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Wednesday, Jun 29th

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NYC Gallery Patrons Ejected Over Gaza Flotilla T-Shirts

US Gallery rejects patrons with Gaza Flotilla tee shirtsFour activists were forced to leave an art gallery in New York this month for wearing T-shirts promoting an effort to include an American boat in the next blockade-challenging Gaza flotilla.

The incident came on the final day of an exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery called “Next Year in Jerusalem,” featuring pieces by the German artist Anselm Kiefer on the subject of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.

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Judge orders feds to pay $2.5M in wiretapping case

US Dept. of JusticeA federal judge on Tuesday ordered the U.S. government to pay more than $2.5 million in attorney fees and damages after he concluded investigators wiretapped the phones of a suspected terrorist organization without a warrant.

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker said the attorneys for the Ashland, Ore., chapter of the now-defunct Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation should receive $2.5 million for waging its nearly five-year legal challenge to the Bush administration's so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program.

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Judge revokes $5M bond for ex-Madoff worker Annette Bongiorno

Annette Bongiorno, Bernie Madoff's asst.One of Bernard Madoff's trusted former workers got an early lump of coal for Christmas this morning from a judge who revoked her bail and ordered her to surrender to US Marshals. Annette Bongiorno -- who allegedly pocketed $14.5 million through her boss's Ponzi scheme -- surrendered to marshals in West Palm Beach, Fla., this afternoon.

Earlier in the day, Manhattan federal Judge Laura Taylor Swain said Bongiorno has an "abundance of unrestricted assets" that could help her flee conspiracy charges that could send her to prison for life, Manhattan federal Judge Laura Taylor Swain said.

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Civil Rights Groups Seek Review of Texas Schools

NAACP challenges Texas schoolsTwo civil rights organizations are seeking a federal review of public school education in Texas, accusing state school administrators of violating federal civil rights laws after curriculum changes approved earlier this year by the Texas Board of Education.

The request to the U.S. Department of Education made by the Texas NAACP and Texas League of United Latin American Citizens on Monday contended that the curriculum changes passed in May "were made with the intention to discriminate" and would have a "stigmatizing impact" on African-American and Latino students.

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Death Penalty Use and Support Near Record Lows, Report Finds

Death penalty losing supportEnthusiasm for the death penalty continued to ebb in the United States during 2010. As Christmas approaches — a season of quiet in America's execution chambers, as death takes a holiday — there have been 46 inmates executed, down from 52 in 2009.

That's fewer than half the number put to death in the peak year of 1999, when 98 prisoners walked the last mile. Meanwhile, the number of new death sentences imposed in 2010 remained near the lowest level in 35 years.

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Monitoring America

Monitoring AmericaNine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.

The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation's history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

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U.S. Widens Insider Probe to Companies With 4 Arrests

US Attorney Paul BhararaThree people who worked at technology firms including chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. were arrested along with an “expert networker” as federal prosecutors expanded a probe of insider trading to companies.

A fifth man, Daniel DeVore, formerly a supply manager at Dell Inc., pleaded guilty in federal court in New York on Dec. 10 to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud as part of the probe, prosecutors said today in a statement. He is cooperating with the investigation.

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