The Lookout
  • AP080507053850Mississippi is poised to become the first state to pass an Arizona copycat law.

    The House passed an amended version of the Senate-approved measure yesterday, which will require immigrants to carry proof of their legal status in the state. Police officers must verify a person's immigration status if they suspect the person may be an illegal immigrant.

    The Democratic-controlled House stripped a provision that would allow citizens to sue state agencies or officials if they believe they are not enforcing immigration law. They also added a measure that will fine employers for hiring illegal immigrants.

    The bill passed 80-36, but the Senate will have to agree to the House's changes before the measure goes to Gov. Haley Barbour's desk.

    Read More »from Mississippi House, Senate passes Arizona copycat bill
  • Angelides ThomasWe told you earlier this week that the Congressional Financial Crisis Inquiry Commissio has reportedly referred several cases to state and federal authorities for possible prosecution. And the panel's report (pdf), released yesterday, offers more information on what those cases might be about.

    As The Huffington Post notes, the report found that banks selling mortgage bonds often didn't disclose key information to investors. That raises "the question of whether the disclosures were materially misleading, in violation of the securities laws," the panel wrote.

    It's not clear which banks may be implicated here. But some lenders, including JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, are already facing massive lawsuits from investors claiming they were sold toxic assets.

    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta: Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Chairman Phil Angelides (left) and Vice Chairman Bill Thomas)

    Read More »from Banks may have violated securities laws, panel finds
  • AP110124021343A bill to limit federal funding of abortions is redefining rape and incest, writes Nick Baumann at Mother Jones magazine.

    Federal funding is only allowed to pay for abortions in the case of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is endangered. But a new bill with 173 co-sponsors would further limit federally funded exceptions, only allowing Medicaid to pay for abortions in the case of "forcible rape."

    Forcible rape has no formal definition under federal law, Baumann notes, but legal experts and abortion advocates told him that the new wording would most likely prevent Medicaid from paying for abortions for victims of statutory rapes not involving the use of force. Baumann's sources also told him that the revised wording might also disallow funding of abortions in cases where perpetrators used date-rape drugs on their victims, or targeted mentally incapacitated women.

    Read More »from House abortion bill redefines rape, incest exceptions

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  • 10 Things to Know for Today
    10 Things to Know for Today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

  • South African lawmakers chant 'pay back the money' at Zuma

    South Africa's national assembly was brought to a halt on Thursday as far-left lawmakers noisily chanted "pay back the money" at President Jacob Zuma, after $23 million in public funds was spent on his home. Zuma was responding to questions in the usually calm parliament about the controversial security upgrade to his residence in Nkandla, which came under heavy criticism in a report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in March. Madonsela's report said Zuma had "benefited unduly" from some of the upgrades, which included a cattle enclosure and amphitheatre, and should pay back some of the costs of the unnecessary renovations. Zuma submitted to parliament his response to Madonsela and other reports on the Nkandla upgrades last week and a bi-partisan committee of the national assembly has been set up to carry out a further review.

  • The futuristic vision that's driven Tesla's value above $30 billion
    The futuristic vision that's driven Tesla's value above $30 billion

    With modest sales volume and negligible profits to date, Tesla Motors has nonetheless become a Wall Street darling based on expectations that it will be selling 500,000 electric cars a year by 2020. Are investors betting smart on a world-changing technology, or falling prey to puffed-up hype?

  • The Galaxy Note 4 may come with a very cool accessory you won’t see on the iPhone 6
    The Galaxy Note 4 may come with a very cool accessory you won’t see on the iPhone 6

    You may not really need an Ultrasonic Cover to get around while using your smartphone, but Samsung is developing one for the Galaxy Note 4 nonetheless, SamMobile has learned. In case you’ve never heard of an Ultrasonic Cover before, it’s designed to help people with vision disabilities and can detect objects nearby thanks to an embedded ultrasonic sensor that provides feedback to the user. Galaxy Note 4 owners will be able to set three levels of range for the ultrasonic beam, including short, middle and long. FROM EARLIER: New benchmark confirms the Galaxy Note 4 will be as monstrously great as you hoped Samsung already has an Android smartphone that comes with various accessories meant to help people with disabilities better manage

  • British Muslim calls for action on jihadi subculture after beheading video
    British Muslim calls for action on jihadi subculture after beheading video

    By Kate Holton and Raheem Salman LONDON/BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A senior British Muslim called on Thursday for action to tackle a jihadi sub-culture after an Islamic State video showed a suspected Briton beheading U.S. In Washington, Attorney General Eric Holder said the U.S. Justice Department had opened a criminal investigation into the death of Foley on the video, which featured a masked man apparently speaking English with a British accent. Horror at the video spanned from the West to Baghdad, where Iraqis asked why the United States and its allies had not cracked down on Islamic State fighters long before they captured large areas of Syria and Iraq.

  • Putin clamps down on Big Macs
    Putin clamps down on Big Macs

    Four McDonald's in Moscow were slapped with safety violations Wednesday by the Russian consumer-safety regulator. The McDonald's restaurants in Pushkin Square, Manezh Square and Prospect Mira were forced to temporary close their doors to customers.

  • Zombie Fungus Makes 'Sniper's Alley' Around Ant Colonies
    Zombie Fungus Makes 'Sniper's Alley' Around Ant Colonies

    A fungus that turns worker ants into zombie henchmen has a surprisingly clever strategy to recruit new hosts. The parasitic fungus in question, Ophiocordyceps camponoti-rufipedis, is named for the species of carpenter ant that it inhabits, Camponotus rufipes.

  • How Children Are Struggling Through Ferguson Unrest
    How Children Are Struggling Through Ferguson Unrest

    Some Kids Have Had Nightmares and Other Signs of Anxiety

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