April 2, 2015
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World’s oldest person dies in Japan at age 117 – newspaper

World’s oldest person dies in Japan at age 117 – newspaper

TOKYO, JAPAN (BNO NEWS) — Misao Okawa, born at a time when Meiji ruled the Japanese Empire and sixteen years before the outbreak of World War I, died at her residence in Japan on Wednesday, local media reported. She was 117 years old and had been reco…

Washington governor bans state-funded travel to Indiana over controversial law

Washington governor bans state-funded travel to Indiana over controversial law

OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON (BNO NEWS) — Washington Governor Jay Inslee said Monday that he will impose an administration-wide ban on state-funded travel to Indiana over a controversial religious rights bill there that opponents say could give businesses the right to refuse to serve gay people.

“I find Indiana’s new law disturbing, particularly at a time when more and more states and people in America are embracing civil rights for everyone. Washington will join other states and cities in opposing this law and I will impose an administration-wide ban on state funded travel to Indiana,” Inslee said in a statement released by his office.

“Indiana’s law appears to legalize private discrimination,” the governor added, referring to Indiana’s Senate Bill 101. “We in Washington stand for equality. I applaud those companies and organizations that have spoken out against the law and said they would not locate or expand operations in Indiana.”

Senate Bill 101 was signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence last week and takes effect on July 1. The bill specifies that the state’s government cannot “substantially burden” a person’s exercise of religion, unless the government can demonstrate that doing so would further a “compelling governmental interest” and is the least restrictive means of doing so.

Condemnation of the bill has grown over the past few days amid fears that the bill will allow businesses to refuse to service gay people.

Earlier on Monday, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy banned all state-funded and state-sponsored travel to states that have enacted legislation to protect religious freedom but which do not prohibit discrimination for classes of citizens. The only exception is for travel necessary for the enforcement of state law, to meet contractual obligations or for the protection of public health, welfare and safety.

Malloy said his executive order applied to the state of Indiana, but he did not specify which other states were included. NBC News reported earlier that 19 states across the country have so-called religious freedom laws, all except for Indiana’s which were enacted before same-sex marriage was legalized across much of the United States.

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U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to be charged with corruption within days – WSJ

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to be charged with corruption within days – WSJ

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY (BNO NEWS) — The U.S. Justice Department is preparing to file corruption charges against U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey as early as this week, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the …

[UPDATE] Brain-damaged inmate executed for 1996 killing of Missouri sheriff’s deputy

[UPDATE] Brain-damaged inmate executed for 1996 killing of Missouri sheriff’s deputy

Cecil Clayton, who was convicted for the 1996 fatal shooting of a Missouri sheriff’s deputy but who claims that a traumatic brain injury renders him incompetent, was executed on late Tuesday after a divided U.S. Supreme Court rejected his request for a stay of execution.

Cecil Clayton was executed by lethal injection at 9:13 p.m. local time on Tuesday at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri, said Mike O’Connell, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Corrections. He was pronounced dead at 9:21 p.m.

The execution took place hours later than scheduled as prison officials awaited decisions from Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and the U.S. Supreme Court, although they were not legally required to await.

In a statement read out outside the prison, James Castetter, the brother of murdered Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Castetter, said Clayton’s execution “destroys an evil person that would otherwise be walking this earth,” and rejected claims that Clayton was incompetent to be executed due to a traumatic brain injury.

“There has been so much talk about the mental capacity of Cecil, but just him going to Martin Cole and wanting him to say he was with him all evening, telling Martin that he just shot a cop and then when seeing two police officers asking if he should shoot them too. There is no doubt in my mind that Cecil knew what he had done, as he went to Mr. Cole for help,” James Castetter said.

The victim’s brother added: “I know there is more that was said, but this in my mind is an easy determination of Cecil’s mental capacity/abilities to know that he had done something wrong and went for help to hopefully keep him out of trouble. The Great State of Missouri did not kill an innocent man, Cecil Clayton’s actions is what put him to death.”

Clayton, who does not claim to be innocent, was convicted in the 1996 fatal shooting of Deputy Christopher Castetter. The events began hours before the shooting, when Clayton became angry at his girlfriend while at a convenience store in Purdy, causing the store’s clerk to call the sheriff’s department. The Purdy police chief arrived and waited until Clayton and his girlfriend left separately.

Within an hour, however, Clayton drove his truck to his girlfriend’s residence. She was not there, but her sister called the sheriff’s department when she saw Clayton sitting in his truck in their driveway. Deputy Castetter responded to the scene but was later found in his patrol car with a gunshot wound to his forehead. He died after being taken to a hospital.

