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Obama administration asks appeals court to vacate “Don’t Ask” judgment

PASADENA, Calif (Reuters) – Obama administration lawyers asked a federal appeals court on Thursday to vacate a judgment declaring “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” unconstitutional now that the ban on openly gay men and women in the military is about to be repealed. But attorneys for opponents of the ban argued…

Wisconsin state bar asks U.S. to monitor state’s voter ID law

MADISON (Reuters) – The Wisconsin state bar has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review the state’s controversial new voter identification law, citing concerns the measure could disenfranchise thousands of voters. The chair of the bar’s civil rights and liberties division, Sally Stix, said in a letter to Attorney…

Ohio sells state prison to private contractor for $73 million

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Ohio said on Thursday it had gone through with a controversial plan to privatize a portion of the state’s prison system, the latest step in Republican Governor John Kasich’s campaign to shrink government and close the state’s budget shortfall. Officials said the state had sold the Lake…

Family sues police over California Taser death after victim honked at patrol car

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The parents of a Southern California man who accuse police of killing their son with a Taser after he honked at a patrol car have sued the sheriff’s department and county. The suit accuses the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the county of San Bernardino and…

Louisiana declares emergency as new storm looms

Oil companies began evacuating workers from rigs in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of what US forecasters said could be a powerful and dangerous storm, and Louisiana declared a state of emergency. The National Hurricane Center on Thursday issued tropical storm warnings for the coastal areas from Pascagoula, Mississippi, to…

9/11 firefighters more likely to get cancer: study

Firefighters exposed to the World Trade Center attacks are more likely to get cancer, while 9/11 rescue workers still suffer high illness rates generally, according to studies published Friday. In a 10th anniversary edition of medical journal The Lancet, scientists said however that death rates among emergency staff and civilians…

U.S. government to sue major banks over mortgages: report

The United States plans to file lawsuits against more than a dozen big banks over mortgage-backed securities seen to have fueled the 2008 economic crisis, the New York Times said. The lawsuits are set to be filed Friday or early next week against Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman…

AT&T bought more than 700 copies of Rick Perry’s book

The Dallas-based telecommunications giant AT&T bought more than 700 copies of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington, as part of a fundraising event arranged by the American Legislative Exchange Council in December 2010. Perry recently urged the Federal Communications Commission to approve…

Relics from 9/11 going on display in Washington

WASHINGTON — More than 50 objects pulled from the rubble of 9/11 are going on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, giving a unique take on the terror attacks that changed the world. Over nine days from Friday, visitors to the “September 11: Remembrance and Reflection”…

Lawsuit claims first-graders handcuffed for talking in class

A lawsuit filed against a Chicago public elementary school alleged that several 6- and 7-year-olds were detained and handcuffed for talking in class. The Chicago Tribune reported that in March 2010, officials at Carver Primary School allegedly handcuffed the first-graders and held them in an office for an hour, where…

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