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Tensions flare in St. Louis after off-duty cop shoots teenager

St. Louis shootingAngry protests spilled out of Ferguson, Mo., and into greater St. Louis Wednesday night after a white off-duty police officer chased and shot a black high school student named Vonderrit Myers, Jr., whom police allege fired at the officer first.

The shooting in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis, a dozen miles south of Ferguson, is likely to only exacerbate a very rough stretch for greater St. Louis, an aging river city struggling to reckon with a deep legacy of racial segregation and oppression.

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U.S. top court allows North Carolina voting restrictions

Supreme CourtThe U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed North Carolina's new voting restrictions, considered among the nation's most stringent, to go into effect.

The court, with two of the nine justices dissenting, granted a last-minute request by state officials seeking to block an appeals court ruling that suspended parts of a new state voting law.

The state objected to the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' conclusion that same-day registration should be restored and provisional voting reinstated for voters casting ballots outside their normal precincts.

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Texas releases death row inmate Manuel Velez after wrongful conviction

Manuel VelezA building worker from Texas, who was sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit, was released on Wednesday after spending nine years in prison, four of them on death row.

Manuel Velez, 49, emerged from Huntsville prison a free man at 11.32pm CT. He was arrested in 2005, and sentenced to death three years later, for killing a one-year-old who was partially in his care.

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Student sues Wesleyan College after brutal rape

Virginia wesleyan CollegeA lawsuit filed against Virginia Wesleyan College claims the school did not do enough to protect female students from sexual assaults on campus and fails to adequately help them after they are assaulted.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a student raped on her third day of freshman orientation in 2012 who since has left the college.

A peer adviser invited the student to an on-campus party, according to the complaint. While at the party, she said was given a shot laced with drugs and then a member of the school's lacrosse team raped her.

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Justice Kennedy orders Ninth Circuit to postpone its same-sex ruling temporarily,

Justice KennedyJustice Kennedy ordered the Ninth Circuit to postpone its ruling temporarily, at least until a further order by Kennedy or by the full Supreme Court.  Lawyers for same-sex couples were told to file a response by 5 p.m. Thursday to Idaho’s request.  The order means that gay and lesbian couples will not be able to obtain marriage licenses in that state in the meantime.

With same-sex couples in Idaho legally free to seek marriage licenses this morning, state officials filed a last-minute plea to the Supreme Court to delay that opportunity.  The plea came hours after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had struck down Idaho’s ban on gay and lesbian marriages, and then had put its ruling into immediate effect.

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Columbus Day now Indigenous Peoples' Day in Seattle

Indigenous americansWhile the rest of the country is celebrating Columbus Day on Monday, Seattle will be holding its first Indigenous Peoples' Day.

The city council voted unanimously to make the change. It will have little practical effect since Columbus Day is not an official holiday in Washington State.

Kshama Sawant, a member of the council, said that Christopher Columbus had a "pivotal role" in the extermination of millions of Native Americans.

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Freight Locomotive Derails, Spills Fuel In Maspeth, Queens

maspeth train derailmentFire officials say a freight train ran off the track in Maspeth, Queens.

They say a diesel tank ran off the rail at Eliot Avenue and 60th Lane, rupturing the tank and spilling around 100 gallons of fuel.

"We had a diesel tank derail. Ran out of rail actually. It ruptured a 900-gallon diesel fuel tank," said FDNY Chief Marc Cuccurullo.

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