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n2doc

Oklahoma Will Charge Customers Who Install Their Own Solar Panels

(Think Progress) Oklahoma residents who produce their own energy through solar panels or small wind turbines on their property will now be charged an additional fee, the result of a new bill passed by the state legislature and expected to be signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin (R).

On Monday, S.B. 1456 passed the state House 83-5 after no debate. The measure creates a new class of customers: those who install distributed power generation systems like solar panels or small wind turbines on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. While those with systems already installed won’t be affected, the new class of customers will now be charged a monthly fee — a shift that happened quickly and caught many in the state off guard.

kpete

TRUMKA Wants Elizabeth Warren to Be President: "In short," he wrote, "it don't get no better."

In a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session, one user asked Trumka for his thoughts on Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

"I have met Elizabeth Warren on multiple occasions," Trumka responded. "In my opinion, she is the prototype of a person we would want to be president of the United States. She has a very well-defined set of values and unlike many politicians, she actually sticks by those values and fights to implement them."

"In short," he wrote, "it don't get no better."

appleannie1

The Harshest Abortion Ban In The Country Has Been Overturned

(Think Progress) A federal judge permanently struck down North Dakota’s six-week abortion ban on Wednesday. The so-called “fetal heartbeat” measure, which used to represent the harshest ban in the nation, had already been temporarily blocked from taking effect while the legal challenge against it proceeded. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled that the law is “invalid and unconstitutional” and “cannot withstand a constitutional challenge,” pointing out that Roe v. Wade guarantees the right to abortion up until the point of viability.

Galraedia

Oklahoma school district OKs ‘Bible curriculum’ created by Hobby Lobby president

(Raw story) According to the Religious News Service, the “Museum of the Bible Curriculum” created by Hobby Lobby’s President Steve Green will be beta-tested in Oklahoma’s Mustang Public School district beginning in the Fall of 2014.

Green hopes the program — which will be overseen by Jerry Pattengale, head of the Green Scholars Initiative — will be placed in “hundreds” of high schools by 2016, and “thousands” by 2017. It is a four-year elective course in which students will study the narrative, history, and impact of the Bible on Western Civilization. Because the book is being taught within an academic purview, it does not violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Abington School District v. Schempp.

MindMover

First GOP Governor Calls On Boehner To Extend Unemployment Benefits

(TPM) Nevada's Brian Sandoval became the first Republican governor to publicly call on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to revive unemployment insurance for more than 2 million Americans.

In a letter dated April 11, Sandoval and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) endorsed the Senate-passed bill to extend long-term jobless benefits through the end of May, with retroactive compensation for those who lost it when the program expired on Dec. 28.

SunsetDreams

Governor Bans Minimum Wage Increases And Paid Sick Leave Laws (Oklahoma)

(Think Progress) At a time when many states and cities are working passing minimum wage increases, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has gone in the opposite direction and signed a law banning cities from passing higher wages. The bill also bans them from enacting paid sick days or vacation requirements.

The law will stymie the efforts of activists in Oklahoma City, where a labor federation has led the push on a petition to raise the city’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The state’s current minimum has been set at the federal level of $7.25. In 2012, 64,000 workers in the state earned $7.25 an hour or less, making up 7.2 percent of all hourly workers, a larger share than the 4.7 percent figure for the country as a whole.

Omaha Steve

CBO Estimates U.S. Deficit Will Shrink More Than Expected in 2014--Update

(WSJ) The U.S. government's gap between spending and revenue will be narrower both this year and later in the decade compared with prior estimates, driven in part by reductions in near-term military spending and falling longer-run costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office said.

The CBO, a nonpartisan agency that advises Congress on budget policy, on Monday said the adjustments will lower its forecast for the 2014 deficit to $492 billion, or $23 billion less than it estimated two months ago. That's equivalent to 2.8% of gross domestic product, marking the smallest deficit since 2007. Since 1980, the deficit has averaged roughly 3.2% of GDP.

DonViejo

CBO Lowers Obamacare's Price Tag By $104 Billion Over 10 Years

(TPM) In its latest projections for Obamacare, the Congressional Budget Office has lowered the law's costs over the next 10 years by more than $100 billion.

Most of the change can be linked to lower spending on tax subsidies for coverage purchased on HealthCare.gov and its state counterparts, which can in turn be linked to lower-than-expected premiums.

DonViejo

Scott Brown's Campaign Mocks His Opponent As A 'Senator From Massachusetts'

(TPM) Eager to shed his identity as a former senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown's campaign is now apparently deriding his opponent as the "third senator from Massachusetts." As he kicked off his Senate campaign in New Hampshire last week, Brown received assistance from the state's former Republican governor, John H. Sununu.

