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NEWS
July 24, 2013 | By Karin Laub, Associated Press
JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that he is fast-tracking legislation that would allow him to put any peace deal with the Palestinians to a national referendum - an apparent attempt to silence hard-liners in his party and coalition government. Netanyahu spoke three days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said progress has been made toward a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, stalled for five years. Kerry has invited Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to Washington for preliminary talks, though wide gaps remain on the framework of the actual negotiations.
NEWS
July 19, 2013 | BY GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer thompsg@phillynews.com, 215-854-5992
THE NOTORIOUS MURDER at the end of the astoundingly well-judged "Fruitvale Station" lurks behind a dreamy mirage of social progress. It's New Year's Eve 2008, a Bay Area Rapid Transit train carries a happy Oakland-bound cargo of blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians and combinations in between. The mood is warm, buzzed, congenial - everyone makes room, everyone seems prepared to give up his seat to someone more tired, or older, or pregnant. For a moment, on this train and in this place, the purported Obama era dream of a post-racial America seems possible - what a smart, smooth sequence this is. Then there's a scuffle.
NEWS
July 18, 2013 | Manuel Roig-Franzia and Sari Horwitz, Washington Post
ORLANDO, Fla. - Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. strongly condemned "Stand Your Ground" laws Tuesday, saying the measures "senselessly expand the concept of self-defense" and may encourage "violent situations to escalate. " On the books in more than 30 states, the statutes have become a focal point of a complicated national debate over race, crime, and culpability following the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla. The volunteer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted of murder charges on Saturday.
NEWS
July 15, 2013 | By Chris Tomlinson and Will Weissert, Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas - Republican lawmakers passed a bill that would give Texas some of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws and force most of its clinics to close, leading Democrats to promise a fight over the contentious measure in the courts and at the ballot box. More than 2,000 demonstrators filled the Capitol building in Austin to voice their opposition to the bill, including six protesters who were dragged out of the Senate chamber by state troopers...
NEWS
July 14, 2013 | By Chris Tomlinson, Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas - Democrats in the Texas Senate on Friday questioned whether proposed abortion restrictions are constitutional and whether they would make it more difficult for women in the state to obtain health care. Democrats grilled the Republican author of a bill that has prompted fervent demonstrations and put Texas at the center of the nation's abortion debate. Following Friday's debate, the Senate was scheduled to vote on the tough abortion restrictions and could send the bill to Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who has said he will sign it. As senators debated, they could clearly hear hundreds of protesters outside of the chamber in the Capitol rotunda cheering, chanting, and singing, "We're not going to take it anymore.
NEWS
July 12, 2013
TODAY, THE CITY will unveil a new anti-poverty strategy, and since ours is one of the poorest big cities in the nation, it's not a moment too soon. Poverty is a complicated problem, but recent headway that the city has made on childhood obesity may provide optimism for our ability to grapple with this seemingly intractable problem. Like poverty, childhood obesity is complex: driven by poverty, policy and other cultural and social factors, all of which has, in the past 30 years, doubled the rate of obesity in children and tripled it in adolescents.
NEWS
July 11, 2013 | By John O'Connor, Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois became the last state in the nation to allow public possession of concealed guns as lawmakers rushed Tuesday to finalize a proposal ahead of a federal court's deadline. Both chambers of the Legislature voted to override changes Gov. Pat Quinn made to the bill they approved more than a month ago. Even some critics of the law argued it was better to approve something rather than risk the courts allowing virtually unregulated concealed weapons in Chicago, which has endured severe gun violence in recent months.
NEWS
July 11, 2013 | By Chris Tomlinson, Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas House began debating a bill on Tuesday that would impose tough new restrictions on abortions, as national activists on both sides of the issue descended on the state Capitol. Republican Rep. Jody Laubenberg, of Parker, outlined the bill that would require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, only allow abortions in surgical centers, dictate when abortion pills are taken and ban abortions after 20 weeks. Exceptions to the ban would only be allowed when the women's life was in imminent danger.
NEWS
July 5, 2013 | By Tom Johnson, NJ SPOTLIGHT
In a dispute about how best to protect hundreds of thousands of acres of state-owned forests, the environmental community remains deeply at odds over a bill that would allow commercial logging on woodlands in New Jersey. In a letter Monday to Gov. Christie, several of the most prominent environmental organizations urged him to veto a bill given final approval a week ago by the Assembly. The issue revolves around the most suitable way to preserve New Jersey's woodlands. Both critics and advocates of the bill agree this resource faces serious questions about its long-term viability.
NEWS
July 1, 2013 | By Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A day that began with a ray of promise for the Corbett administration's big policy initiatives ended with accusations, recriminations, and seemingly no resolution in sight. The state House of Representatives abruptly adjourned around 8 p.m. Saturday without getting to a widely expected debate on a bill that would raise billions of dollars for roads, bridges, and mass transit, including SEPTA. Soon after, the chamber announced it was taking the unusual step of scheduling voting sessions for Monday and Tuesday - after the midnight Sunday budget deadline.
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