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Supreme Court: Bad advice on deportation can void guilty plea

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that defendants are entitled to know that the potential consequences of a guilty plea include deportation for noncitizens, a decision that could have broader significance for the more than 12.8 million legal immigrants who live in the U.S.

The case, Padilla v. Kentucky, focused on Jose Padilla, a Honduran-born immigrant who faces deportation after pleading guilty to felony marijuana trafficking. He isn't the U.S. citizen of the same name who was convicted in 2007 of conspiring to aid terrorists.

"It is our responsibility under the Constitution to ensure that no criminal defendant — whether a citizen or not — is left to the 'mercies of incompetent counsel,' " Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in the majority opinion. "To satisfy this responsibility, we now hold that counsel must inform her client whether his plea carries a risk of deportation."

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Equally qualified women paid less than men, academic life sciences study finds

Women working in the life sciences at academic medical centers make less money than equally qualified men, according to a new survey published today that also finds that men and women take on different roles during their professional careers.

In 2008 Catherine DesRoches and colleagues from the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital mailed surveys to more than 3,000 life sciences faculty members at the top 50 universities receiving federal funding for research at their medical schools.

The more than 2,100 professors who responded reported how much research they had published and where; how many hours a week they worked in patient care, teaching, administration, or other professional activities such as editing journals; and how much money they made.

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Palin Left Alaska With Debts Equal to 70 Percent of Its GDP

Less than a year after then-Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) quit the government to pursue other projects, Alaska leads the way in its debt-to-GDP ratio when its unfunded pension obligations are taken into account, followed by Rhode Island, New Mexico, Ohio and Mississippi. And although Alaska’s ratio is far lower than Greece’s, it does give the state a debt-to-GDP ratio similar to that of Jordan and Palin’s favorite health care resource, Canada, and a higher ratio than Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, India, the Philippines or Uruguay.

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Feds thinking outside the box to plug intelligence gaps

Three recent events — the foiled Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner, the Dec. 30 assassination of seven CIA officers and contractors by a Jordanian double agent in Afghanistan and the difficulties that U.S. Marines in Marjah, Afghanistan, have encountered — all have something in common: inadequate intelligence.

To lower the odds of similar troubles in the future, the government has launched a swarm of spooky, out-of-the-box research projects known collectively as the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.

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Defense says NY synagogue-bomb plot was feds' idea

Four men accused of trying to bomb synagogues and shoot down planes in New York last spring did little more than go along with a fake plot proposed, directed and funded by the federal government, defense lawyers claim in asking the court to dismiss the case.

A federal informant chose the targets, offered payment, provided maps and bought the only real weapon involved, a handgun, the attorneys said in a dismissal motion filed this week in federal court. They alleged the defendants were not inclined toward any crime until the informant began recruiting them.

"The government well knew that their case had been a government-inspired creation from day one and that the defendants had not been independently seeking weapons or targets," the motion said.
Federal court spokesman Herb Hadad said the government would file its response next month.

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Ford Had 20 Acceleration Deaths as Regulators Cited Human Error

U.S. regulators have tracked more deaths in vehicles made by Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC and other companies combined than by Toyota Motor Corp. during three decades of unintended acceleration reviews that often blamed human error.

Fifty-nine of 110 fatalities attributed to sudden acceleration in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records occurred in vehicles other than those sold by Toyota, whose recalls have drawn widespread attention to the issue, according to data compiled for Bloomberg News by the NHTSA.

The agency received 15,174 complaints involving unintended acceleration in the past decade and has run 141 investigations of the phenomenon since 1980, closing 112 of them without corrective action. NHTSA’s repeated conclusion that crashes occurred because drivers mistakenly stomped the accelerator became a policy position that caused investigators to take complaints of runaway vehicles less seriously than they should have, safety advocates say.

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The Video That Will Put Geithner Behind Bars

The NY Fed, and likely Geithner himself, undermined, perhaps even violated, laws designed to protect investors and markets.

Keep in mind, that Geithner ran Lehman through 3 "stress tests" prior to bankruptcy; all of which Lehman failed, and yet, nothing was done. Anton R. Valukas--the examiner who wrote the 2,200 page investigative-report which was released on Thursday-- has provided plenty of information detailing Lehman's “materially misleading” accounting and “actionable balance sheet manipulation.”

In other words, they cooked the books.

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