Author: Bill Chappell

Cities Can Sue Big Banks Over Effects Of Discriminatory Practices, Supreme Court Says

NPR People walk in front of a Wells Fargo branch on Sept. 9, 2016 in Miami, Fla. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the city of Miami can sue Wells Fargo and Bank of America under the Fair Housing Act for damages caused by allegedly predatory and discriminatory lending practices. Joe Raedle/Getty Images The city of Miami can sue Wells Fargo and Bank of America for damages under the Fair Housing Act, the Supreme Court says, allowing a lawsuit to continue that accuses the big banks of causing economic harm with discriminatory and predatory lending practices. The...

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‘Misdirected’ Airstrike By US-Led Coalition Kills 18 Allied Fighters In Syria – NPR

GOOGLE NEWS Central Command says an errant coalition strike killed 18 fighters from the Syria Democratic Forces. A member of the U.S.-backed SDF, made up of an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, inspect the Tabqa dam on March 27. Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images An airstrike that was meant to target ISIS in Syria instead killed 18 Syrian Democratic Forces personnel because it was “misdirected,” U.S. Central Command said Thursday. The strike Tuesday by an aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition was called in by American allies, the U.S. military says. It adds that the coalition is now studying what went...

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Ethics Panel Sends Case Against Alabama Governor To Prosecutors

NPR Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, seen here during his State of the State address at the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala., could face felony accusations after an ethics panel concluded there is probable cause that he broke the law. Brynn Anderson/AP Saying it has found probable cause that Gov. Robert Bentley violated both ethics and campaign laws, the Alabama Ethics Commission has sent Bentley’s case to the Montgomery County District Attorney “for further investigation and possible prosecution.” For the past year, Bentley has faced allegations that he had an affair with an influential aide and misused funds. Now there’s a...

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Police Identify Suspect In London Attack Near Parliament; Death Toll Rises To 4 – NPR

GOOGLE NEWS A flower left in tribute to the victims of Wednesday’s attack is seen next to the Palace of Westminster that houses the Houses of Parliament in central London. Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images The man who is believed to have carried out a deadly attack near the U.K. Parliament has been identified by Britain’s Metropolitan Police as Khalid Masood, 52. Police believe the man acted alone. He was shot and killed after carrying out an attack that killed a police officer and three civilians and wounded several others around 2:40 p.m. local time Wednesday. (Two of the civilian victims...

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Former Russian Lawmaker Is Shot To Death Outside Hotel In Kiev – NPR

GOOGLE NEWS Denis Voronenkov was shot in the head on a sidewalk in Kiev Thursday. He’s seen here with his wife, Maria Maksakova, in February. Oleksandr Synytsia/AP Denis Voronenkov, who fled Russia last October and has criticized President Vladimir Putin’s government, was killed in Kiev Thursday, in an apparent assassination that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is reportedly calling “state terrorism.” Voronenkov had just left the Premier Palace hotel when he was shot twice in the head on a sidewalk along a busy street, according to Kiev Post. Citing police, the newspaper adds that both Voronenkov’s bodyguard and the attacker...

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House OKs Bill Allowing ‘Mentally Incapacitated’ Veterans To Buy Guns

A House-approved bill would require a court hearing before a U.S. veteran is deemed mentally unfit to own a gun. Here, rifles are seen at a gun shop in Merrimack, N.H., last year. Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images The House has approved legislation allowing veterans who are “mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent” or prone to blackouts to buy guns. Critics of the bill say it could raise the suicide rate among veterans — a rate that has risen in the past decade. At least a dozen Democrats joined Republicans to support the bill, which was approved by a 240-175 vote. The legislation would add a new hurdle to the process of blocking a veteran from owning a gun. While the Department of Veterans Affairs currently adds the names of veterans it deems unfit to own a deadly weapon to a federal background check system, the bill would require a court hearing before that determination is made. “About 170,000 disabled veterans are deemed mentally incompetent by the VA,” NPR’s Quil Lawrence reports. “A guardian makes legal decisions for them, and their names go on an FBI list so they can’t purchase guns. House Republicans sponsored the Veterans’ Second Amendment Protection Act to change that.” Opponents of the bill say that easing gun ownership for mentally disabled veterans would make them a greater threat to themselves. As recently as 2014, an average of...

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Sharing Of Nude Photos Of Female Marines Prompts Pentagon Investigation – NPR

A Pentagon investigation is under way into the posting of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of nude photos of female Marines. Here, members of the service march in the Veterans Day Parade in New York City last November. Spencer Platt/Getty Images Hundreds of Marines are reportedly under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, after a trove of photographs were shared online that show female service members and veterans in the nude. The images were spread via a closed Facebook group with thousands of members. When the photos were shared via Marines United — a Facebook group that’s intended only for male Marines and Marine veterans — they drew bawdy and obscene comments, according to two nonprofit news sites: the War Horse and the Center for Investigative Reporting. According to War Horse founder Thomas James Brennan, many of the photos on the Marines United page included personal information about the female service members, from their name, rank and duty station to the names of their social media accounts. The Facebook page also included links to a Google Drive with even more images — and an invitation to any members to contribute photos. The images were obtained in a variety of ways, Brennan reports, from sharing by former partners to stalking and, potentially, the hacking of service members’ personal accounts. Almost immediately after the War Horse contacted the Marine Corps about...

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Court Moves ‘Bridgegate’ Case Forward, Setting A Date For Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his wife, Mary Pat Christie, visited the White House this week, ahead of a court date related to lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. Evan Vucci/AP Nearly four months after a former aide testified that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about a looming traffic nightmare that sparked a political scandal, a municipal judge says a criminal complaint against Christie can move forward. In finding there is probable cause for a complaint of official misconduct to proceed against Christie, Bergen County Municipal Court Judge Roy McGeady is extending a probe into the governor’s involvement in a case that has generated federal charges against several former aides to Christie. Christie is scheduled to appear in court over the case on March 10. The case stems from lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that were made in September of 2013 — closures that were seen as targeting the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., for not supporting Christie’s re-election campaign. “The criminal complaint was brought against Christie by William Brennan, a Bergen County activist who is now running for governor,” WNYC reports. The member station adds, “The complaint accuses the governor of failing to stop subordinates from purposely creating traffic jams to punish a Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse him.”  In November, Christie’s deputy chief of staff and the former Port Authority deputy executive...

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