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Anonymous donor gives families of slain NYPD officers large donation

NYPDAn anonymous donor from Hong Kong has given the families of slain NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos $1 million.

Liu's father will get $100,000 a year for five years and Ramos' children now have a $500,000 education fund.

"In every tragedy, there are individuals who step forward and step up to the plate, and that's what this story is all about here today," said Michael Palladino, president of the NYPD's detectives union during a ceremony at union headquarters.


Prison program aims to produce business-savvy inmates

Prisoners business programStanding in a prison chow hall, Richard Chavez Jr. outlines his past: violent felon, former gang member, the fourth member of his family to go to prison. Then his future: owner of a mobile counseling youth service that goes where the troubled kids are.

Arching a tattooed eyebrow, Chavez credits an innovative program run out of the Cleveland Correctional Facility, about 50 miles northeast of Houston, with helping him gather the skills to operate a business – from character-building and how to carry himself to writing a business plan and finding financing.


Cops Shot Blacks’ Mugshots as Practice

Cops shot blacks mugshotsUS police officers have been criticised for using mug shots of black suspects for target practice in Florida.

The images used by North Miami Beach Police were discovered by a female soldier who used the firing range after a police training session.  Sgt Valerie Deant recognised her brother as one of the target images, according to NBC Miami.

Police Chief J Scott Dennis said that his officers had used poor judgment but denied racial profiling.


US supreme court agrees to hear cases on right to same-sex marriage nationwide

US supreme court to hear gay marriage argumentsThe supreme court on Friday announced it will review four same-sex marriage cases in this session, nearly two years after its landmark decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (Doma) set in course a string of swift victories for the marriage equality movement.

Advocates, opponents and lawmakers have been anxious for a once-and-for-all ruling on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in the US after the supreme court struck down key parts of Doma in June 2013. Months later, the status of state same-sex marriage laws began changing on nearly a weekly basis.

The case will be argued in April and a decision is expected by late June.


Eric Holder Curbing Federal Government's Role In Civil Asset Forfeiture

Eric HolderAttorney General Eric Holder is curbing the federal government's role in a civil asset forfeiture program involving local and state law enforcement agencies.

Holder says federal agencies will no longer take possession of assets seized by local law enforcement, unless the property includes firearms or and other materials that concern public safety.


Boy Says He Didn't Go To Heaven; Publisher Says It Will Pull Book

Boy didn't go to heaven....Nearly five years after it hit best-seller lists, a book that purported to be a 6-year-old boy's story of visiting angels and heaven after being injured in a bad car crash is being pulled from shelves. The young man at the center of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, Alex Malarkey, said this week that the story was all made up.

The book's publisher, Tyndale House, had promoted it as "a supernatural encounter that will give you new insights on Heaven, angels, and hearing the voice of God."

But Thursday, Tyndale House confirmed to NPR that it is taking "the book and all ancillary products out of print."


St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese files for bankruptcy

Minneapolis archdiocesThe Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday, saying it's the best way for the church to get as many resources as possible to victims of clergy sexual abuse.

"We're doing the right thing," the Rev. Charles Lachowitzer told The Associated Press in an interview in advance of Friday's filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. "This decision reflects the end of a process of putting victims first."


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