Law

terrorism
2:44 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Listen: Secret tapes of a terror plot

Photo from FBI showing Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif purchasing a machine gun for attack on military processing center in Seattle.
Joint Terrorism Task Force

KPLU Radio story about tapes.

After Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for plotting to attack a military processing center in Seattle, some of the secretly recorded tapes of him planning the assault were released by U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan.

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Law
12:22 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Supreme Court hints it could dismiss gay marriage case

The Supreme Court suggested Tuesday it could find a way out of the case over California's ban on same-sex marriage without issuing a major national ruling on whether America's gays have a right to marry.

Several justices, including some liberals who seemed open to gay marriage, raised doubts during a riveting 80-minute argument that the case should even be before them. And Justice Anthony Kennedy, the potentially decisive vote on a closely divided court, suggested that the court could dismiss it with no ruling at all.

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same-sex marriage
9:30 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Meet the 83-year-old taking on the U.S. over same-sex marriage

Edith Windsor in her New York City apartment in December 2012. Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court hears her challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.
Richard Drew Associated Press

The tiny dynamo asking the U.S. Supreme Court to turn the world upside down looks nothing like a fearless pioneer. At age 83, Edith Windsor dresses in classic, tailored clothes, usually with a long string of pearls, and she sports a well-coiffed, shoulder-length flip. She looks, for all the world, like a proper New York City lady.

Proper she may be, and a lady, but Windsor, who likes to be called Edie, is making history, challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA. The law bans federal recognition and benefits for legally married same-sex couples.

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Homeland Security
4:35 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

UW Tacoma to offer cybersecurity degree

The University of Washington Tacoma campus is seen in this photo.
University of Washington

If cyber crime is a growth industry, so is fighting cyber crime.

The University of Washington Tacoma is the latest school to join the ranks of colleges and universities offering degrees in fighting cyber crooks.

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Marijuana legalization
2:13 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Pot consultant: Size of joint matters in gauging pot usage

Marijuana starts stand on a shelf during the grand opening of the Seattle location of the Northwest Cannabis Market, for sales of medical marijuana products, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013.
Elaine Thompson Associated Press

Predicting marijuana usage rates in Washington might come down to a test Cheech and Chong would appreciate: the size of the joint. That’s according to one of the state’s new pot legalization consultants.  

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Law
1:26 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

State touts extensive knowledge of new pot consultant

Steven Davenport, second from left, project manager for Botec Analysis Corp., takes questions from reporters Tuesday, March 19, 2013, as he is introduced in Olympia, Wash., along with other members of the team.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Green thumb? Check. Extensive knowledge of the black market? Check.

Throw in impeccable academic credentials and decades of experience with government agencies, and you have Washington's marijuana consultant — a team advising officials on all things pot as they develop rules for the state's new industry in legal, heavily taxed marijuana. 

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Marijuana legalization
3:35 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

State picks Mass. firm to be official pot consultant

Associated Press

 Washington state has tentatively chosen a Massachusetts-based firm led by a University of California, Los Angeles, professor to be its official marijuana consultant.

Botec Analysis Corp. is based in Cambridge, Mass., and has evaluated government programs and provided consulting relating to drug abuse, crime and public health. Losing bidders for the contract can protest the award, but if it stands, Botec will advise Washington state officials as they develop rules for the state's new industry in legal, taxed marijuana.

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Law
4:47 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Immigrant groups sue border agencies, allege mistreatment

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent keeps watch at a checkpoint station, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Falfurrias, Texas.
Eric Gay Associated Press

Immigrant advocacy groups have filed nearly a dozen complaints and lawsuits against U.S. Customs and Border Protection across the country, claiming federal agents and officers mistreated and discriminated against illegal immigrants and U.S. citizens alike.

The groups alleged Wednesday that officers at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., were complicit in sending a 4-year-old American girl to Guatemala without giving her parents a chance to retrieve her. Officers also detained a naturalized citizen who had been working with farmworkers in New York, kept women in cold detention cells in Texas and lied on an arrest report that led to an illegal immigrant's detention in Washington state, the advocacy groups said.

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Marijuana Legalization
5:33 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

ACLU, public health groups cautioning marijuana rulemakers

Backers of Washington's marijuana legalization law want public health concerns addressed in rules that will govern the new industry. One challenge is growing just the right amount to meet but not increase market demand.
Alexodus via Compfight Flickr via Compfight

How do you build a whole new industry – and undermine a black market -- without increasing its customer base?  

That’s the challenge state regulators are facing as they write the rules that will govern recreational marijuana in Washington. The American Civil Liberties Union is urging caution.

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Law
4:35 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Washington lawmakers consider new pot regulations

Alexandra Kocik Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington state regulators could consider the criminal backgrounds of people looking to legally sell marijuana. That’s one provision of a bill rolled out Tuesday in Olympia to regulate pot sales.

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Law
4:56 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Police monitor to present plan to judge, police unions ask for an injunction

The Seattle Police Department needs to hire more sergeants to work closely with rank-and-file officers. That’s the view of an independent monitor, Merrick Bobb, who's looking into excessive use of force. He'll present his monitoring plan to a federal judge tomorrow for approval.

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Law
7:52 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Washington universal gun checks measure loses pivotal supporter

Washington Legislature

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The fate of a universal background check measure in the Washington state House could be decided this week. Wednesday is a key cut-off deadline. But recently the gun control measure lost a pivotal “yes” vote.

Maureen Walsh was one of two Republicans who signed onto the measure to require background checks for all gun sales. She says she did so thinking it sounded like a reasonable response to the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.

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Washington State Government
10:31 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Inside the world of business lobbying in Olympia

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:27 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In the world of state legislatures, there’s a powerful breed of players who normally shun the spotlight. They prefer to work behind the scenes to influence policy outcomes. We’re talking about business lobbyists. Inside this often hidden world, you’ll meet two of the most successful corporate contract lobbyists in the Washington state capitol. And learn some of their tricks of the trade.

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Law
9:56 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Judge: Idaho’s ‘fetal pain law’ unconstitutional

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

A federal judge has declared Idaho’s so-called “Fetal Pain Law” unconstitutional. Idaho is one of eight states with a law banning abortions after 20 weeks. As Jessica Robinson reports, the case stems from a woman’s arrest under a separate statute for having an abortion.  

Judge B. Lynn Winmill says the 20-week limit on abortions is unconstitutional because it doesn’t seek to inform the pregnant woman, nor improve her health, as the Supreme Court has allowed. Rather, he writes, it’s solely intended to put an insurmountable obstacle in the path of women seeking abortions. 

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Marijuana legalization
1:36 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Feds: Still no decision on Washington marijuana laws

Morgan Flickr

Attorney General Eric Holder says the Obama administration still hasn't decided on how the federal government will respond to the new legal-marijuana laws passed by voters in Washington and Colorado.

Holder appeared Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was asked about the issue by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

The attorney general reiterated what he has said recently — that a policy decision will be announced "relatively soon." He also said he's had good conversations with elected leaders from Washington and Colorado.

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