“Shaheen votes with Elizabeth Warren. She votes with (Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed) Markey. She is the third senator from Massachusetts,” Sunnunu said at Brown's Portsmouth, N.H. rally, according to Yahoo's Chris Moody. “Scott’s happiest days as a young man were in New Hampshire. … So it’s going to be great to have a senator that was born virtually in the state of New Hampshire. Jean Shaheen, by the way, was born in Missouri!”

eridani

NRA gunning for making elephants extinct

(Reader Supported News) When the Obama administration announced plans to halt the domestic sale of most elephant ivory, the National Rifle Association urged its members to mobilize against the ban.

While the NRA said it agreed with the goal of ending endangered elephant poaching, it warned that something far more important was at stake: “This is another attempt by this anti-gun administration to ban firearms,” the organization asserted in an alert.

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Fraternity shuts Ole Miss branch after noose tying

11 min ago - JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A national fraternity group has closed its University of Mississippi chapter after three members were accused of tying a noose around the neck of a statue of the first black student to enroll in the then-all white Southern colle ... (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Jennifer Gratz challenges Detroit high schooler to affirmative action debate

13 min ago - Jennifer Gratz has issued a challenge to a Detroit teenager who has protested University of Michigan's admissions policies after being rejected from the school this year. The challenge? A debate on affirmative action. Brooke Kimbrough, who is black ... (Ann Arbor News)

Oregon ruling spurs halt on immigration detainers

20 min ago - PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge in Oregon has found that an immigrant woman’s constitutional rights were violated when she was held in jail without probable cause at the request of U.S. immigration authorities. The ruling is one of several rec ... (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Texas seizes polygamist group’s secluded ranch

22 min ago - ELDORADO, Texas (AP) — State agents have seized a polygamous group’s Texas ranch where hundreds of children were removed during a 2008 FBI raid prompted by child sex abuse allegations. The group’s leader, Warren Jeffs, is serving life in prison afte ... (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Ukrainian oligarch offers bounty for capture of Russian 'saboteurs'

1 hr ago - A pro-Kiev oligarch offered a $10,000 (£6,000) bounty on Thursday for the capture of any Russian "saboteur" and promised another half-million hryvnia (£27,000) to the national guardsmen who successfully repelled an attack by pro-Russian militia last ... (Guardian)

Hotel Magnate Pleads Guilty to Campaign Finance Fraud

1 hr ago - Hotel Magnate Sant Singh Chatwal, who has lavished campaign cash on everyone from Hillary Clinton to Mayor Bill de Blasio, pleaded guilty today in Brooklyn federal court to campaign finance fraud and witness tampering, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch ann ... (New York Observer)

Obama: No US military involvement in Ukraine

1 hr ago - WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is repeating his position that involving the U.S. military in Ukraine is not an option he is considering. Obama said Thursday that is because what’s happening in Eastern Europe is not a situation that would b ... (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Obama Blasts GOP Govs Turning Down Medicaid Expansion: 'That's Wrong'

1 hr ago - DYLAN SCOTT – APRIL 17, 2014, 4:41 PM EDT President Barack Obama was uncharacteristically blunt Thursday while addressing the Republican governors and state legislators who have turned down Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. "That's wrong," Obama said ... (TPM)

UPDATED: Harry Reid Calls Bundy Supporters 'Domestic Terrorists'

1 hr ago - CAITLIN MACNEAL – APRIL 17, 2014, 3:55 PM EDT Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Thursday called Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters "domestic terrorists" at an event sponsored by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, according to report ... (TPM)

News UK news London London police seize large haul of firearms

1 hr ago - Police have seized 30 firearms including assault rifles, sawn-off shotguns, an Uzi sub-machine gun and a Thompson machine gun in one of the largest arms finds recorded in London. The huge arsenal, which included a large amount of ammunition, was fou ... (The Guardian)

Judge: Ex-gov can't keep filings from prosecutors

2 hrs ago - Judge: Ex-gov can't keep filings from prosecutors | April 17, 2014 RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A judge says former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell can keep some court filings from the public, but not from prosecutors in his public corruption case. U.S. Di ... (Associated Press)

South Sudan conflict: Attack on UN base 'kills dozens'

2 hrs ago - Dozens of civilians sheltering in a UN base in the South Sudan town of Bor have been killed in an attack by armed youths, the UN says. Toby Lanzer, the UN's top aid official in South Sudan, told the BBC that the youths broke through the gates and op ... (BBC)

José 'Cheo' Feliciano Dies In A Car Accident

3 hrs ago - SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rican salsa legend Cheo Feliciano died in a car accident early Thursday, prompting the governor of the U.S. territory to declare three days of mourning. Feliciano, a member of the Fania All Stars, was one of the m ... (Huffington Post)

