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Wells Fargo takes heat over investments in private prison industry

The advocacy group Small Business United on Thursday called on Wells Fargo to provide a full accounting of investments related to private prisons and immigrant detention centers. Wells Fargo is one of the largest investors in Geo Group, Inc. — the second largest private prison company in the world contracted…

Reporter wears grape costume to defend boy suspended for banana suit

Let it never be said again that journalism is a humorless business. Covering an odd tale about a 14-year-old autistic boy who was handcuffed by police and suspended for running down the sidelines of a high school football game at halftime wearing a banana costume, Washington, D.C. reporter Pat Collins…

‘(Un)Occupy Albuquerque’ gets new permit thanks to ACLU

The University of New Mexico on Tuesday renewed “(Un)Occupy Albuquerque’s” permit to protest at Yale Park after the American Civil Liberties Union intervened on behalf of the demonstrators. More than a dozen “(Un)Occupy Albuquerque” protesters were arrested last week when the university refused to issue them a new permit and…

Judge blocks restrictions on ‘Occupy Nashville’ protest

A federal judge Monday afternoon ordered Tennessee to stop enforcing new rules that restricted “Occupy Nashville” demonstrators’ ability to protest in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN). “The state cannot arbitrarily create restrictive policies just because it does not like how people…

Padilla revives lawsuit against Rumsfeld for alleged torture

WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Jose Padilla, the US citizen arrested in 2002 for an alleged “dirty bomb” plot, launched an action to try to revive a lawsuit over his alleged torture at an American naval base. Padilla, who is incarcerated at a high security jail in Colorado, previously sued in…

Immigrants face Alabama civil rights backlash

Fifty-seven years after a historic Supreme Court ruling put an end toracial segregation, Alabama is in the grip of another civil rights crisis, only this time one affecting Hispanics. “People are fleeing the state, they’re afraid to step out of their homes, they’re made to be criminals,” said Sam Brooke, a lawyer with the Southern Poverty…

U.S. judge halts drug tests for aid applicants

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) – A judge on Monday halted a new Florida law that requires low-income parents seeking federal cash assistance to pass a drug test before receiving any money. In a 37-page ruling in Orlando, District Court Judge Mary Scriven granted an injunction barring the state from enforcing the…

New York Civil Liberties Union: Stop blanket surveillance of ‘Occupy Wall St.’

The New York Civil Liberties Union on Thursday called on the New York Police Department to stop the 24-hour video surveillance of “Occupy Wall Street” protesters. In a letter (PDF) to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the NYCLU acknowledged the city had accommodated the ongoing demonstration by allowing the protestors to…

New York City Councilmembers urge Bloomberg not to evict ‘Occupy Wall Street’

Thirteen members of the New York City Council on Thursday urged Mayor Michael Bloomberg to allow the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters to remain camped out at Zuccotti Park. “We are writing to appeal to your not to enforce new rules at Liberty Plaza that would effectively evict the Occupy Wall…

Georgia city revises headscarf policy after lawsuit

ATLANTA (Reuters) – A Georgia city settled a federal lawsuit on Thursday filed by a Muslim woman who was arrested and jailed after she refused to remove her headscarf before entering a courtroom. Lisa Valentine was accompanying a nephew to court in Douglasville in December 2008 when an officer manning…

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