U.S. Senate Confirms Loretta Lynch as Attorney General

By Reuters

Loretta Lynch.
Loretta Lynch.

(Reuters) – Loretta Lynch won Senate approval as U.S. attorney general on Thursday, becoming the first black woman to occupy the post at a time when deadly altercations between white police and unarmed black men are making headlines.

The Senate confirmed Lynch by a vote of 56-43 to end a five-month partisan deadlock over her nomination by President Barack Obama. She had waited for a vote longer than the last seven attorneys general combined.

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NYC Teen Suspected of Smoking Cannabis Dies After Falling from Building to Escape Police

By Reuters

Hakeem Kuta.
Hakeem Kuta.
NEW YORK, NY — A 17-year-old boy died on Saturday from injuries he sustained falling six stories from a New York City building rooftop as he tried to escape police investigating a report of teenagers smoking marijuana, law enforcement said.

Hakeem Kuta, of the Bronx, died Saturday morning after being in critical condition for nearly two days, police said.

Kuta fell from a roof ledge as he and a 14-year-old friend attempted to escape police, who repeatedly told the teens to stop and “relax,” a spokesman for the New York City Police Department said.

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U.S. Judge Considers Argument that Cannabis Law is Unconstitutional, Decision Expected in March

By Reuters

A federal judgecannabis24 hearing the case of nine men accused of illegally growing marijuana in California said Wednesday she was taking very seriously arguments by their attorneys that the federal government has improperly classified the drug as among the most dangerous, and should throw the charges out.

Judge Kimberly J. Mueller said she would rule within 30 days on the request, which comes amid looser enforcement of U.S. marijuana laws, including moves to legalize its recreational use in Washington state, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska.

“If I were persuaded by the defense’s argument, if I bought their argument, what would you lose here?” she asked prosecutors during closing arguments on the motion to dismiss the cases against the men.

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Federal Judge Rules New York ‘Stop and Frisk’ Policy Unconstitutional

“No one should live in fear of being stopped whenever he leaves his home to go about the activities of daily life”, states U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, who ruled today that New York City’s infamous ‘stop and frisk’ policy is unconstitutional and violates basic human rights.

Advocates marching for an end to New York's 'Stop and Frisk' Policy in January
Advocates marching for an end to New York’s ‘Stop and Frisk’ Policy in January

According to Scheindlin, this policy – which allows police to have individuals empty their pockets, regardless of previous wrongdoing, only to arrest them if they find anything illegal, such as cannabis or other illegal drugs – leads to “indirect racial profiling”, and that the city’s top officials have “turned a blind eye” to the inappropriate use of this already-unconstitutional policy.

Read moreFederal Judge Rules New York ‘Stop and Frisk’ Policy Unconstitutional