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Storm pounds Bay Area — rain, wind, outages packing punch

Bay area stormThe biggest storm to hit a drought-ravaged state in years plowed hard into Northern California Thursday, bringing a deluge of rain and heavy winds that toppled trees, flooded and closed roadways, cut power to tens of thousands, and damaged homes and businesses.

Sections of San Francisco’s Embarcadero were closed in the morning between AT&T Park and Pier 39 due to the threat of waves crashing over the sea wall. All over San Francisco, homes and businesses lost power, traffic signals were out and transit service was slowed or halted.

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Fayetteville, Arkansas Repeals LGBT Protections

Repeal of LGBT rights in ArkansasFayetteville voters repealed a contentious new civil rights law on Tuesday.  Final unofficial results showed 7,523 votes (52 percent) for repeal and 7,040 votes (48 percent) against repeal.

The decision came during a special election called by petitioners who sought to repeal the new ordinance, which prohibits business owners and landlords from unjustly firing or evicting someone because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic background, marital status, or veteran status.

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Hundreds march in fourth day of protests in California

California protets continueHundreds of protesters angered at the killing of unarmed black men by white police officers marched through downtown Berkeley streets, briefly blocking traffic on a state highway, and delaying metro and train services in the area as protests continued in Northern California.

Organizers of a protest planned for Wednesday morning in Oakland said they expect hundreds of white people to come out and help shut down a federal building.

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Ex-Madoff aide gets 6-year prison sentence

Annetter BorgianoBernard Madoff's longtime assistant was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday for helping the Ponzi scheme mastermind steal as much as $20 billion from investors rather than look at the massive fraud that happened "in front of her."

Annette Bongiorno, 66, was also held jointly liable for nearly $155.2 billion in forfeitures, representing the cumulative amounts taken in and distributed by one of the largest frauds in history. She is the second of five former Madoff employees convicted in March on fraud charges to receive a prison sentence for the crime.

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NYPD misconduct claims at record highs

NYPD misconduct complaintsComplaints of alleged police wrongdoing in New York City have hit a record level of 5,601 — a 150 percent increase from 2006 — and when the claims were settled or went to trial they have cost the city over $315 million dollars from 2006 to 2012, according to latest figures released by the city.

The numbers reflect concerns spotlighted in recent days by rising public anger over incidents including the fatal police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri, and the police chokehold death of New York City resident Eric Garner in July. In both cases, grand juries recently declined to indict the police officers involved, triggering major nationwide protests by demonstrators accusing police of excessive force and racism.

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New York prosecutor seeks to probe police killings of unarmed civilians

NY prosecutor to investigate killing of blacksNew York State's top prosecutor on Monday sought the power to probe all police killings of unarmed civilians in his state, following sometimes violent U.S. protests over two grand juries' moves to clear officers in the deaths of unarmed black men.

The morning after angry crowds hurled objects at police who responded with tear gas during protests in northern California, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said action was needed to address a "crisis of confidence" in the criminal justice system.

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US unveils federal law enforcement profiling ban

HolderThe Obama administration issued guidelines Monday that ban federal law enforcement from profiling on the basis of religion, national origin and other characteristics, protocols the Justice Department hopes could be a model for local departments as the nation tackles questions about the role race plays in policing.

The policy, which expands decade-old guidelines established under the Bush administration, also will require new training and data collection.

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