Clayton had been injured in 1972 when a piece of wood broke off a log that he was sawing while working in a sawmill. The piece of wood became lodged in Clayton’s head, requiring surgery that resulted in the loss of nearly 8 percent of Clayton’s brain and 20 percent of his frontal lobe. He broke up with his wife after the accident, began drinking alcohol, was unable to work, and became prone to violent outbursts.

Clayton’s IQ scores were determined to be higher than 70 – the generally recognized cutoff for intellectual disability – at three separate occasions, even though the most recent test put his IQ at just 71. Missouri Supreme Court Judge Laura Denvir Stith, in dissenting from the court’s ruling Saturday to deny a stay of execution, argued that 71 is an estimate with a margin of error, which could potentially place Clayton’s IQ below 70, making him ineligible for execution.

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[UPDATE] Missouri Supreme Court denies stay of execution for brain-damaged cop killer

[UPDATE] Missouri Supreme Court denies stay of execution for brain-damaged cop killer

The Missouri Supreme Court on Saturday denied a stay of execution for death row inmate Cecil Clayton, who was convicted for the 1996 fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy after an argument with his girlfriend but who claims that a traumatic brain injury…

[OFFICIAL] Obama on Ferguson: ‘Whoever fired those shots shouldn’t detract from the issue’

[OFFICIAL] Obama on Ferguson: ‘Whoever fired those shots shouldn’t detract from the issue’

U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday that those responsible for shooting two police officers in Ferguson “shouldn’t detract from the issue,” calling them criminals who need to be arrested.

“There’s no excuse for criminal acts. Whoever fired those…

[OFFICIAL] 1 dead after officer-involved shooting inside tunnel near D.C. Metro station

[OFFICIAL] 1 dead after officer-involved shooting inside tunnel near D.C. Metro station

An unidentified person was killed Thursday night after an officer-involved shooting inside a tunnel near the Potomac Avenue Metro Station in Southeast Washington, D.C., transit police said. Few other details were immediately available.

The incident was first reported as an unauthorized person on the tracks near Potomac Avenue, after which a police-involved shooting occurred at approximately 9:10 p.m. ET.

“Unauthorized subject pronounced at scene. All officers OK and accounted for,” Metro Transit Police said on its Twitter feed. “Incident location is reported to be about 400ft east of Potomac Avenue station, inside the tunnel.”

A spokesperson for Metro Transit Police did not immediately return a request for information.

Potomac Avenue Station remained closed just before 10:30 p.m. ET, with delays affecting Orange, Silver and Blue Lines, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

  • LINK to Metro Transit Police tweets: https://twitter.com/MetroTransitPD

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[REPORT] Ex-FOIA official blasts Clinton’s ‘blatant circumvention’ of information law

[REPORT] Ex-FOIA official blasts Clinton’s ‘blatant circumvention’ of information law

Daniel Metcalfe, who led the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Information Policy (OIP) for more than two decades, has blasted Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

“What she did was contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the law,” Metcalfe told the Canadian Press news agency. “There is no doubt that the scheme she established was a blatant circumvention of the Freedom of Information Act, atop the Federal Records Act.”

Metcalfe led the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Information Policy (OIP) from its establishment in late 1981 until 2007, advising federal agencies on how to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

“You can’t have the secretary of state do that; that’s just a prescription for the circumvention of the FOIA. Plus, fundamentally, there’s no way the people at the archives should permit that if you tell them over there,” he added, as quoted by the Canadian Press.

Metcalfe described certain statements in Clinton’s press conference this week as “deceptive,” “grossly misleading,” and impossible to verify, according to the report.

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[OFFICIAL] San Francisco 49er Bruce Miller to appear in court on April 20 – DA

[OFFICIAL] San Francisco 49er Bruce Miller to appear in court on April 20 – DA

San Francisco 49ers player Bruce Miller, who was arrested in California last week on suspicion of spousal battery, is scheduled to appear in court on April 20, according to the district attorney’s office.

“The office has received and is reviewing the case. Mr. Miller has a placeholder arraignment set for April 20,” said Cynthia Sumida, a public information officer at the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. “The Office will not be releasing any documents or discussing the facts of the case.”

Authorities have provided few details about the case. Miller was arrested in Santa Clara at 11:55 p.m. PT on March 5 on a charge of Battery Spouse, according to a police log.

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[REPORT] LA jury awards Marvin Gaye’s family $7.4 million in ‘Blurred Lines’ suit

[REPORT] LA jury awards Marvin Gaye’s family $7.4 million in ‘Blurred Lines’ suit

A Los Angeles jury on Tuesday awarded nearly $7.4 million to Marvin Gaye’s family over a lawsuit that focused on the similarities between Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’ 2013 song “Blurred Lines” and Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

Gaye’s family contends that several parts of the song “Blurred Lines” were copied from “Got to Give It Up,” a violation of U.S. copyright laws. Thicke and Williams claim Gaye’s song had no influence when they wrote and produced “Blurred Lines.”

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