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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told reporters Saturday night although he doesn't support same-sex marriage he attended a wedding reception for a gay relative. "Even though my position on marriage is still that its defined as between a man and a woman, and I support the constitution of the state but for someone I love, we've been to a reception," he said at the end of the GOP Summit in New Hampshire.


Three people were shot at a Delaware State University student cookout Saturday, resulting in a police search across the campus and nearby areas. The shooting was reported at about 8 p.m. at a school-sanctioned sorority and fraternity cookout event, university President Harry L. Williams said in a statement. The shooting was on the school's main campus during Field Day, a large annual cookout that began at 4 p.m. and was scheduled to end at 9 p.m.


This week, Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire introduced the Women on the Twenty Act, legislation aimed at putting an American woman on the $20 bill. Shaheen's efforts nod to an initiative by Women on 20s, a group that is lobbying to change the $20 by 2020. That year Americans will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. (The $20 is also overdue for a redesign to thwart counterfeiters.)


[Susie] Ferrell walked out the door for work on April 19, 1995. For families like her parents, Don and Sally Ferrell of Chandler, the pain lingers 20 years after a bomb exploded in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, resulting in the death of Susan Ferrell and 167 other people. A city and state that were devastated by the horrific event have worked to grieve and heal, but the bombing has left a permanent mark. The legacy of those who died will never be forgotten. Twenty years later, there are survivors and people who lost loved ones, co-workers and friends who remain in an emotional struggle that doesn read more


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Hillary Clinton wrote a short piece for Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People on one of its selections: Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. "Elizabeth Warren never lets us forget that the work of taming Wall Street's irresponsible risk taking and reforming our financial system is far from finished," Clinton wrote. "And she never hesitates to hold powerful people read more


Trevor Aaronson, The Intercept: When you're introduced to Saeed Torres in the new documentary (T)ERROR, you hear him bickering with the filmmaker, Lyric Cabral. ... (T)ERROR picks up Torres's story after these stings (warning to readers: spoilers ahead). Living in a rundown apartment somewhere in the Northeast, he gets a call from the FBI. They want him to go to Pittsburgh to get to know a terrorism suspect -- a 34-year-old white Muslim convert named Khalifah al-Akili. ... What no one knew -- not even the FBI -- was that Cabral and Sutcliffe began filming al-Akili's side of things after he sent the email, which a lawyer who received it happened to forward to them. The documentary then becomes a house of mirrors, with each side of the FBI's counterterrorism operation being reflected onto the other, revealing a mash-up of damaged people being exploited by overzealous government agents, with no sign at all of anything resembling terrorism or impending danger to the public. "I felt I was almost obligated to expose these guys," al-Akili told the filmmakers. read more


A San Antonio, Texas, woman will use the state's "religious freedom" law to contest a citation she received for feeding homeless residents at a local park. Joan Cheever, founder of the non-profit mobile food truck Chow Train, has been serving restaurant-quality meals to the city's homeless population for the past 10 years. On Tuesday bike patrol officers gave her a citation with a $2,000 potential fine for handing out food from a vehicle that was not her food truck. "One of the police officers said, 'Ma'am, if you want to pray, go to church,'" she told WOAI-TV. "And I said, 'This is how I pray -- when I cook this food and deliver it to the people who are less fortunate.'" read more


Advocates for legalizing marijuana launched a petition campaign in Phoenix on Friday seeking a ballot measure that could make Arizona the fifth U.S. state to allow possession, cultivation and consumption of small amounts of pot for recreational use. Supporters have until July of next year to obtain the signatures of 150,642 registered voters in the politically conservative state in order to get their initiative placed on the November 2016 ballot, election officials said. Following the leads of five other western states and the District of Columbia, the Arizona measure would legalize possession, cultivation and private personal consumption of marijuana by adults for the sake of just getting high. Cannabis remains classified as an illegal narcotic under federal law, although the Obama administration has taken the position of giving individual states leeway to carry out their own recreational use statutes. read more


Texas is on the brink of becoming the largest U.S state to legalize citizens to carry handguns openly. Gun-rights activists have been seeking this for a long time now. The Texas House of Representatives have voted 96-35 on Friday, permitting residents with licenses to concealed handguns to be carried openly in public in holsters. Just last month, a similar measure had been passed in the Texas Senate and now the two open-carry bills have to be squared before sending it off to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who is also in favor of it. read more


During a conversation on immigration reform, Hillary Clinton told a small audience in Norwalk, Iowa on Wednesday that "all my grandparents, you know, came over here." The reality is, however, that only one of the presidential candidate's four grandparents were immigrants to the United States. As first noted by Buzzfeed, Clinton's paternal grandfather Hugh Rodham Sr. was born in England and immigrated to the United States as a young child. Clinton's paternal grandmother Hanna Jones Rodham was born in Pennsylvania and Clinton's two maternal grandparents -- Della Howell and Edwin Howell -- were born in Illinois. read more


Walmart put 2,200 people out of work Monday when it temporarily closed five stores due to plumbing problems. Two of the stores are in Texas, and the others are in California, Florida and Oklahoma. They will be closed for "extended repairs" for approximately six months, the company said. The stores closed at 7 p.m. Monday, after workers were notified just hours before that they were losing their jobs. "Everybody just panicked and started crying," said Venanzi Luna, a manager of the deli department at the Pico Rivera, Calif. store. The company has not yet asked for any building permits, which may be required for major work. Luna said she believes Walmart is closing the Pico Rivera store because its employees have been very active in protesting for higher pay.


As Gov. Scott Walker moves closer to a formal announcement that he will run for president, a new poll shows his approval rating in Wisconsin is slipping and some of his legislative priorities are deeply unpopular. 56% disapprove, while only 41% approve of him as governor. The poll also showed Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson distantly trailing former Democratic U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold if they ran against each other. Feingold had 54%, with Sen. Ron Johnson (R) at only 38%. read more


The estate of Adolf Hitler's propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, is suing a publisher for royalties for the use of extracts from his diaries. A biography of Goebbels published by Random House quotes extensively from Goebbels' diaries, which are copyrighted until the end of this year. Random House initially agreed to pay a fee, but later said it was wrong to pay the estate of a Nazi war criminal. Other publishers have paid royalties to use extracts from the diaries. read more


Chris Christie would "crack down and not permit" legalized marijuana if elected president, he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday. The pledge from New Jersey's Republican governor, who is openly teasing a bid for the White House, would be a departure from President Barack Obama, who has made clear that while he doesn't support full legalization, the Justice Department won't be getting in the way of the handful of states that have voted to legalize it. read more


Wall Street on Parade: [D]uring the annual Cherry Blossom Festival celebrating springtime in the Nation's Capitol, a 22-year-old man took his own life with a gun on the Capitol grounds with a protest sign taped to his hand. According to the Washington Post, the sign read: "Tax the one percent." The Chicago Tribune reported that "[Leo P.] Thornton's parents filed a missing persons report on the morning of April 11 after he never came home from work on April 10, Lincolnwood Deputy Police Chief John Walsh said." Those are the tragic facts of the incident itself. But there is a broader tragedy: the vacuous handling of this story by corporate media. The Washington Post headlined the story with this: "Rhythms of Washington Return after Illinois Man's Suicide Outside Capitol." The message he delivered to his Congress -- tax the one percent-- has yet to be explored by any major news outlet in America in connection with this tragedy.


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