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April 22, 2015 4:53 AM Senate leaders reach deal on trafficking bill

WASHINGTON — Senators reached a deal Tuesday to end their month-long impasse on a bipartisan human trafficking bill that got bogged down in a battle over abortion. Senators were poised to vote by Wednesday on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking bill, which would increase criminal penalties for traffickers and create a fund to help victims. The average 17

April 22, 2015 4:32 AM City Council gets ripped again for plan to decriminalize minor offenses

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is pushing the plan to decriminalize certain minor offenses. But police groups have blasted the proposal. NYPD critics of a City Council plan to decriminalize low-level crimes carped Tuesday that the proposal would create more issues than answers. “Has our city become . . . a bastion of liberal nirvana surrounded 4

April 22, 2015 3:22 AM House backs higher fine for texting-while-driving offenses

Serial offenders of Minnesota's prohibition on texting while driving could soon face steeper fines. As part of a transportation plan advancing Tuesday, House lawmakers have embraced a plan to raise fines for people caught more than once reading, composing and sending messages from wireless devices while driving. The current fine is $50. The new fine for repeat 62

April 22, 2015 12:35 AM Tiny St. Louis County Town Used Police Force As 'Bullies,' Former Mayor Claims

ST. LOUIS -- Pine Lawn, a tiny St. Louis County town notorious for corruption and predatory ticketing practices, is being sued by its 80-year-old former mayor, who alleges a successor used the police department to falsely arrest him and portray him as a criminal. Adrian Wright, Pine Lawn mayor from 1993 until 2005, says in a federal lawsuit that ex-Mayor 2

April 22, 2015 12:17 AM APNewsBreak: NY Aims to Cut Waste by 90 Percent by 2030

The nation's biggest city, in a far-reaching effort to limit its impact on the environment, is set to mark Earth Day by announcing the ambitious goal of reducing its waste output by more than 3 million tons by 2030. The Zero Waste plan, which includes an overhaul of the city's recycling program, incentives to reduce waste and tacit support for the City Council's 21

April 21, 2015 11:23 PM Obama attorney general nominee heads for vote after 5 months

President Barack Obama's long-stalled nominee for attorney general, federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch, is on her way to a confirmation vote after senators extricated themselves Tuesday from a partisan dispute over abortion that had stood in her way. An agreement announced by Senate leaders allowed both Republicans and Democrats to save face on a once-uncontroversial 20

April 21, 2015 11:03 PM Gazprom Antitrust Case Targets Putin on Ukraine

An antitrust case against Russia's energy giant could weaken its economy and influence on Europe. Russia’s economy and its influence in Europe will be threatened by an antitrust case expected on Wednesday from the European Union against Gazprom, the state-run energy company that for years has been accused of manipulating prices and supplies to further 6

April 21, 2015 10:56 PM How the deal got done: Amy Klobuchar's 'cornfield idea' saves anti-human trafficking bill

Washington (CNN)A month ago, the office of Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar was embarrassed when it was revealed that a staff member had learned of but failed to flag controversial abortion language that Republicans had quietly slipped into an otherwise popular and bipartisan anti-human trafficking bill. The provision caused a major dust up between the parties 4

April 21, 2015 10:31 PM Residents Near Duke Ash Dumps Told Not to Drink Well Water

North Carolina officials are advising dozens of residents near Duke Energy coal ash dumps not to drink or cook with water from their wells after tests showed contamination with toxic heavy metals. The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Tuesday that tests of 87 private wells near eight Duke plants showed results that failed to meet state 18

April 21, 2015 8:58 PM Hillary Clinton Has Politically Advantageous Views: Source

SENATE REACHES DEAL ON TRAFFICKING BILL, LYNCH NOMINATION - Jen Bendery: "Senate leaders announced Tuesday that they've resolved a weeks-long standoff over a sex trafficking bill containing controversial anti-abortion language, clearing the way, at last, for U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch to get her confirmation vote.... Aides to Sens. Patty 24