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Wednesday, Jun 28th

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Lawyers race to save seven Arkansas inmates from ‘execution by assembly line’

Lawyers fight execution assembly lineLawyers representing seven death row prisoners in Arkansas who are all scheduled to die within 11 days of each other starting next week are entering the final stretch of an epic legal battle in which they try to stop the most intense bout of judicial killings in modern US history.

Should the attorneys fail in their mission, two prisoners, Don Davis and Bruce Ward, will be put to death by lethal injection on 17 April. Three days later it will be the turn of Stacey Johnson and Ledell Lee, followed by Marcel Williams and Jack Jones on 24 April, and Kenneth Williams on 27 April.

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Sessions orders Justice Dept. to end forensic science commission, suspend review policy

Jeff SessionsAttorney General Jeff Sessions will end a Justice Department partnership with independent scientists to raise forensic science standards and has suspended an expanded review of FBI testimony across several techniques that have come under question, saying a new strategy will be set by an in-house team of law enforcement advisers.

In a statement Monday, Sessions said he would not renew the National Commission on Forensic Science, a roughly 30-member advisory panel of scientists, judges, crime lab leaders, prosecutors and defense lawyers chartered by the Obama administration in 2013.

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New York approves tuition-free college for middle class

NY Colleges now tuition free for middle classNew York became the first state to waive college tuition for middle-class students with the passage of a bill in its Senate.

Under a plan first introduced in January by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, undergraduate students at State University of New York or City University of New York schools will be eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship if their families earn less than $100,000 a year. By 2019, the income cap will be raised to $125,000. The law will be phased in beginning in September.

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Manhunt for Wisconsin suspect wanted for stealing guns, threatening politicians

Wisconsin manhuntA nationwide manhunt is on for a Wisconsin man wanted for a series of crimes including stealing over a dozen guns and allegedly plotting mass violence targeting law enforcement and political figures.

Over 150 police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and federal agents are on the trail of Joseph Jakubowski, who Wisconsin authorities say is considered “armed and highly dangerous” after he allegedly burglarized a local gun store in Janesville, a city roughly 40 miles south of Madison. Among the 16 weapons stolen were several high caliber handguns, and at least two semi-automatic assault rifles. Police also believe he may possess a bulletproof vest and military-style helmet.

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New York set to become first state to offer free tuition at public four-year colleges

NY set to offer free 4 year college Budget negotiators struck a deal late Friday that could make New York the first state to cover residents’ tuition at public four-year universities.

The $163 billion state budget agreement includes the Excelsior Scholarship, which covers tuition for any New Yorker accepted to one of the state’s community colleges or four-year universities, provided their family earns less than $125,000 a year.

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FBI reviews handling of thousands of terror-related leads: report

FBI renews handling of terrorist reportsThe FBI is reviewing terrorism-related leads and tips to make sure that nothing was missed during prior investigations, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

A top official told AP that the review of tips from the past three years is an effort to "err on the side of caution."

The official added that the review is a way for authorities to "refine and adapt to the threat, and part of that is always making sure you cover your bases."

The re-evaluation of prior cases follows numerous incidents in which individuals previously known to the FBI committed violent acts of extremism.

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Engines May Need to Be Replaced in 1.2 Million Hyundai, Kia Cars

Reccalls of Hundai, Kia carsHyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. announced recalls to inspect and, if necessary, replace four-cylinder engine assemblies in as many as 1.2 million U.S. vehicles, the South Korean companies said Friday.

Manufacturing errors in Hyundai’s 2.0- and 2.4-liter “Theta” four-cylinder engines, which both companies use in their vehicles, could cause engine bearings to wear prematurely and lead to an engine stall, according to recall notices posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website Friday.

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