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Pennsylvania challenged over execution drugs secrecy in federal court

Lethal drugsThe secrecy imposed on the identity of the compounding pharmacy that supplied lethal drugs to Pennsylvania for use in executions is challenged on Thursday in an emergency legal motion lodged with a federal court.

The ACLU of Pennsylvania has asked judge Yvette Kane of the US district court in Harrisburg to unseal a set of legal documents that contain hidden details about the source of the state’s lethal injection drugs. In tune with many other death penalty states, Pennsylvania has shrouded its execution procedure in secrecy in the hope of keeping supply routes to the medicines open in the face of a tight international boycott led by the European Commission.

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Chardon High shooter T.J. Lane escapes from prison

TJ LaneT.J. Lane, who killed three students in an attack at Chardon High School in 2012, has escaped from prison in Lima, according to the Lima post of the State Highway Patrol.

Lane,19, was one of three inmates who escaped from the Allen Correctional Institution at 7:45 p.m. Thursday. One of the inmates was captured.  Lane and another inmate, Clifford Opperud, 45, remain at large.

Lima police Sgt. Andy Green said a search was underway in woods and a residential area near the prison, and the two escapees are considered dangerous.

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US sharply cutting deportations

jeh JohnsonPresident Barack Obama, who has postponed until after Election Day his plans that could shield millions of immigrants from deportation, is already on pace this year to deport the fewest number of immigrants since at least 2007.

According to an analysis of Homeland Security Department figures by The Associated Press, the federal agency responsible for deportations sent home 258,608 immigrants between the start of the budget year last October and July 28 this summer. During the same period a year earlier, it removed 320,167 people — a decrease of nearly 20 percent.

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Missouri passes training law for teachers who take guns to schools

Mo. teachers gun trainingMissouri lawmakers expanded the potential for teachers to bring guns to schools, and for residents to openly carry firearms, in a vote on Thursday that capped a two-year effort by the Republican-led legislature to expand gun rights over the objections of the Democratic governor.

The new law will allow specially trained school employees to carry concealed guns on campuses under the designation of “school protection officers.” It will also allow anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry guns openly — even in cities or towns that impose their own bans against open carrying. In addition, the minimum age to obtain a concealed weapons permit will drop to 19 from 21.

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U.S. threatened Yahoo with daily $250K fines over user data

Yahoo dataThe U.S. government threatened Yahoo with daily fines of $250,000 for refusing to hand over user data as part of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, Yahoo said Thursday.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review released more than 1,500 pages of previously secret documents related to Yahoo's 2007 challenge to the government's demand for data, the company's general counsel Ron Bell said on Yahoo's Tumblr page.

No documents were available immediately, but Yahoo is in the process of making them all public, he said.

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Texas textbooks tout Christian heritage

Texas textbooksTexas students may soon be reading in their history textbooks that the American system of democracy was inspired by Moses, segregated schools weren’t all that bad and taxes imposed for programs like Social Security haven’t measurably improved society.

Those passages are among dozens of biased, misleading or inaccurate lessons identified on Wednesday by a panel of scholars commissioned by a liberal advocacy group to analyze dozens of new history, geography and civics textbooks up for review by the state Board of Education.

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Obama authorizes air strikes in Syria

Obama Isis policyPresident Barack Obama told Americans on Wednesday he had authorized U.S. air strikes for the first time in Syria and more attacks in Iraq in a broad escalation of a campaign against the Islamic State militant group.

Obama's decision to launch attacks inside Syria, which is embroiled in a three-year civil war, showed the seriousness of the threat American officials see from Islamic State. A year ago, the president shied away from air strikes against Syria's government for its use of chemical weapons against Syrians.

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