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Saturday, Apr 19th

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With friends in government, Motorola beats a path to telecom supremacy

Motorola contracts...in 2005, amid a federal push to avoid another communications nightmare like the one blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001, deaths of 125 New York firefighters at the collapsed World Trade Center, Rupf and Plummer joined forces. They set their sights on a new digital two-way radio system so that all of their first responders could talk to each other.

There was, however, a catch.

A notice circulated by Alameda County to gauge vendors’ interest in the project said that the first $5.7 million phase must include a master controller made by Motorola Inc., and the equipment must connect with the county’s aged, proprietary Motorola SmartNet II system.

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Taxpayers fund creationism in the classroom

CreationismTaxpayers in 14 states will bankroll nearly $1 billion this year in tuition for private schools, including hundreds of religious schools that teach Earth is less than 10,000 years old, Adam and Eve strolled the garden with dinosaurs, and much of modern biology, geology and cosmology is a web of lies.

Now a major push to expand these voucher programs is under way from Alaska to New York, a development that seems certain to sharply increase the investment.

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Magnitude-5.1 earthquake shakes Los Angeles

LA earthquakeA magnitude-5.1 earthquake was widely felt in the Los Angeles area and surrounding counties Friday evening, but authorities said there were no immediate reports of significant damages or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at about 9:09 p.m. and was centered near Brea in Orange County — about 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles — at a depth of about 5 miles. It was felt as far south as San Diego and as far north as Ventura County, according to citizen responses collected online by the USGS.

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Republicans Must Turn Over Emails On North Carolina Voting Law, Federal Judge Rules

NC voter suppression Any race-related emails that North Carolina Republicans may have sent in connection with the voter restrictions they passed last summer could soon be public, thanks to a ruling by a federal judge.

Before the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a key portion of the Voting Rights Act, simply demonstrating a discriminatory impact could be enough to overturn a discriminatory law. Now, in order to have North Carolina's voting law struck down, civil rights groups and the Justice Department have to demonstrate that state lawmakers deliberately engaged in racial discrimination against voters.

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GM adds 824k small cars to ongoing recall

GM recallGeneral Motors is adding 824,000 more cars to an ongoing recall over defective ignition switches that have caused some engines to shut off and to disable airbags.

The US car maker said it was recalling a variety of models made 2008-11, in addition to 1.6m cars made before 2007 that were recalled last month.

GM said it was unaware of deaths caused by the flaw in the 2008-11 models. But the problem has been linked to between 12 and 303 deaths in crashes.

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Christie: Port Authority Chairman David Samson Resigns Amid GWB Scandal

Samson resignsGov. Chris Christie on Friday defended a report by taxpayer-funded lawyers who cleared him of any involvement in closing lanes near the George Washington Bridge for political reasons, saying it “will stand the test of time.”

Christie also announced the resignation of David Samson as chairman of the Port Authority, which runs the bridge.

Christie spoke at his first news conference since Jan. 9. His appearance came a day after a report from a law firm he hired issued a 345-page summary of the scandal.

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Violence against homeless on the rise in the United States

Homeless under attack in USDespite a decrease in the U.S. homeless population, new research by an advocacy group for the homeless indicates an alarming increase in violent crimes targeting those living on the streets.

In 2013, homeless Americans experienced a 23 percent increase in violence compared with the year before, according to preliminary figures by the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH). The U.S. homeless population declined over the same period, with 610,000 people going without shelter on any given day in 2013 — 20,000 fewer than in 2012.

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