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Wednesday, Jul 30th

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Methodist pastor reinstated after row over son's gay marriage

Methodist ministerA Methodist pastor who was defrocked after officiating at his son's same-sex wedding ceremony will be reinstated, a church appeals panel said Tuesday.

The nine-member appeals panel of the United Methodist Church said it had reversed its decision to remove the Rev. Frank Schaefer from the pulpit of the Zion United Methodist Church in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

The church last year suspended Schaefer, who has three gay children, for officiating at his son's 2007 wedding. The church then defrocked Schaefer in December because he would not promise never to preside over another gay ceremony.

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Minors remain jailed for life despite US supreme court ban on such sentences

Minors given life terms in USTwo years after the US supreme court banned mandatory sentences of life without parole for people under 18 years old, most of the states that carry the brutal punishment have done nothing to change their ways, leaving the vast majority of the prisoners already on the sentence still facing the prospect of spending the rest of their natural life in a cell.

A report from the Washington-based justice reform body, the Sentencing Project, underlines what has become a legal paradox. In 2012, the highest judicial panel ruled in Miller v Alabama that mandatory life without parole for juveniles was a violation of the eighth amendment that forbids cruel and unusual punishment. Yet since then only 13 of the 28 states that carry the sentence have amended their laws.

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Federal judge rules no-fly list process is unconstitutional

No fly listA federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the US government's no-fly list banning people accused of links to terrorism from commercial flights violates their constitutional rights because it gives them no meaningful way to contest that decision.

US District Judge Anna Brown, ruling in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Oregon by 13 Muslim Americans who were branded with the no-fly status, ordered the government to come up with new procedures that allow people on the no-fly list to challenge that designation.

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2 dead, 7 injured in Florida mass shooting

Liberty City shootingTwo gunmen sprayed a Liberty City apartment complex with dozens of rounds of gunfire from automatic weapons early Tuesday morning, killing two people and seriously injuring seven others, in one of the worst mass shootings in Miami in decades.

Kevin Richardson, 30, was killed, his family said. The other victim, according to media reports, was Nakiel Jackson, 26. A 17-year-old girl is in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital, and the names of the other victims at the same hospital were still unknown late into the morning.

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FBI sting recovers missing children, nabs pimps

FBI stingThe FBI recovered 168 children and arrested 281 people on pimping charges during a nationwide sting coordinated through federal, state and local law enforcement agencies last week, the bureau announced Monday, part of a decade-long effort to combat child sex trafficking.

The sting, the eighth in a series of efforts called Operation Cross Country, recorded the most recoveries and pimping arrests since the first operation in 2008.

The operation was run out of 54 field divisions in 106 cities. The youngest child recovered was 11 years old, FBI Director James B. Comey said at a press conference at the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building.

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Mormon Church Excommunicates Advocate For Female Priests

Mormon advocateAn all-male panel of Mormon leaders has found a prominent member of the group Ordain Women guilty of apostasy and ordered that she be excommunicated from the church.

On its website, Ordain Women that Kate Kelly received informing her of the decision by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

"Our determination is that you be excommunicated for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church," the email said, adding that she may no longer "wear temple garments or contribute tithes and offerings ... take the sacrament, hold a Church calling, give a talk in Church, offer a public prayer in behalf of the class or congregation in a Church meeting, or vote in the sustaining of Church officers."

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Investigators showed ‘inexcusable lack of urgency’ in case against Sandusky: report

SanduskyA report released Monday detailing the handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case faults police and prosecutors for long delays in bringing charges against the former Penn State assistant coach but found no evidence that politics affected the investigation.

The report, commissioned by Attorney General Kathleen Kane and written by former federal prosecutor Geoff Moulton, blamed a three-year lapse in filing charges on communication problems, an expungement of a 1998 complaint about Sandusky and a failure to take certain investigative steps early on.

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