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Researchers and lawmakers warn: Florida is ‘Ground Zero’ for sea level rise

Warm sunshine and sandy beaches make south Florida and its crown city, Miami, a haven for tourists, but the area is increasingly endangered by sea level rise, experts said Tuesday. During a special Senate hearing held in Miami Beach, Senator Bill Nelson described south Florida as “Ground Zero” for climate…

Fox analyst: Letting voters ‘harm’ minorities is the ‘beauty’ of affirmative action ban

Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano on Tuesday praised the Supreme Court for upholding Michigan’s ban on affirmative action, saying that it was an issue “the Civil War was supposed to have resolved.” In a 6-2 decision on Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved initiative banning affirmative action…

Property records cast doubt on Cliven Bundy’s ancestral claims to disputed federal land

Cliven Bundy likes to claim his family has been grazing cattle for more than 130 years on Nevada lands owned by the federal government. “I’ve lived my lifetime here,” the rancher said. “My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley here ever since 1877. All these rights that…

Deadly fertilizer explosion in West, Texas was preventable, investigators conclude

DALLAS (Reuters) – A deadly 2013 fertilizer warehouse explosion in Texas that claimed at least 14 lives could have been prevented, U.S. safety investigators said on Tuesday. Between 40 and 60 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded 22 minutes after a fire broke out at the West Fertilizer Co warehouse on…

Baptist conference warns pastors: Gay people have the morality of biblical extortionists

Russell D. Moore, the president of Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, on Tuesday encouraged pastors to minister to LGBT people, which he said would be like Jesus meeting with tax collectors in the Bible. Speaking at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Summit in Nashville, Moore was asked…

Child star-turned-’sovereign citizen’ sentenced in tax scam following bizarre Jesus diatribe

A former child star-turned-“sovereign citizen” was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison for scamming the Internal Revenue out of $36 million. Glenn Unger, who performed on Broadway as a child, filed 14 false tax returns seeking IRS refunds between 2007 and 2011 as part of his anti-government,…

Supreme Court upholds Michigan’s ban on affirmative action in state university admissions

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a Michigan law that bans the use of racial preferences in state university admissions. On a 6-2 vote, with Justice Elena Kagan recused, the court rejected a challenge to the law, although the justices were divided as…

Under fire from critics, Louisiana Republican withdraws bill to make Bible the state book

A Republican state representative in Louisiana has pulled his controversial bill naming the Christian Bible as the official state book. According to NoLa.com, Rep. Thomas Carmody (R-Shreeveport) abandoned the effort because it had become “a distraction.” Carmody proposed the bill earlier this month, telling a state House committee that “It’s…

Chris Christie vows not to legalize pot: New Jersey doesn’t want Colorado’s ‘quality of life’

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Monday said that marijuana legalization would not happen while he was in office because he did not want the Colorado “quality of life” in New Jersey. A caller on New Jersey 101.5 radio pointed out to Christie that legalization seemed inevitable because of…

Rhode Island nods to nonbelievers with ‘Day of Reason’ proclamation

Rhode Island’s governor has declared May 1 a “Day of Reason” to recognize the state’s nonbelievers. The Humanists of Rhode Island and the Secular Coalition for Rhode Island requested the proclamation, which the Friendly Atheist blog said is virtually identical to others signed by the mayors of Charlotte, N.C., and…

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