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Monday, Jul 28th

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Abortion bill clears NC Senate as protesters watch

NC abortion billThe North Carolina Senate gave its final approval Wednesday to legislation adding new restrictions for abortions in North Carolina, even as hundreds of angry protesters descended on the legislature to express their displeasure.

The Senate voted 29-12 for the measure that would direct state health regulators to change abortion clinic rules so they're similar to those for ambulatory surgery centers.

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Occupy Oakland protesters awarded $1m over police violence during arrests

Occupy OaklandVictims of excessive police force at one of the most violent flashpoints of the Occupy protests have received a $1m compensation settlement.

The US district court in San Francisco made the award to a group of 12 protesters who complained of brutality during in confrontations with police in Oakland, California, in 2011. The payouts come in the wake of criticism from independent experts who said the police department was under-resourced and ill-prepared to deal with the protests.

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Here's How Texas Republicans Will Crush the Wendy Davis Abortion Filibuster

Texas abortion billpdate, 5:22 PM EDT: A spokeswoman for Gov. Perry confirmed to Mother Jones that he has called a special session that will begin on July 1. Perry said in a statement, "I am calling the Legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas.

Through their duly elected representatives, the citizens of our state have made crystal clear their priorities for our great state. Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn."

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Bush-era whistleblower claims NSA wiretapped Barack Obama in 2004

NSA spied on ObamaA former National Security Agency analyst and a Bush-era whistleblower has revealed that the government’s warrantless wiretappings extended to many high-ranking officials, including then-Senate candidate Barack Obama in 2004.

Russ Tice, speaking on The Boiling Frogs Show, said Wednesday that the NSA had ordered surveillance of a wide range of military officials, lawmakers and diplomats including Obama, The Huffington Post reports.

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North Carolina Is the New Wisconsin

North Carolina“Outsiders are coming in and they’re going to try to do to us what they did to Scott Walker in Wisconsin,” North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory said yesterday, in response to the growing “Moral Monday” protest movement.

North Carolina is the new Wisconsin, but not for the reasons McCrory alleges. Like in Wisconsin, a homegrown grassroots resistance movement has emerged—and grown rapidly—to challenge the drastic right-wing agenda unveiled by Republicans in the state. Just like the Koch brothers backed Scott Walker, the Koch’s billionaire ally and close associate Art Pope funded North Carolina’s Republican takeover in 2010 and 2012.

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What We Don't Know About Spying on Citizens: Scarier Than What We Know

NSA spyingYesterday, we learned that the NSA received all calling records from Verizon customers for a three-month period starting in April. That's everything except the voice content: who called who, where they were, how long the call lasted -- for millions of people, both Americans and foreigners.

This "metadata" allows the government to track the movements of everyone during that period, and a build a detailed picture of who talks to whom. It's exactly the same data the Justice Department collected about AP journalists.

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Obama to limit drone strikes, restart Guantanamo closure

Gitmo prisonThe White House plans to send some Guantanamo Bay inmates back to Yemen in a new push to close the prison, officials said President Obama will say Thursday.

The president will also announce new limits to unmanned combat drone strikes, the officials said of the program that has been central to White House efforts to combat terrorism.

Obama's 2 p.m. speech at the Defense Department's National Defense University in Washington will lay out how he intends to bring his counter-terrorism policies in line with the legal structure and values he promised four years ago this week.

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