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Four more states likely to legalize pot

Four states could legalize potVoters in four states appear likely to approve ballot measures that would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, according to recent surveys, while voters are split on the question in a fifth state.

The polls, taken over the last few weeks, demonstrate a seismic shift in the politics of pot. Even a decade ago, voters rewarded politicians who promised to redouble the war on drugs. After November’s elections, nearly a quarter of Americans could live in states where marijuana consumption is legal.


East Carolina University sells out its marching band under conservative pressure

East Carolina U buckles  to right wing pressureSomething truly courageous and wonderful happened this past weekend. Many members of the marching band of East Carolina University, including many white members, decided to take a knee to protest injustice in America during the “Star-Spangled Banner” before their most recent football game.

It was a silent, peaceful protest, but a particularly bold one considering ECU is located in the decidedly southern town of Greenville, North Carolina.

Hours later, Cecil Staton, the Chancellor of ECU, issued this extremely reasonable and supportive statement, backing the band, “While we acknowledge and understand the disappointment felt by many Pirate fans in response to the events at the beginning of today’s football game, we urge all Pirate students, supporters and participants to act with respect for each other’s views."


NSA contractor charged with stealing U.S. secrets

NSA contrator charged with stealing secretsA 51-year-old government contractor with access to highly classified information was charged with stealing sensitive documents and other digital files.

Harold Thomas Martin III, 51, of Glen Burnie, Md., was formally charged with theft of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday.


Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence - sources

Yahoo secretly scanned email Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company complied with a classified U.S. government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said two former employees and a third person apprised of the events.


Gas explosion destroys Paterson, N.J., homes

Gas explosion paterson, NJTwo homes in Paterson, N.J., were destroyed Tuesday morning by an explosion likely caused by a gas leak, officials said.

Firefighters evacuated the houses on Goshen Street in Paterson at 9 a.m. after area homeowners alerted them to the odor of gas, and 25 minutes later an explosion demolished the two adjacent, multi-story houses. A fire followed the blast. A third house was seriously damaged, and 15 other houses sustained varying degrees of damage. Debris, including shingles and wood, flew onto nearby rooftops and into the street, and cars and sidewalks dozens of feet from the blast were covered in rubble. A resident of a home five blocks away said his own house shook, CBS News reported.



Ohio says it's ready to resume executions in January after 3-year halt

MidazolamOhio plans to resume death row executions in January, three years after they were halted in the wake of a prolonged execution, officials announced Monday.

The move to jump start capital punishment with a three-drug cocktail — the source of which is being kept secret — was immediately blasted by death penalty opponents.

"With this new execution procedure, Ohio is moving backward toward a procedure that poses greatly increased risks of pain and suffering," said Allen Bohnert of the Federal Public Defender's Office.


California just passed the most inclusive transgender bathroom law yet

Cslifornia passes transgender lawCalifornia’s new bathroom bill is finally making broad steps toward more inclusive legislature.

According to Mashable, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill last week that will make all public, single-user bathrooms “universally acceptable to all genders.”

The law will go into effect on March 1, 2017, and is a huge step forward in making bathrooms safe for transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary individuals.


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