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Wednesday, Oct 22nd

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Gay marriage bans in Idaho, Nevada struck down

gay marriage bans stoppedA federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld gay marriage in Idaho and Nevada, saying bans on the practice in those states violate same-sex couples' equal protection rights.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in its ruling that laws that treat people differently based on sexual orientation are unconstitutional unless there is a compelling government interest.

Neither Idaho nor Nevada offered any legitimate reasons to discriminate against gay couples, Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel.

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Judge orders Ferguson police to stop using '5-second' rule for protesters

Ferguson protest judgmentA federal judge in St. Louis has ordered police in Ferguson, Missouri to stop enforcing a rule that threatens protesters with arrest if they stop moving. The judge said the rule violates constitutional rights.

Police adopted the so-called "keep moving" policy — which prohibits protesters from remaining still for more than five seconds — as a method to control large crowds that gathered to protest the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen, Michael Brown, by a white Ferguson police officer.

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Wal-Mart Cuts Health Benefits for 30,000 Part-Timers

walmartsWal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for some of its part-time U.S. employees in a move aimed at controlling rising health care costs of the nation's largest private employer.

Wal-Mart told The Associated Press that starting Jan. 1, it will no longer offer health insurance to employees who work less than an average of 30 hours a week. The move affects 30,000 employees, or about 5 percent of Wal-Mart's total part-time workforce, but comes after the company already had scaled back the number of part-time workers who were eligible for health insurance coverage since 2011.

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Supreme Court Rejects Appeal From Teacher Fired For Promoting Creationism

creationsimThe Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of an Ohio public school science teacher who was fired for promoting the theory of creationism and refusing to remove religious materials from his classroom.

The justices on Monday let stand an Ohio Supreme Court ruling that found the Mount Vernon school district had grounds to fire John Freshwater in 2011 for insubordination for keeping religious books and a poster of a praying president.

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Feds probe power steering in Ford midsize cars

Feds probe Ford power steeringThe U.S. government's auto safety regulator has opened an investigation into complaints that the power-assisted steering can suddenly fail on three Ford Motor Co. midsize car models.

The probe covers 938,000 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars from the 2010 through 2012 model years, as well as the 2010 and 2011 Mercury Milan. It includes gas-electric hybrid versions of the cars.

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U.S. Supreme Court declines to intervene in gay marriage cases

Supreme CourtThe other states would be North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado.

The high court's decision not to hear the cases was unexpected because most legal experts believed it would want to weigh in on a question of national importance that focuses on whether the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal treatment under the law means gay marriage bans were unlawful.

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New York moves to limit federal deportations of undocumented immigrants

NYC deportationsA proposed New York City law would allow officials to decline requests by U.S. immigration authorities to detain immigrants for deportation proceedings unless a warrant is issued by a federal judge.

Even then, the city would only approve a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention request if the individual has been convicted of a violent or serious crime within the past five years.

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