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Sunday, Apr 19th

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Stingray spying: FBI's secret deal with police hides phone dragnet from courts

Stingray spyingThe FBI is taking extraordinary and potentially unconstitutional measures to keep local and state police forces from exposing the use of so-called “Stingray” surveillance technology across the United States, according to documents obtained separately by the Guardian and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Multiple non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) revealed in Florida, New York and Maryland this week show federal authorities effectively binding local law enforcement from disclosing any information – even to judges – about the cellphone dragnet technology, its collection capabilities or its existence.

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Florida House Approves Bill To Let Adoption Agencies Refuse Gay Parents

Florida statehouseFlorida lawmakers approved a measure on Thursday that would allow private adoption agencies refuse to let gay couples adopt children.

The bill, which passed the Florida House 75-38, would prevent the state from revoking the license or refusing funding to an adoption agency that refused to let a gay couple adopt a child on religious or moral grounds, ThinkProgress reported.

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NCAA's Lauren Hill Dies of Brain Tumor at 19

Lauren HillLauren Hill spent her final year polishing a layup and inspiring others to live fully. She succeeded at both as she fought an inoperable brain tumor.

The 19-year-old freshman basketball player at Mount St. Joseph University died at a hospital Friday morning, the co-founder of her foundation, The Cure Starts Now, said.

"Through Lauren's fundraising and advocacy efforts, she not only became a spotlight on the lack of funding for cancer research, but she most certainly has become a beacon guiding researchers for years to come," The Cure Starts Now co-founder Brooke Desserich said.

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Oklahoma passes bill to allow nitrogen gas executions

Oklahoma state houseOklahoma is one step closer to becoming the first state to allow executions by nitrogen gas after the state Senate on Thursday passed legislation legalizing the method. The bill was unanimously passed 41-0.

The law, should Gov. Mary Fallin sign it, would make death by nitrogen gas the preferred method of execution if lethal injection drugs are not available or are found to be unconstitutional.

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Massachusetts cop arrested, faces civil rights, assault charges over inmate spat

Massachusetts cop arrestedA Massachusetts police officer is facing civil rights charges after he allegedly assaulted a prisoner and made disparaging remarks about the prisoner's "black" skin.

Investigators said surveillance video shows Officer Michael Motyka, 50, a 17-year department veteran, beating a handcuffed and shackled inmate in a holding cell and forcing him against a wall. The inmate was punched, thrown on the ground and kicked, investigators said.

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S.C. Officer Justin Craven Faces Felony Charge For Fatally Shooting Unarmed Black Man In His Driveway

another SC cop faces chargesA white officer in South Carolina who fatally shot an unarmed black man in his driveway in 2014 was arrested on a felony weapons charge Tuesday -- the same day that officer Michael Slager was charged with murder over the shooting of Walter Scott.

Justin Gregory Craven, 25, was arrested on suspicion of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, according to the state's Law Enforcement Division. The North Augusta public safety officer is accused of shooting and killing 68-year-old Ernest Satterwhite in his driveway on Feb. 9, 2014, during a traffic stop. Craven fired repeatedly through the driver-side door of Satterwhite's car after the victim had fully stopped in his driveway, according to the Edgefield Daily at the time.

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Michael Slager radioed in Taser claim six seconds after firing at Walter Scott

Walter Scott shootingThe police officer who shot Walter Scott radioed in to claim that Scott had “grabbed my Taser”, six seconds after firing his final shot, despite video suggesting the unarmed man was not in possession of the stun gun at any point, a Guardian analysis has shown.

Syncing police scanner audio with a shocking video – the eyewitness footage out of South Carolina which led to officer Michael Slager being charged with murder – raises further questions about whether either of two officers on the video performed any CPR on Scott as was previously claimed by police.

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