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Sunday, Apr 19th

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Indianapolis passes law to protect homeless as movement gains steam

homeless billIndianapolis became the first U.S. city to pass a Homeless Bill of Rights measure this week — the latest success for a national campaign to end criminalization of the homeless.

Indianapolis' proposal, passed on Monday and awaiting a signature from the mayor, would protect the rights of homeless people to move freely in public spaces, to receive equal treatment from city agencies, to obtain emergency medical care, to vote and to maintain privacy for personal property, Indy Star, a local newspaper, reported.

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Federal Rule To Extend Medical Leave To Same-Sex Spouses In All States

Medical leave extended to same sex couples in all statesLegally married spouses in same-sex couples soon will be able to take unpaid time off to care for a spouse or sick family members even if they live in a state that doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.

The final rule issued by the Department of Labor takes effect March 27. It revises the definition of "spouse" in the Family and Medical Leave Act to recognize legally married same-sex couples regardless of where they live. Prior to that, only couples that lived in a state that recognized same-sex marriage could take advantage of the act's benefits.

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Ferguson judge behind aggressive fines policy owes $170,000 in unpaid taxes

Ronald BrockmeyerThe judge in Ferguson, Missouri, who is accused of fixing traffic tickets for himself and colleagues while inflicting a punishing regime of fines and fees on the city’s residents, also owes more than $170,000 in unpaid taxes.

Ronald J Brockmeyer, whose court allegedly jailed impoverished defendants unable to pay fines of a few hundred dollars, has a string of outstanding debts to the US government dating back to 2007, according to tax filings obtained by the Guardian from authorities in Missouri.

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DNA evidence clears Nevada woman who spent 30 years in prison

Nevada woman freed after 30 yearsProsecutors are dropping the case against a Nevada woman who spent more than 30 years in prison for a 1976 murder before a judge ordered a new trial based on recently discovered DNA evidence, the district attorney said on Friday.

Washoe County district attorney Chris Hicks told reporters that there will be no retrial of Cathy Woods in the fatal stabbing of Michelle Mitchell on the edge of the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno.

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Obama, Selma to mark 50th anniversary of historic civil rights march

Selma march 1965President Barack Obama will deliver a speech at the iconic Edmund Pettus Bridge on Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March.

Obama has credited events of that day as part of the history that brought him to the White House as the nation's first African-American president.
He will be joined at the commemoration by former President George W. Bush and a congressional delegation of 95.

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Crude oil train derails, catches fire in Illinois

Crude oil train derails illinoisEight train cars filled with crude oil veered off the tracks in the south of Galena, Illinois. At least two of them caught fire after the 105-car-long BNSF Railway train derailed.

Galena city fire crews responded to the reports as soon as the emergency calls went through.

“The report that came back to me from them is that eight tanker cars had left the track,” Galena City Administrator Mark Moran told reporters. “Two of those were still upright, the other six were not. They observed at least one of those tankers smoking.”

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Harrison Ford hospitalized after plane crashes into Los Angeles golf course

Harrison Ford plane crashHarrison Ford has been hospitlized after involved in a small plane crash in Los Angeles, a source close to the investigation confirmed to the Daily News.

The 72-year-old actor was flying over the Penmar Golf Course near the Santa Monica airport Thursday when his yellow, vintage aircraft crash-landed into a green.  The Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed that a single male occupant was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. That man's condition has since been described as "fair to moderate."

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