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Northwestern football players OK’d to unionize

Northwestern playeres czan unionizeA decision to allow Northwestern University football players to unionize Wednesday is a first-of-its-kind ruling that could rattle conventional thinking about student athletes, lead to changes in the way they are treated and even discourage colleges and universities from running athletic programs.

The National Labor Relations Board ruling comes at a time when questions are growing about the tight hold the National Collegiate Athletic Association — which made $913 million in 2013 — has on its student athletes.

The ruling says players are technically “employees” of the university, and they have a right to vote on whether they want to be represented by the College Athletes Players Association.


California state senator arrested in FBI sweep

Leland Yee arrestedA prominent California lawmaker was arrested on Wednesday in an FBI sweep that netted 26 people, a high-profile case that could affect statewide elections and brings to three the number of Democratic state senators who face criminal charges this year.

Senator Leland Yee, a former San Francisco supervisor and one-time mayoral candidate, was criminally charged in federal court in San Francisco with two felony counts of conspiring to import and traffic in firearms, and six corruption counts.

Yee was released on $500,000 bond and declined to comment on the case.


Charlotte, NC Mayor Patrick Cannon arrested, accused of taking bribes

Patrick CannonCharlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon was arrested Wednesday on public corruption charges after a four-year investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Charlotte announced.

Cannon was charged with theft and bribery after an FBI sting operation, said Anne Tompkins, U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. He was released on an undisclosed bond, pending indictment.

Authorities said Cannon took bribes from undercover FBI agents five times - the most recent on Feb. 21 when he took $20,000 in cash in the mayor's office - and a trip to Las Vegas.


Bombing suspect friend dead: Report on FBI shooting leaves some unconvinced

FBI reportFlorida state prosecutor Jeffrey Ashton says he had qualms about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s handling of the Ibragim Todashev affair, but still found justifiable the interrogation shooting of the Chechen street fighter in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Others, including civil rights groups, remain unconvinced that the federal agency has told the whole story of how a valuable witness in a major terror probe ended up dead while being questioned.


Judge Kills Oklahoma Execution Law

execution drugsAn Oklahoma judge ruled the state’s execution law unconstitutional Wednesday because its privacy provision is so strict that it that prevents inmates from finding out the source of drugs used in executions, even through the courts.

After condemned inmates gasped or complained they were “burning” during executions in January, inmates Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner asked Oklahoma prison officials who was making the drugs that would kill them and whether the material was pure.


Nissan recalling over one million vehicles for airbag issue

Nissan recallNissan Motor Co (7201.T)(NSANF.PK) is recalling 1,053,479 vehicles globally, mostly in the United States, to fix software that could deactivate the front passenger airbag.

The vehicle occupant classification system software may incorrectly classify the passenger seat as empty, deactivating the airbag and increasing the risk of an injury in a crash, according to documents filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


Jury convicts bin Laden son-in-law on terrorism charges

Suleiman Abu GhaithSuleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, was found guilty of terrorism-related charges on Wednesday following a three-week trial that offered an unusually intimate portrait of al Qaeda's former leader in the days after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Abu Ghaith, 48, a Kuwait-born teacher, faces life in prison after a federal court jury in New York convicted him of conspiring to kill Americans, conspiring to provide material support for terrorists, and providing such support.


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