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Death toll climbs to 37 after Washington state mudslide

The official death toll from a mudslide that buried a river valley neighborhood in the Cascade foothills of Washington state last month rose to 37 on Tuesday, after search teams extricated another body from the mud and rubble. A rain-soaked hillside collapsed above the north fork of the Stillaguamish River…

Arizona Gov. Brewer signs bill allowing for warrantless inspections of womens’ health clinics

PHOENIX (Reuters) – Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Tuesday signed into a law a bill allowing state health authorities to conduct surprise inspections of abortion clinics without first obtaining a warrant, handing another victory to abortion foes. The Republican-backed bill, which gained final legislative approval from the state Senate last…

NJ lawmakers won’t rule out calling upon Christie to testify in bridge closure investigation

More subpoenas from Bridgegate committee likely. Committee hasn’t ruled out calling Christie (via NJ.com) Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the co-chair of the legislative panel investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal, said the committee will likely begin calling witnesses to testify as early as next month and hasn’t ruled out calling the…

General Motors chief creates new team to boost vehicle safety

General Motors chief executive Mary Barra announced Tuesday the creation of a new team to enhance safety in the wake of an ignition-recall scandal that has engulfed the company. Barra said the new product-integrity team aimed to ensure that future technical problems are addressed and resolved quickly. The automaker has…

NYPD disbands controversial Muslim surveillance unit

NYPD disbands controversial Muslim surveillance unit (via NJ.com) NEW YORK — The New York Police Department said today it has disbanded a special unit whose efforts to try to detect terror threats in Muslim communities through secret surveillance sparked outrage. The surveillance program by the NYPD Intelligence…   [Image via…

Ex-baseball pro Doug Glanville: Police racially profiled me outside my own home

Former professional baseball player and New York Times columnist Doug Glanville gave his account of being racially profiled outside his Connecticut home by an officer in a column for The Atlantic on Monday, saying the officer was working outside of his jurisdiction when he suggested Glanville was shovelling his driveway…

Bankrupt Detroit reaches first pension deal with police and fire department retirees groups

By Karen Pierog (Reuters) – Detroit reached its first deal with a retired workers group on Tuesday over pension and healthcare benefits and was close to a deal with at least one of its pension funds, giving a major boost to the city’s plan to exit bankruptcy in October. Momentum…

Chris Christie calls for unlimited campaign donations: ‘Let’s stop playing games’

Chris Christie calls for unlimited campaign donations with 48-hour reporting period (via NJ.com) FRANKLIN — Gov. Chris Christie today called for the U.S. to allow for unlimited donations to political campaigns, followed by a 48-hour period where the donors must disclose their contributions. “If somebody wants to write me a…

Democrat Alex Sink bows out of Florida congressional race

By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) – Florida Democrat Alex Sink said on Tuesday she would not run in November for the congressional seat she failed to win last month in a close special election that garnered national attention. Sink, the state’s former chief financial officer, confirmed her decision on…

Obama commutes sentence of Texas man mistakenly given extra jail time

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday shortened the prison sentence of a Texas man who was mistakenly sentenced to an extra three and a half years in jail due to a typographical error. Ceasar Huerta Cantu, of Katy, Texas, pleaded guilty in 2006 of charges related to drug…

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