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The NYPD Can’t Stop Changes to Stop-and-Frisk

A federal judge today told five different police unions they can't stop broad changes to stop-and-frisk that Mayor de Blasio agreed to in a settlement earlier this year. The ruling opens the door for the NYPD to overhaul the practice that was ruled unconstitutional last August. In the 108-page ruling, federal Judge​​ Analisa Torres said the unions have "no significant protectable interests relating to the subject of the litigation that would warrant intervention."

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A Fox News Anchor Called the Bachelorette a Slut on Air

On this week's The Bachelorette finale, sad, jilted contestant Nick told Andi Dorfman, "If you weren't in love with me I'm not sure why you made love with me." Nick revealed that two consenting adults had had adult sex in an adult situation — and the internet exploded with slut-shaming accusations. And then Fox News got in on the debate, with a lively discussion during which Bob Beckel called Andi a slut on national television. 

In fact, he argued that Andi's slutty slut sex life demonstrated America's larger moral failings: "She's a slut! I'm not kidding you. When she sleeps with somebody else and doesn't tell the guy about it. This is what America has gone to," he said. 

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Another Mom Arrested for Letting Her Kid Go to the Park Alone

Following the insane, high-profile case of Debra Harrell, Nicole Gainey of Port St. Lucie, Florida, has become the latest mother locked up for allowing her child to play outside unsupervised. "I'm totally dumbfounded by this whole situation," said Gainey, who let her 7-year-old walk — during the day, with a cell phone — about ten minutes to a nearby park. Police brought him home and, citing pedophiles living in the area, charged Gainey with a felony. 

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What Obama Can Do to Loosen Marijuana Laws, Even Without Congress

Ever since the New York Times came out of the cannabis closet Sunday and endorsed legalized marijuana for those of legal drinking age, DI has been wondering what real drug-policy changes we can expect on the federal front. Though Colorado's Representative Jared Polis introduced the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013 in the 113th Congress, the legislation didn't go anywhere and we're really not holding our breath.

Can the stroke of an admitted stoner's pen change drug policy for potsterity? »

Land Mines Are Keeping Investigators From MH17 Crash Site

International investigators' attempts to pore through the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine were thwarted yet again today because of land mines placed on the route, allegedly by pro-Russian separatists. It marked the fourth consecutive day that investigators from the Netherlands and Australia, along with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, deemed the crash site too dangerous to visit. Earlier in the week, fighting between the separatists and Ukrainian troops kept them away.

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The New Secret History of the Obamacare Deniers

Last week, the latest desperation lawsuit to stop Obamacare — which had previously been laughed out of court — got new life when two Republican-appointed justices sided with the plaintiff. At that point, events were still proceeding in more-or-less familiar ways. But over the last few days, events have taken a bizarre and unfathomable turn. The original question — How will the health-care law be affected? — has given way to deeper ones, like, Is there such a thing as truth? and Can the power of motivated reasoning make ideologues believe literally anything?

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The Other ‘Accidental’ Death Haunting Staten Island’s 120th Precinct

The two NYPD officers placed on desk duty in Staten Island's 120th precinct following Eric Garner's death may soon be joined by three colleagues who may have played a role in the 2013 death of 52-year-old Irving Mizell. The Civilian Complaint Review Board panel investigating Mizell's death recently recommended disciplinary action against officers who arrested him at his girlfriend's apartment building before his “accidental” death, finding that they used excessive force and failed to seek medical attention.

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Israel Kills at Least 20 in Early Morning Attack on U.N. School Shelter

Even with more than 200,000 Palestinians seeking shelter in 85 schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the civilian death toll in Gaza continues to climb. Four Israeli shells hit the Jebaliya Primary School for Girls, currently housing about 3,300 displaced people, around 5 a.m. on Wednesday morning, killing at least 20, the New York Times reports, in what the UNRWA called “a source of universal shame.”  

“Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a U.N.-designated shelter in Gaza,” the agency said in a statement. A U.N. spokesperson, the Times adds, “said his agency had provided the GPS coordinates of the school to the Israel Defense Forces 17 times, starting July 16 and most recently Tuesday at 8:48 p.m., to ensure it would be spared.”

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Wait, the Economy Is Growing How Fast?

After shrinking at a 2.1 percent annualized pace in the first quarter, economic growth surged to 4 percent in the second quarter.  

How to reconcile those two assessments of the same economy? Well, the big first quarter dip seems to be an anomaly, owing to bad weather, cutbacks in inventory and the Affordable Care Act doing something strange to the health-care numbers. The second quarter boom is not really as big as it seems, either. Some of that is snapback from the crummy winter. Consumers who did not want to go outside and buy a car in January went ahead and did it in April. And some of it is owing to businesses building up their inventories. Take away inventories, and the economy shrank at a one percent pace in the first quarter and grew at a 2.3 percent pace in the second.

In other words, little has changed: We’re still stuck with the same good-not-great growth we have had for much of the recovery.

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