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Tuesday, Apr 21st

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Fight over religious objection proposals shifts to Arkansas

Arizona gay rightsThe fight over religious objection proposals facing increasing criticism from businesses and advocates who call them a license to discriminate against gays and lesbians has shifted toward Arkansas, which was poised to become the second state this year to enact such a measure.

A final vote could come as early as Tuesday in the state House on the proposal that would prohibit state and local government from infringing on someone's religious beliefs without a "compelling" reason. Unlike Indiana — where Republicans were working on adding language to clarify the state's recently enacted law after a firestorm of protests — Arkansas lawmakers said they weren't seeking to modify the measure.

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Spence Jackson, Spokesperson for Late Missouri Auditor Found Dead

Spence JacksonVeteran Missouri state official Robert "Spence" Jackson, who was media director for the late state auditor Tom Schweich, was found dead Sunday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 44.

Jackson’s death comes about a month after Schweich’s suicide. Amid the subsequent turmoil in the state’s Republican Party, Jackson emerged as a strong critic of Schweich’s political adversaries, to the point of calling for the resignation of a top party official.

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U.S. Supreme Court rejects Obamacare 'death panel' challenge

ObamacareThe U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a new challenge to President Barack Obama's healthcare law that took aim at a bureaucratic board labeled by some Republicans as a "death panel" because it was designed to cut Medicare costs.

The high court left intact a ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that threw out the lawsuit.

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Two men dressed as women involved in NSA headquarters shooting

NSAAn NSA police officer opened fire Monday morning when two men disguised as women and driving a stolen car tried to ram through the gates at Fort Meade — and one suspect was killed, sources said.

After trying to make an "unathorized entry," the driver of the Ford Escape ignored the guard's order to leave the area, NSA spokesman Jonathan Freed said in a statement.

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Church van crashes into canal, killing 8 and injuring 10

Church van crashA church van ran through a stop sign, crossed all four lanes of a rural highway and nosedived into a canal, killing eight people and injuring 10 early Monday in southwest Florida, authorities said.

"They didn't see that stop sign. They shot right through it," Glades County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Duane Pottorff said. "It was a sad evening."

The van was heading back to a church in Fort Pierce, north of West Palm Beach on the Atlantic coast, after a weekend convention in Fort Myers, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

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New restrictions on abortion could pass in Florida legislature

right to chooseThe Florida Legislature is considering several new measures to restrict abortions, including one with a strong chance of passage that calls for a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can undergo the procedure.

That measure, House Bill 0633, would require that a woman make one trip to the clinic for legally required counseling before coming back 24 hours later for the procedure. Another measure, House Bill 147, with less chance of passage, would require that abortion clinic doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

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Marijuana seeds distributed for free at D.C.-hosted event

Pot seeds shared at DC eventResidents of Washington D.C. lined up for free cannabis seeds Saturday in a giveaway resulting from last year's successful ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in the District of Columbia.

The event, sponsored by the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, was held Thursday and Saturday and saw hundreds of 18-and-up D.C. residents line up to receive and trade free seeds.

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