Chelsea Clinton announces she’s pregnant

3 hrs ago - Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton announced Thursday that she is expecting her first child later this year. ... (Washington Post)

McDonald's foreign workers call it 'slavery'

3 hrs ago - McDonald's foreign workers call it 'slavery' Belizian temporary foreign workers docked pay for rent in corporate apartment By Kathy Tomlinson, CBC News Posted: Apr 17, 2014 3:00 AM MT| Last Updated: Apr 17, 2014 11:32 AM MT Foreign workers rec ... (CBC)

Scientists find Earth-sized world in orbit friendly to life (Kepler-186f)

3 hrs ago - Kepler-186f, the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone?a range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the planet's surface, is seen in a NASA artist's concept released April 17, 2014. CREDI ... (Reuters)

Novelist Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, Dies at 87

4 hrs ago - @AP: BREAKING: Source close to family says Nobel laureate novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died. Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87 By E. EDUARDO CASTILLO and FRANK BAJAK, Associated Press | April 17, 2014 MEXICO CITY (AP) — Gabriel Gar ... (Associated Press)

BREAKING: Obamacare Sign-Ups Hit 8 Million in Remarkable Turnaround

4 hrs ago - @BreakingNews: President Obama says Obamacare enrollment hits 8 million; 35% of those enrolled are under age of 35 - live video http://t.co/kZG2N7vh1U Obamacare Sign-Ups Hit 8 Million In Remarkable Turnaround Jeffrey Young 04/17/14 03:54 PM ET In ... (NBC News / Huffington Post)

Prop 8 lawyer’s views on gay marriage evolving

4 hrs ago - JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON (AP) — The lawyer who argued before the Supreme Court in favor of upholding California’s ban on gay marriage learned while he was handling the case that one of his children is gay and now is helping her plan ... (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

UPDATE 2-U.S. judge declines to order 'park it now' notices for GM cars

4 hrs ago - By Jessica Dye April 17 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday rejected a bid to compel General Motors Co to tell customers to stop driving millions of cars that have been recalled for defective ignition switches. Attorneys representing Charles an ... (Reuters)

BART cited, fined $210,000 for worker deaths

5 hrs ago - State regulators on Thursday cited BART for three willful, serious violations and fined the transit agency $210,000 for the deaths of two workers hit by a train in October while working on a section of track in Walnut Creek. Cal-OSHA determined that ... (Contra Costa Times)

Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions

7 hrs ago - GENEVA (AP) — Top diplomats from the United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine reached agreement Thursday on immediate steps to ease the crisis in Ukraine. The agreement, reached after seven hours of negotiation in Geneva, requires all sides ... (AP)

LePage Leads in Three-Way Race

7 hrs ago - A new Pan Atlantic SMS poll in Maine shows Gov. Paul LePage (R) leading his re-election race with 39%, followed by Michael Michaud (D) at 37% and Eliot Cutler (I) at 20%. ... (PoliticalWire)

Beau Biden plans 2016 run for governor in Delaware

8 hrs ago - DOVER, Del. (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden's eldest son, Beau Biden, says he won't seek re-election as Delaware attorney general this year but plans to run for governor in 2016. Biden, who underwent surgery at a Texas cancer center last year, annou ... (Associated Press)

Irish court convicts 2 Anglo Irish bankers of illegal lending

8 hrs ago - A Dublin court found two former executives of the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank guilty on Thursday of charges of illegal lending and providing unlawful assistance to investors. Pat Whelan and Willie McAteer were judged guilty on 10 counts of illegal lo ... (Reuters)

Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine

8 hrs ago - Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to "register" with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Israeli media. J ... (USA Today)

Koch Brothers Net Worth Tops $100 Billion as TV Warfare Escalates

8 hrs ago - By David de Jong Apr 17, 2014 8:53 AM ET Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who run Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries Inc., added $1.3 billion to their collective fortune yesterday on reports that U.S. industrial production gaine ... (Bloomberg)

Snowden asks Putin about Moscow surveillance

9 hrs ago - Months after accepting asylum in Russia, fugitive U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden on Thursday asked Russian President Vladimir Putin about Moscow's own surveillance practices. "Does Russia intercept, store or analyze in any way the communica ... (CNN)

Average US 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.27 pct

9 hrs ago - WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for the second straight week as the spring home-buying season begins. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.27 percent from 4.34 percent ... (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Ukraine bans entry for all Russian males aged 16-60: Aeroflot

9 hrs ago - Ukraine has banned entry to its territory for all Russian males aged between 16-60, the Russian flagship carrier Aeroflot said Thursday in a warning to passengers. "In line with an official order received by the company, all Russian male citiz ... (AFP/Hurriyet Daily News)

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