4:15pm

Fri June 29, 2012
Animals

Wild Mustangs Give Patrol Horsepower On The Border

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 10:26 pm

Border Patrol Agent Bobbi Schad pets a mustang at the agency's training facility in Willcox, Ariz., last August.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

It's all new for Achilles: his name, his horseshoes, the surroundings at his home near Nogales, Ariz.

"To break 'em from what they're focusing on, you want to turn 'em from one side to the next," Border Patrol agent Luis Navarro says as he carefully leads Achilles into a round training arena.

Navarro holds the mustang by a short lead, and teaches it commands to trot and to slow down.

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4:15pm

Fri June 29, 2012
Health

Sole Abortion Clinic In Miss. Fights Law To Stay Open

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 10:26 pm

Abortion opponents demonstrate outside Mississippi's only abortion clinic in Jackson.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

A new Mississippi law requires doctors who perform abortions in the state to be board-certified OB-GYNs. They also must have privileges to admit patients at a local hospital.

The law is regulatory in nature, but at a bill-signing ceremony in April, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves was clear about the intent.

"We have an opportunity today with the signing of this bill to end abortion in Mississippi," he said.

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4:05pm

Fri June 29, 2012
It's All Politics

'Tax' Designation That Saved Health Care Law Being Used To Fight Obama

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 11:39 am

President Obama waves after signing the Affordable Care Act at the White House on March 23, 2010.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

In 2009, as President Obama was trying to convince Congress to pass his health care legislation, he stridently refused to characterize as a "tax" the penalty that would be imposed for not obtaining insurance under the law's individual mandate.

On Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts begged to differ — while using the tax classification to save Obama's signature domestic accomplishment by a single Supreme Court vote.

And Republicans pounced.

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4:01pm

Fri June 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Justice Will Not Prosecute Holder For Contempt Of Congress

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Gerardo Mora Getty Images

The United States Justice Department said it will not prosecute Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress.

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2:34pm

Fri June 29, 2012
Asia

A Portrait Of Chinese Corruption, In Rosy Pink

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 10:26 pm

Artist and filmmaker Zhang Bingjian sits in his Beijing studio in front of his Hall of Fame — portraits of corrupt Chinese officials. He has commissioned portraits of 1,600 officials convicted of corruption.
Angie Quan NPR

Corruption is usually thought to be a bad thing. But in China, the answer is no longer crystal clear.

For decades, the country's Communist Party has declared that corruption threatens its very survival. But there are signs that this is changing. Recently, the state-run media have begun arguing that corruption can't be stamped out, so it should be contained to acceptable levels. And some corruption appears to be tacitly condoned.

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1:31pm

Fri June 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Chief Justice's Critics Don't Understand What Judges Do, Gonzales Says

Sept. 29, 2005: Then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, at lower right, watches as Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts speaks after being sworn in.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Conservative critics who say that Chief Justice John Roberts is some kind of traitor to their movement because he was the deciding vote in favor of upholding the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act "don't understand how these judges are supposed to discharge their responsibilities," Bush-era Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told NPR this morning.

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1:31pm

Fri June 29, 2012
The Two-Way

House Passes Bill That Will Keep Student Loans Interests From Rising

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 2:19 pm

By a vote of 373-52, the House passed a massive bill that among other things keeps the interest rate on student loans from doubling on July 1.

"The U.S. House of Representatives passed a massive bill on Friday combining funding for transportation programs, low-interest student loans, and the National Flood Insurance Program," the Reuters reports.

The Washington Post reports:

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1:18pm

Fri June 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Assange Will Stay In Ecuadorian Embassy, Ignoring Surrender Notice

Julian Assange will defy a British Police notice to surrender. A member of his defense fund said the WikiLeaks founder will remain in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London because asylum law take precedence over an extradition order.

Saying he was afraid of persecution from the United States government and that his extradition to Sweden could hasten that, Assange has sought refuge and asylum from Ecuador.

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12:52pm

Fri June 29, 2012
World

Will Reforms End Myanmar Monks' Spiritual Strike?

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 10:26 pm

Buddhists donate food and other necessities to monks as a way of earning merit for future lives. Monks have refused donations of alms from the military as a political protest in 1990 and 2007, a boycott that some monks insist is still in effect.
Ye Aung Thu AFP/Getty Images

In response to political reforms in Myanmar — also known as Burma — the U.S. and other Western countries have eased some sanctions targeting the country's former military rulers.

But so far, one of the most powerful institutions inside the country has kept its sanctions in place. For some time, Myanmar's Buddhist clergy have effectively been on a spiritual strike by refusing to take donations from the military — a serious blow to the former regime's legitimacy.

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12:39pm

Fri June 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Chief Justice Roberts Jokes He's Headed To 'An Impregnable Fortress'

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 12:53 pm

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts surprised the country yesterday by siding with the liberal wing of the court in the health care decision.

Roberts was appointed by President George W. Bush and has reliably taken conservative positions. But after yesterday's decision, you can bet his welcome from conservatives who saw him as a hero has chilled.

Speaking to a conference of judges and lawyers outside of Pittsburg, Roberts acknowledged his predicament.

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