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Supreme Court rules in favor of Florida felon who tried to transfer guns

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that convicted felons may be able to transfer their guns to someone else rather than surrendering them to authorities, siding with a former U.S. Border Patrol agent from Florida convicted on marijuana charges.

Writing for the court in the 9-0 ruling, Justice Elena Kagan said a federal law prohibiting felons from possessing firearms did not prevent ownership of guns from being transferred to another person.

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Kagan said a transfer could take place as long as the judge overseeing the case ensures that the felon cannot retain control over the use of the weapons.

The case involved Tony Henderson, who in 2007 pleaded guilty to distributing marijuana and other drug offenses and was sentenced to six months in prison. He voluntarily surrendered 19 firearms to the FBI after he was arrested on drug charges. But after he was convicted, Henderson sought to sell the guns either to a friend or to transfer ownership to his wife.

“What matters here is not whether a felon plays a role in deciding where his firearms should go next,” Kagan wrote. Rather, the question is “whether the felon will have the ability to use or direct the use of his firearms after the transfer,” she added.

The case will return to lower courts to determine if Henderson’s request to transfer the guns will be granted.

A federal judge had refused Henderson’s request that he be able to sell the guns, as did the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a ruling this past January.

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The case is Henderson v. United States, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 13-1487.


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Why teen depression rates are rising faster for girls than boys

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We’re in the middle of a teen mental health crisis – and girls are at its epicenter.

Since 2010, depression, self-harm and suicide rates have increased among teen boys. But rates of major depression among teen girls in the U.S. increased even more – from 12% in 2011 to 20% in 2017. In 2015, three times as many 10- to 14-year-old girls were admitted to the emergency room after deliberately harming themselves than in 2010. Meanwhile, the suicide rate for adolescent girls has doubled since 2007.

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Get ready for Enron II: Republicans are re-opening the energy market to underhanded dealing

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Neil Chatterjee, head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is taking our nation back to pre-Enron days when the commission was so weak it didn’t even explicitly prohibit manipulating energy markets.

Under Chatterjee, a former Mitch McConnell aide, the number of new investigations was halved – to 12 – in fiscal 2019, compared with the previous year. The commission reached just two settlement agreements for $14 million, a sixth or less of the annual average for penalties since 2007.

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China has ‘no intention to participate’ in arms talks

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China said Wednesday it has "no intention to participate" in trilateral arms control negotiations, a day after Washington called on Beijing to join its nuclear arms talks with Moscow.

The United States has held two rounds of talks with Russia, aimed at reducing misunderstandings around critical security issues since the collapse of a Cold War nuclear pact last year -- which triggered fears of a new arms race.

Washington has hinted that Beijing should also join the discussions.

But Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang accused the US of using Chinese involvement as "a pretext to shirk and shift its own nuclear disarmament responsibilities".

"China has no intention to participate in the so-called China-US-Russia trilateral arms controls negotiations," Geng said at a regular press briefing in Beijing.

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