determining that it did not matter that North Carolina was ending practices it had previously allowed—voting mechanisms that minorities disproportionately used.

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Judge rules against White House on Affordable Care Act

Obamacare rulingA federal judge in Oklahoma has ruled that Obamacare subsidies cannot go to residents of states that are not running their own insurance exchanges, a second blow to the Obama administration on a issue that threatens a key element of the health law’s coverage expansion.

Judge Ronald A. White said that the administration’s decision to allow subsidies to go through either a state-run health insurance exchange or the federal exchange is an improper and invalid reading of the Affordable Care Act and must be struck.

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A divided Supreme Court delays early voting in Ohio

SC stops early votingThe Supreme Court delayed the start of early voting in Ohio Monday, a day before it was scheduled to begin, temporarily blocking a victory won by voting rights groups in lower courts.

The decision has potential implications for other states, including Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas and Arkansas, where state efforts to tighten up voting procedures are opposed by civil rights groups who say they disproportionately affect minorities.

Ohio's was the first of those cases to reach the high court, and the conservative majority blocked lower court rulings that would have jump-started early voting Tuesday.

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Hillary and the far right; admits role in Honduran coup

Hillary ClintonIn a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a review of Henry Kissinger’s latest book, “World Order,” to lay out her vision for “sustaining America’s leadership in the world.”

In the midst of numerous global crises, Clinton called for return to a foreign policy with purpose, strategy and pragmatism. She also highlighted some of these policy choices in her memoir, “Hard Choices,” and how they contributed to the challenges that the Obama administration now faces.

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Expedia under fire over membership to rightwing lobby group Alec

Expediaxpedia, the world’s largest online travel company, has declined to follow the lead of other big internet firms, instead choosing to remain a member of a controversial rightwing lobby group that works against climate change legislation.

The travel company pays dues to the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), a secretive lobby group that shapes and promotes legislation at state level across the US. Sources close to the organisation said it is part of Alec’s tax and fiscal policy taskforce, and has paid thousands in dues.

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