Thursday, Feb 11th

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Supreme Court Throws Out Arkansas' Abortion Ban

Arkansas abortion ban tossedIn February 2013, Arkansas passed the Human Heartbeat Protection Act, a bill outlawing abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy if a heartbeat is detected. The new law came at a fine moment for the state's anti-abortion legislators: In recent months, they'd passed a bill doubling the state's mandated abortion waiting period, and had passed a 20-week ban on abortion.

The 12-week ban, however, was at the time the most restrictive abortion ban passed not only in the state, but in the nation. A pair of Arkansas doctors challenged the bill as unconstitutional and two lower courts prevented the ban from going into effect. Today, the Supreme Court rejected Arkansas' bid for reconsideration of the abortion ban. The high court's decision not to take this case, Edwards v. Beck, and to uphold lower courts' decisions to throw out Arkansas' law, could send a signal and help curb early abortion bans in other states.


Supreme Court to hear Obama immigration challenge

SCOTUS takes up Immigration appealThe Supreme Court announced Tuesday it will hear a case challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which could shield as many as 5 million immigrants from deportations.

Activists expected the court to take up the lawsuit. The programs have been on hold since early last year, when a federal judge in Texas stopped them from taking effect.


Anti-Drone Activist Sentenced To 6 Months In Jail For Peaceful Protest

Anti drone activist sentenced to 6 months in jailA peace activist who was arrested while photographing an anti-drone protest at an upstate New York air base has been sentenced to six months in jail.

Mary Anne Grady Flores, a grandmother of three from Ithaca, New York, was found guilty in 2014 of violating a protection order that barred her and other activists from going near Col. Earl Evans and his workplace, the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, New York. Evans, mission support group commander for the 174th Attack Wing, requested the order after an anti-drone demonstration at the base in 2012. (Drone missions are operated out of Hancock, and the airfield is home to a drone training center.)


1 Out of 10 College Graduates Thinks Judge Judy Sits on Supreme Court

1 in 10 grads think Judge Judy is on Supreme CourtAll rise for Judge Judy — the Supreme Court justice?

A new report from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni reveals that nearly 10 percent of college graduates think that the TV personality Judge Judy [real name: Judge Judith Sheindlin] belongs to the highest judicial body in the United States.

Sheindlin, 73, stars in the court reality show Judge Judy, which debuted in 1996 and is currently in its 19th season. Sheindlin is a retired New York City judge and reportedly earns $47 million a year for handling small claims cases on the daytime program.

TVNL Comment: Read the ACTA report here, and weep for the 'exceptional' country some claim we are.



Bomb threats at more than a dozens schools in U.S. Northeast, Midwest

Schools evacuated in several statesBomb threats were phoned in to more than a dozen schools in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Delaware and Iowa early on Tuesday, forcing evacuations or lockdowns, law enforcement officials and media reports said.

At least nine schools in New Jersey received phone call threats starting at about 8:50 a.m. EST, said Bergen County Sheriff spokesman Anthony Cureton, adding that four had later been given the all clear.

Searches were still underway at five other schools, he said.


Officers who rape: The police brutality chiefs ignore

Police officers who rapeIt was 1 a.m. on a Monday in March 2013 when Bronx resident Erica Noonan, 31, saw flashing blue lights in her mirror. She was driving home and figured it had to be a mistake. She hadn’t been speeding, she says.

Carlos Becker, the officer who stopped her, says otherwise. Not only had she been driving too fast, but she’d changed lanes without signaling and had run a red light, and her breath smelled of alcohol. He administered a breath test and then arrested her for drunk driving. (Noonan denies that any of Becker’s reasons for stopping her were true — she hadn’t had anything to drink and broke no traffic laws, according to her lawyer.)


SF's Bay Bridge reopens after protesters chain themselves, shut down span

Bay Bridge protestersCalifornia Highway Patrol officers arrested 25 demonstrators after the group used the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Monday to chain themselves and their vehicles across all five lanes of the westbound Bay Bridge, bringing traffic to a standstill as they demanded racial equity.

The activists froze traffic for about 30 minutes before they were arrested on suspicion of public nuisance, unlawful assembly, and obstructing free passage, CHP Officer Vu Williams said.


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