Mon August 3, 2015

Idaho 'Ag-Gag' Law Struck Down As Unconstitutional

Under Idaho's ag gag law, undercover investigations of agricultural operations was a criminal act.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

An Idaho District Court judge has struck down that state’s law that criminalized undercover investigations of agricultural operations. These types of laws are known colloquially as “ag-gag.”

In his decision, Judge B. Lynn Winmill writes that the Idaho case comes down to First Amendment protections for free speech.

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Mon August 3, 2015
It's All Politics

Baltimore Launched Martin O'Malley, Then Weighed Him Down

Originally published on Mon August 3, 2015 11:49 am

Newly elected Mayor Martin O'Malley (left) waves to supporters in Baltimore in November 1999.
Gail Burton AP

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

As Martin O'Malley neared the launch of his presidential campaign, the former Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor said he wouldn't think of announcing his bid "anyplace else," even as the city exploded with riots after the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man who was fatally injured while in police custody.

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Fri July 31, 2015
It's All Politics

Democratic Candidates Stumble Over Black Lives Matter Movement

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 9:18 am

Black Lives Matter activists confronted Democratic candidates Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders at a Netroots Nation event earlier this month. O'Malley used the phrase "all lives matter" twice, which he later apologized for.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Members of the Black Lives Matter movement are making sure the presidential candidates don't take their votes or their concerns for granted. The candidates are being confronted with activists who are responding to a string of deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police.

Democrats have traditionally won strong margins with black voters and that is unlikely to change in 2016. But in recent weeks, the Black Lives Matter movement has been a stumbling block for the Democratic candidates.

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Wed July 29, 2015
It's All Politics

Could President Obama Win A Third Term?

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 11:57 am

President Obama speaks in Ethiopia. While there, he noted that in the U.S., presidents can't run for more than two terms. But if they could, he said, he'd win.
Mulugeta Ayene AP

President Obama was giving the final speech of his Africa tour, offering a critique of the young democracies on that continent, singling out the all-too-typical practice of leaders overstaying their terms in office.

"When a leader tries to change the rules in the middle of the game just to stay in office, it risks instability and strife," Obama said, aware that the president of Burundi, seated nearby, had recently defied that country's two-term limit.

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Tue July 28, 2015
It's All Politics

After Hope For Early Release, Prisoners' Applications Stuck In Limbo

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 7:52 am

Dana Bowerman's lifelong best friend Michelle Elliott holds a photograph of the two together. Bowerman is serving a nearly 20-year sentence for federal drug conspiracy charges. She was holding out hope for clemency for nonviolent drug offenders but it is unlikely that she will receive an early release date.
Matthew Ozug NPR

It took a while for Dana Bowerman's long prison sentence to sink in.

Bowerman is a onetime honor student and cheerleader whose brassy personality cleared most obstacles from her path. But there was one hurdle her quick mind couldn't leap. In early 2001, Bowerman got sent away for nearly 20 years on federal drug conspiracy charges, her first and only offense. It wasn't until two years in, in her bunk behind a fence in a Texas prison, that her fate seemed real.

"It was a hard swallow," Bowerman said.

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