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Saturday, Jan 21st

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27 shot, 7 fatally, over Christmas weekend in Chicago

27 shot in Chicago over Xmas weekendTwenty-seven people have been shot in Chicago over the Christmas weekend, seven of whom have succumbed to their wounds.

The figure was recorded in a 48-hour period by the Chicago Police Department, according to a New York Times report on Sunday.  It marks a sharp rise in homicides and shootings since last year in one of the largest American cities, located in the state of Illinois.

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Pipeline uncertainty illustrates broader concerns for tribes

Pipeline uncertaintyFor hundreds of protesters, it was cause to cheer when the Obama administration this month declined to issue an easement for the Dakota Access pipeline's final segment. But that elation was dampened by the uncertainty of what comes next: a Donald Trump-led White House that might be far less attuned to issues affecting Native Americans.

"With Trump coming into office, you just can't celebrate," said Laundi Germaine Keepseagle, who is 28 and from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where the demonstrators have been camped out near the North Dakota-South Dakota border.

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More than half of Florida death row inmates may be resentenced

Florida death row sentencesMore than 200 inmates on Florida's death row may be entitled to new sentencing hearings after the state's Supreme Court issued two rulings that recodify how the death penalty is applied in convictions.

The Florida Supreme Court issued rulings Thursday that solidify death penalties for inmates sentenced before June 2002 while offering a chance for more than half the inmates on death row to potentially be resentenced to life in prison.

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Pharma company settles SEC foreign bribe case for $519 million

Teva pharmaceuticalsA multinational pharmaceutical company will pay $519 million to settle foreign corruption charges, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Thursday.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited allegedly made $214 million in illicit profits by bribing government officials in Russia, Mexico and Ukraine, violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Those bribes gave Teva a greater market share, regulatory and formula approvals, and “favorable drug purchase and prescription decisions,” the SEC said.

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John Kasich Quietly Signs Measure Blocking Local Governments From Raising Minimum Wage

KasichOhio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed a bill earlier this week blocking local governments from raising the minimum wage above the level set by the state.

Legislators pushed the law through earlier this month, as part of a package of measures introduced at the very end of their session. Rep. Denise Driehaus, the ranking Democrat on the state House Finance Committee, where the language was introduced, was stunned by the move.

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Obama dumps registry for some immigrant men, mostly Muslims

Obama dumps registry for male immigrantsThe Obama administration said Thursday it is officially scrapping a post-9/11 requirement for immigrant men from predominantly Muslim countries to register with the federal government. The U.S. hasn't used the program since 2011, but a top immigration adviser to President-elect Donald Trump has spoken of renewing it.

The decision to end the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, or NSEERs, comes amid growing international terror fears and Trump's suggestions that he could ban Muslim immigrants from the United States. After a truck attack killed 12 in a Christmas market in Berlin this week, Trump told reporters, "You know my plans."

The program's elimination could make it more complicated for Trump's administration to launch its own registration system for Muslims.

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North Carolina: Vote to repeal 'bathroom bill' stalled by constant recesses

NC 'bathroom' lawNorth Carolina lawmakers gathered Wednesday to vote on repealing the state's controversial "bathroom bill."

House Bill 2, signed into law in March, bans people from using public bathrooms that don't correspond to their biological sex as listed on their birth certificates. Backlash against the law caused huge economic losses for the state.

After a series of recesses, legislators discussed a bill that may anger Democrats and leaders in the city of Charlotte, which just repealed an anti-discrimination city ordinance as part of a deal with the legislature.

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