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Texas in deal to remedy ‘discriminatory’ voter ID law: court papers

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Texas reached a deal with civil rights groups to remedy a voter identification law that a U.S. appeals court last month ruled was discriminatory and violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act, court papers filed on Wednesday showed.

Texas had been ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to work out a fix ahead of the November general of the law that required voters to show government-issued IDs such as a driver’s license, passport or concealed handgun permit before casting a ballot.

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Plaintiffs – a coalition of civil rights groups – had argued the law could exclude as many as 600,000 voters, mostly racial minorities and the impoverished who could not obtain the appropriate identification.

Under the deal, which still needs to be approved by a federal judge, a voter whose name appears on the voting roll but is without the appropriate ID could vote after showing an item such as a valid voter registration card or a government document that displays the voter’s name and address.

The voter would also have to sign a declaration swearing that he or she has had a reasonable difficultly that prevented obtaining one of the accepted forms of photo identification.

Critics of the voter ID law said it, and similar statutes that have been passed in Republican-governed states, were intended to make it harder for minorities such as African-Americans and Hispanics, who tend to support Democrats, to vote.

Supporters of these laws have said they are necessary to prevent voter fraud.

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(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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Elections 2016

California bill to establish nation’s second public bank applauded as ‘historic challenge to Wall Street domination’

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"If California is serious about addressing racial and income inequities, we must create a banking system that centers people not profits."

In a move advocacy groups celebrated as a "historic challenge to Wall Street domination of municipal finances," a pair of California state lawmakers on Thursday unveiled legislation that would establish the nation's second publicly-owned bank and empower the institution to lend to businesses and local governments fighting to stay afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19

What is China doing to stop Beijing’s new coronavirus outbreak?

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Over 1,000 flights have been cancelled, schools shut and residents urged not to leave Beijing, as Chinese authorities race to contain a fresh outbreak linked to the capital's largest wholesale food market.

The number of confirmed cases in the capital has shot up to 137 within the last week after two months of no cases, and four other provinces have revealed cases linked to the Beijing cluster.

How did the outbreak begin, and what measures are Beijing taking to contain it?

- What is the origin of the cluster? -

Beijing had turned into a virtual fortress at the height of the pandemic, with people arriving from other regions or countries required to undergo quarantines.

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2020 Election

Democrats and Never-Trumpers gaming out ‘doomsday scenarios’ if president refuses to leave office: report

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According to a report in the New York Times, Democratic strategists and Never-Trumper conservatives fear Donald Trump will refuse to leave office should he lose in November and are making plans and figuring out their legal options should such an unprecedented state of affairs come to pass.

The report, by the Times' Reid Epstein, begins with one such possible scenario.

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