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Criminalizing everyone: the rapid and dangerous expansion of federal criminal law

Kathy and George Norris lived under the specter of a covert government investigation for almost six months before the government unsealed a secret indictment and revealed why the Fish and Wildlife Service had treated their family home as if it were a training base for suspected terrorists. Orchids.

That's right. Orchids. By March 2004, federal prosecutors were well on their way to turning 66-year-old retiree George Norris into an inmate in a federal penitentiary - based on his home-based business of cultivating, importing and selling orchids.

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G20 protesters blasted by sonic cannon

US police spark outrage by using wartime acoustic weapon to disperse G20 protesters in Pittsburgh.

Only a few hundreds protesters took to the streets of Pittsburgh to mark the opening day of the G20 summit of world leaders, but the police were taking no chances.

Sonic weapons or long-range acoustic devices have been used by the US military overseas, notably against Somali pirates and Iraqi insurgents.

But US security forces turned the piercing sound on their own citizens yesterday to widespread outrage. Pittsburgh officials told the New York Times that it was the first time "sound cannon" had been used publicly.

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There's no denying Obama's race plays a role in protests

"Anyone who's looked at some of the signs at the various 'tea parties' knows perfectly well that race is a significant part of this backlash," he said. " . . . I'm not suggesting that every person angry about health care or immigration is a Klansman in disguise, but at the back of this white-hot rage that we've been seeing are people who are genuinely furious about the way the country is changing and changing racially."

No one symbolizes the changing face of America more than Obama does. "I think hundreds of thousands of whites are taking these very real changes and attributing them to the race of the president."

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Court Strikes Down Regulations Limiting Nonprofits' Campaign Funds

A federal appeals court has struck down regulations that strictly limited how nonprofit groups raise and spend money for political campaigns.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit made the ruling in a lawsuit brought by Emily's List, which backs women Democratic candidates who support abortion rights. The group had challenged the regulations, which went into effect in 2005, as being an unconstitutional infringement on its free speech rights.

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75 Percent of Oklahoma High School Students Can't Name the First President of the U.S.

Only one in four Oklahoma public high school students can name the first President of the United States, according to a survey released today.The survey was commissioned by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs in observance of Constitution Day on Thursday.

The Oklahoma City-based think tank enlisted national research firm, Strategic Vision, to access students' basic civic knowledge.

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Obama 'clones' Bush in killing sovereignty

President Obama is continuing President George W. Bush's effort to advance North American integration with a public-relations makeover calculated to place the program under the radar of public opinion and to deflect concerns about border security and national sovereignty.

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Census Count of Same-Sex Couples to Stir Policy Fights

When the U.S. Census Bureau counts same-sex married couples next year, demographers expect hundreds of thousands to report they are spouses -- even though legal same-sex weddings in the United States number in the tens of thousands.

Gay advocates say they plan to use "A Census that Reflects America's Population," as the Census Bureau calls its plan to report same-sex marriage statistics, to push for legislative and policy initiatives, while groups opposed to same-sex marriage weigh a counteroffensive.

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