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Jan 21, 2014

Ex-governor of Virginia indicted for alleged bribery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell and his wife were indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury and charged with accepting bribes in the form of money and gifts from the chief executive of a dietary supplements maker.

An indictment with 14 counts was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and court appearances for the couple were set for Friday in Richmond.

Jan 16, 2014

U.S. Justice Department faults head of Philadelphia gun buyback effort

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of a Philadelphia gun buyback program gave himself unauthorized pay raises and failed to hold down other expenses paid from federal grant money, the U.S. Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report on Thursday.

Compensation given to the Philadelphia Safety Net’s executive director, Raymond Jones, was unreasonably high and not authorized by the group’s board of directors, according to the audit report. It also said the group had a potential conflict of interest, because Jones’s sister served as chairwoman of the board.

Jan 16, 2014

U.S. likely to widen ban on profiling of criminal suspects

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is likely to widen a ban on the profiling of suspects by race to include other categories such as religion, country of origin, gender and sexual orientation, a person familiar with an internal review said on Thursday.

Broadening the ban would mark a major policy shift for U.S. law enforcement and would address a frequent complaint by minorities in America who feel they are singled out for unwarranted extra scrutiny.

Jan 15, 2014

U.S. judge upholds subsidies pivotal to Obamacare

WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – A judge on Wednesday upheld
subsidies at the heart of President Barack Obama’s healthcare
overhaul, rejecting one of the main legal challenges to the
policy by conservatives opposed to an expansion of the federal

A ruling in favor of a lawsuit brought by individuals and
businesses in Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, West Virginia
and Virginia would have crippled the implementation of the law
by making health insurance unaffordable for many people.

Jan 15, 2014

U.S. judge rejects challenge to Obamacare insurance subsidies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday rejected a conservative challenge to health insurance subsidies available to people in the 34 U.S. states that declined to establish their own online marketplaces under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

The suit, brought by individuals and businesses from Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia, asserted that the wording of the 2010 law allowed subsidies to help people obtain insurance only in exchanges established by states, not those set up by the federal government.

Jan 14, 2014

U.S. appeals court strikes down FCC net neutrality rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court has struck down the government’s latest effort to require internet providers to treat all web traffic equally, meaning mobile carriers and other broadband providers may reach agreements for faster access to specific content crossing their networks.

The Federal Communications Commission’s open Internet rules, passed in late 2010, require internet providers to treat all Web traffic equally and give consumers equal access to all lawful content, a principle known as net neutrality.

Jan 10, 2014

Obama administration to recognize Utah same-sex marriages

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration will recognize same-sex marriages performed in Utah and will provide federal benefits to the roughly 1,400 gay couples who were married there before the U.S. Supreme Court halted such nuptials on Monday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday.

“These marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages,” Holder said in a statement. “These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds.”

Jan 8, 2014

Police group opposes Obama civil rights nominee

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group that represents U.S. police officers is opposing President Barack Obama’s choice for a top civil rights post because he helped represent a man convicted in the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia officer.

The Fraternal Order of Police said in a letter released on Wednesday that the nomination of lawyer Debo Adegbile to head the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division was “a thumb in the eye” for law enforcement officers.

Dec 20, 2013

Reagan’s would-be assassin to get more time away from hospital

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – John Hinckley is ready for more freedom from the mental hospital where he has lived since shortly after he shot President Ronald Reagan in a failed assassination attempt in 1981, a federal judge ruled on Friday.

U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman accepted a recommendation from St. Elizabeths Hospital that Hinckley be allowed to leave for 17 days a month, up from 10 days a month, to stay with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Dec 20, 2013

U.S. diplomats, but not prosecutors, seek to quell Khobragade dispute

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government sought to present a united front on Thursday and play down any signs of a rift between the State Department and law enforcement officials over how to handle the politically sensitive case of an Indian diplomat subjected to a strip search over alleged visa fraud.

The arrest has enraged India, which demanded that charges be dropped against the diplomat, Devyani Khobragade. New Delhi has also demanded the arrest of the housekeeper, also an Indian national, who had accused her of fraud and underpayment of wages.