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U.S. high court buttresses constitutional ban on 'excessive fines' -

U.S. high court buttresses constitutional ban on 'excessive fines'The nine justices ruled unanimously in favor of an Indiana man named Tyson Timbs who argued that police violated his rights by seizing his $42,000 Land Rover vehicle after he was convicted as a heroin dealer. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, back on the bench for a second straight day after undergoing lung cancer surgery in December, wrote the court's opinion, which clarified the applicability of the "excessive fines" prohibition contained in the Constitution's Eighth Amendment. "For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history.

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 13:32:58 -0500

Consultant says unaware of fraud in U.S. House race in North Carolina -

Consultant says unaware of fraud in U.S. House race in North CarolinaThe state probe into the disputed Nov. 6 election for the 9th Congressional District seat has uncovered a fraudulent absentee ballot scheme by an operative for Republican candidate Mark Harris, according to testimony at a State Board of Elections hearing in Raleigh that could prompt a new vote. The seat has remained vacant since state officials refused to certify Harris' apparent victory over Democratic rival Dan McCready by 905 votes out of 282,717 ballots cast.

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 12:25:34 -0500

Number of U.S. hate groups hits all-time high, watchdog says -

Number of U.S. hate groups hits all-time high, watchdog saysThe SPLC, which has tracked hate groups since 1971, found there were 1,020 operating in the United States last year, breaking the 1,018 record set in 2011. The group's annual report on hate activities blamed the rise in part on Republican President Donald Trump, whose administration has focused on reducing illegal and legal immigration into the United States. "The numbers tell a striking story – that this president is not simply a polarizing figure but a radicalizing one," said Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project, which released the new numbers.

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:58:56 -0500

West Virginia teachers extend strike in charter schools battle -

West Virginia teachers extend strike in charter schools battleThis week's walkout, which closed most of the state's 700 schools, was meant to stop lawmakers from reviving legislation that would allow seven charter schools, which are funded by taxpayers but operate independently of public school systems, union officials said. Teachers have also said the bill would divert money from state schools by allowing for the creation of publicly funded education savings accounts to help parents pay for private schools. On Thursday, several thousand teachers in Oakland are expected to strike over charter school accountability and a plan to close several schools that serve black and Latino students.

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 10:47:06 -0500

Schools shut, flights canceled as storm sweeps U.S. Midwest, East Coast -

Schools shut, flights canceled as storm sweeps U.S. Midwest, East CoastA winter storm swept across much of the U.S. Midwest and East Coast on Wednesday, hampering air travel and prompting officials to close federal offices in Washington and several large public school systems. The National Weather Service warned the storm could make travel very difficult, with snow, sleet and freezing rain potentially causing downed branches and power outages. The storm reached from northern Minnesota down through Missouri and east into the Mid-Atlantic region and could bring as much as 6 inches (15 cm) of snow along with sleet and freezing rain, the National Weather Service said in an advisory.

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 10:30:12 -0500

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