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Judge orders bottled water delivered in Flint, Michigan, in water crisis

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A federal judge on Thursday ordered state and city officials to deliver bottled water directly to qualified residents in Flint, Michigan, where a water contamination crisis has made unfiltered tap water unsafe to drink since April 2014.

Officials must deliver four cases of bottled water a week immediately unless they can prove a water filter is installed and properly maintained at a home or if residents opt out of a filter or deliveries, U.S. District Judge David Lawson said.

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The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by residents and advocacy groups Concerned Pastors for Social Action, the National Resources Defense Council and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

“Here the plaintiffs seek a stop-gap measure that provides ready access to safe drinking water,” Lawson said. “It is in the best interest of everyone to move people out of harms way before addressing the source of the harm.”

Flint, a predominantly black city of 100,000, was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager when it switched its water source in April 2014 to the Flint River from Lake Huron in a money-saving move. The more corrosive river water caused lead to leach from city pipes and into the drinking water.

The city switched back in October 2015 after tests found high levels of lead in blood samples taken from children, but the water has not returned fully to normal. Flint has been replacing lead pipes running to homes, and state officials have said the water is safe to drink if properly filtered.

The crisis drew international attention and numerous lawsuits and led to calls by some critics for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to resign over the state’s response.

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The groups’ lawsuit, filed in January, seeks replacement of lead service pipes. They later asked Lawson to order home water deliveries or faucet filter installations because transportation issues made it hard for some residents to get to water distribution centers.

The city and state argued that bottled water was widely available at government-run distribution points and ordering door-to-door deliveries could be financially crippling.

Lawson called the city and state efforts commendable, but said the plaintiffs offered credible anecdotal evidence the distribution network was in flux and not completely effective.

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“The court correctly recognized that the government created this crisis, and it’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that all people in Flint have access to safe drinking water,” NRDC attorney Dimple Chaudhary said.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Black teens shocked after basketball announcer calls their names ‘disgusting’

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A longtime announcer at high-school basketball games in Oklahoma sparked outrage last week when he said that black players on the Crooked Oak High School lady's basketball team had "disgusting" names.

Local news station KFOR reports that the announcer made the remarks during a game between Crooked Oak and rival Newkirk High School on Friday.

In a video taken at the game, the announcer can be heard saying, "The Crooked Oak Lady Ruff Necks, now their names are pretty disgusting."

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Trump’s India rally turnout far lower than his prediction of seven million

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Emerging in a stadium to the appropriate strains of the Village People's "Macho Man" as 100,000 people cheered on, US President Donald Trump looked like he was at a campaign rally in America's Midwest.

But the US leader was thousands of miles away, sweltering under India's scorching heat as he kicked off his first official visit to the nation with a lavish extravaganza at the world's largest cricket stadium.

Five months after being feted by 50,000 people at a mass rally in Houston, Trump revelled in pomp and pageantry once more as Prime Minister Narendra Modi went all-out to welcome him in his home state of Gujarat.

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In extradition bid, US accuses Assange of endangering sources

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A lawyer for the United States on Monday accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of risking the lives of intelligence sources by publishing classified US government documents, as his extradition hearing opened in a London court.

Assange faces charges under the US Espionage Act for the 2010 release by his whistleblowing website of a trove of files detailing the realities of US military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Assange spent much of the past decade holed up in Ecuador's London embassy to avoid separate legal proceedings in Sweden, but Washington is now seeking his transfer from Britain to stand trial.

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