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Monday, Dec 22nd

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Detroit Pulls Together Amidst Massive Blackout

Detroit blackoutA widespread power outage Tuesday that caused evacuations of buildings throughout downtown is "another reminder of how much work we still have to do to rebuild the city," Mayor Mike Duggan said.

Duggan, speaking at an afternoon press conference, said DTE is in the early stages of paying for a four-year, $200 million plan to upgrade the city's electrical grid, which has not been modernized in decades. When the transition is complete, DTE will run the system and the city will be out of the power business.

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'Mentally ill' Texas inmate appeals against execution

Mentally ill man fights execution in TexasLawyers for a schizophrenic Texas inmate set to be executed this week have called on the US Supreme Court to halt the lethal injection.

Scott Panetti, 56, is slated for execution on Wednesday for the fatal shootings of his in-laws in 1992.  High court justices in 2002 prohibited the execution of the mentally impaired, but have allowed it for mentally ill inmates with a rational understanding.

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US Supreme Court declines to hear juvenile life sentence case

juvenile life sentence rulingA Chicago man sentenced to life in prison for a crime he committed at age 14 has won his bid to receive a new sentence.

The US Supreme Court declined on Monday to take up a case that asked the justices to examine whether a 2012 high court decision must be applied retroactively to strike down mandatory life-without-parole sentences handed down for juvenile offenders.

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Hundreds march in New York City to protest Ferguson decision

nyc ferguson protestsHundreds of people marched from Union Square through the streets of New York City on Monday in the latest demonstration again the Ferguson decision.

The protest was largely peaceful as they marched into Midtown.

N.J. Burkett reported that most of the demonstrators were young people and many appeared to be high school students.

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US cities making it harder to feed the homeless

US cities making it harder to feed homelessFor a lot of people in the United States, Thanksgiving includes volunteering: either filling up a bag of non-perishable food items for a food drive, or volunteering, or sending donations to food banks or hunger charities like Feeding America. If you haven’t, you certainly know someone who has.

And yet a growing array of communities seem intent on making it harder for many of these organizations to serve the still-high homeless population in cities across the United States.

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Online Education: Private companies want to scoop up your child's data.

Online education run amokMassive open online courses, first envisioned as a way to democratize higher education, have made their way into high schools, but Washington is powerless to stop the flood of personal data about teenage students from flowing to private companies, thanks to loopholes in federal privacy laws.

Universities and private companies this fall unveiled a slew of free, open-access online courses to high school students, marketing them as a way for kids to supplement their Advanced Placement coursework or earn a certificate of completion for a college-level class.

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Fast food workers plan nationwide strike for December 4

Fast food workers to strikeFast food workers in at least 150 cities nationwide will walk off the job on Dec. 4, demanding an industry-wide base wage of $15 per hour and the right to form a union. Workers unanimously voted on the date for the new strike during a Nov. 25 conference call, held shortly before the second anniversary of the movement’s first strike.

The first of the recent fast food strikes took place on Nov. 29, 2012, in New York City. Two hundred workers from various fast food restaurants around the city participated in that strike, making it the largest work stoppage to ever hit the fast food industry. Since then, the size of the movement has ballooned several times over: With the backing of the powerful service sector labor union SEIU, the campaign has come to include thousands of workers in the U.S.

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