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Top N.Y. lawmaker arrested on corruption charges

silverThe New York Assembly's speaker engaged in a scheme since at least 2000 to defraud the public and use his power to obtain at least $6 million from two outside law firms, the U.S. Attorney's Office alleged in court papers Thursday.

Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, was charged in a five-count criminal complaint and was taken into custody shortly before 8 a.m. ET, an FBI spokesman confirmed. The arrest rocked the state Capitol, and some lawmakers called on Silver to step down as speaker, a post he has held since 1994.


‘Ag-gag’ proposal meets torrent of opposition in Washington state

animal abuse lawRiver’s Wish Sanctuary is where forgotten animals are found again — horses that were tied to trees and neglected, dogs from puppy mills and rabbits, cats, pigs and ducks left behind when owners moved away.

But Kit Jagoda, a co-founder and the director of River’s Wish, a 65-acre rescue center in eastern Washington, says “ag-gag” legislation introduced earlier this week in the Washington House of Representatives would, if passed, prevent her from saving some animals.


Justice Department Said Ready To Clear Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson

Darren WilsonThe U.S. Justice Department is about to close the investigation into the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and clear the white police officer involved of any civil rights charges, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper quoted law enforcement officials as saying that federal prosecutors had begun work on a legal memo recommending no civil rights charges against the officer, Darren Wilson, after an FBI investigation found no evidence to support charges against him.


Video shows NJ police shot man with hands raised

Man shot holding hands up : videoWith the dashboard camera in their cruiser rolling, police pulled a Jaguar over for running a stop sign on a dark New Jersey night. But things suddenly turned tense when one of the officers warned his partner that he could see a gun in the glove compartment.

Screaming over and over "Don't you fucking move!" and "Show me your hands!" at the man in the passenger seat, the officer reached into the car and appeared to remove a silver handgun.

Then, despite being warned repeatedly not to move, the passenger stepped out of the Jaguar, his hands raised about shoulder level.  The officers opened fire, killing him.


NCAA Says It’s Investigating Academic Fraud at 20 Colleges

NCAA probing collegesUNC, you’re not alone. The National Collegiate Athletic Association is investigating allegations of academic misconduct on 20 campuses, the association’s head of enforcement told The Chronicle on Tuesday.

The cases are at various stages, from preliminary inquiry to awaiting a hearing with the Division I Committee on Infractions, and they involve a variety of missteps, including allegations that players received impermissible assistance from professors, academic advisers, or people outside of an athletic department. Eighteen of the cases are in Division I, one is in Division II, and one is in Division III. The official declined to name any of the colleges.

Last month Jonathan Duncan, the NCAA’s vice president for enforcement, said the association was investigating potential academic violations at 12 to 15 colleges.

In an interview on Tuesday, NCAA officials said they were looking at alleged academic misconduct in 20 athletic programs.

Last year, in response to growing concerns over academic fraud, the NCAA established an academic-integrity group within its enforcement department, naming Katherine Sulentic, a former academic adviser at the University of Colorado at Boulder, as its chair. In the coming months, Mr. Duncan said, he plans to bolster that unit.

Report: U.S. police using radar that allows them to see into homes

police home radarRadar developed to allow the U.S. military to see into homes has spread to police departments, USA Today reported Tuesday.

At least 50 law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, are using the handheld Range-R devices. The newspaper said some began using them more than two years ago with no public notice.


Caught between greed and religion: the battle for Kansas public education

Kansas educationIn a hypothetical Venn diagram, one circle representing extremist Christians and the other fundamentalist capitalists, the lens-shaped overlap contains Sam Brownback, the newly reelected governor of Kansas.

It also includes a broad spectrum of citizens who have supported him: working class members of the Tea party, wealthy members of C Street, a middle class college student who once handed me an essay on zero-sum economics while wearing a T-shirt that read “pro-life, pro-God, pro-gun.”


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