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Friday, Jul 25th

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Chinese millionaire to serve a free lunch to 1,000 homeless people in New York City

Chinese millionaireA wealthy Chinese businessman who tried to buy the New York Times planned to serve a free lunch to 1,000 homeless people in New York’s Central Park on Wednesday with 250 of them dining in the park’s Loeb Boathouse restaurant.

Chen Guangbiao, who made his fortune in the recycling business, took out newspaper advertisements last week inviting “poor and destitute Americans” to lunch in the park.

During the meal, the Chinese philanthropist has promised to serenade his guests by singing “We Are the World,” the 1985 charity hit song to fund African famine relief.

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Oklahoma inmates file lawsuit over 'unconstitutional' executions

Oklahoma inmates bring lawsuitA group of Oklahoma death row inmates filed a federal lawsuit against state officials on Wednesday, arguing their executions would violate the constitution and amount to human experimentation on prisoners after a botched execution earlier this year.

Lawyers filed the complaint on behalf of 20 men and one woman in the US district court for the western district of Oklahoma against the state’s corrections director Robert Patton, Oklahoma State Penitentiary warden Anita Trammell, members of the board of corrections and unnamed people involved in lethal injection.

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US appeals court rules Utah gay marriage ban unconstitutional

Utah gay marriageA federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled for the first time that states must allow gay couples to marry, finding that same-sex unions are protected under the Constitution and bringing a remarkable legal winning streak across the country one step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union," the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver said in its decision.

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Judge strikes down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage, allows marriage to immediately start

Indiana same sex marriageA federal judge struck down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday, ruling that gay couples have the same marriage rights as couples of opposing genders.

The ruling takes effect immediately, meaning same-sex couples can begin marrying Wednesday. The clerk in Marion County, home to Indianapolis, says the office will start issuing marriage licenses.

U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled that the state's ban was unconstitutional. The ruling involves lawsuits from several gay couples.

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ACLU: Militarized SWAT teams treat citizens as an enemy

SWAT teamsThe increasing use of military-style tactics and weapons by police forces across the United States puts civilians at needless risk of death and injury, according to a strongly-worded ACLU report slamming the development.

The study, called “War Comes Home:The Excessive Militarization of American Policing,” warns that police departments across the country have been offered incentives by the federal government to arm up, and now risk alienating communities as a result of heavy-handed raids.

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Veteran Actor Eli Wallach Dies

Eli WallachEli Wallach, a gravelly voiced character actor who appeared alongside such giants as Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe in The Misfits, Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Al Pacino in The Godfather: Part III, died Tuesday, his daughter Katherine told The New York Times. He was 98.

A recognizable screen presence since the 1950s, Wallach's beginnings were anything but star-studded. He was born Dec. 7, 1915, and grew up Jewish in a mostly Italian Brooklyn neighborhood.

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Supreme Court rules cell phones cannot be searched without a warrant

cell phone warrantsPolice need a warrant to search the cell phone of a person who has been arrested, absent an unusual circumstance, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

The high court took two cases involving cell phone searches, one involving a smartphone and the other involving a relatively basic flip phone. In both cases, police used information on each phone to connect the plaintiffs to crimes. San Diego Police used pictures in David Leon Riley’s smartphone, and the guns they found in his trunk after pulling him over for a traffic violation, to tie him to a local faction of the Bloods street gang and an earlier shooting.

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