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Tacoma Water Initiatives Ruled Unconstitutional

A judge in Pierce County has thrown out two initiatives aimed at giving people in Tacoma a bigger say in development projects. The group “Save Tacoma Water” circulated petitions for two ballot measures. They would have required a public vote on development projects planning to use more than a million gallons of water a day. Michael LaFreniere is the spokesman for the grassroots group Save Tacoma Water. He says today’s ruling undermines the ability of citizens to put forward local initiatives.
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University of Washington

The University of Washington says a microbiology professor faces possible discipline for violating sexual harassment policies.

As detailed in a report on BuzzFeed this week, university investigations found Dr. Michael Katze demanded and received sexual favors from an employee in his lab. Investigators found that the woman, who had little prior job experience and performed little work in the office, was paid 12 percent more than the university's average for her position, and received gifts and vacations from the professor.

It's July, and that means the Republican and Democratic National Conventions are coming very soon. The Republican convention is up first, July 18-21 in Cleveland, but the Donald Trump campaign has yet to release many details of the event.

The presumptive Republican nominee has been saying for weeks that he wants to mix up the program for the convention. He recently promised on Twitter that the convention will be "amazing":

Whenever July 4th lands on a Monday, travel surges as Americans take advantage of the long weekend. And you might assume the extra demand for gasoline would send pump prices higher.

But this year, drivers are discovering that prices have been falling in the run-up to the holiday — down to the lowest mid-summer levels in more than a decade.

Federal judges have blocked new restrictions on access to abortions in Florida and Indiana just hours before laws in those states were set to take effect.

This follows Monday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned a controversial Texas law imposing restrictions on the procedure, deeming them unconstitutional.

A group of gunmen attacked a cafe and have taken hostages in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, according to local media reports.

It's not clear whether there are any casualties or how many attackers might be involved.

The U.S State Department and local media say the cafe is in an upscale neighborhood called Gulshan that is home to many foreign embassies.

Since 2009, the U.S. has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in countries other than Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, the White House says, providing new details to the often secretive strikes — many of which were carried out via unpiloted drone aircraft.

The administration released these figures for the period from Jan. 20, 2009, to Dec. 31, 2015:

  • 473 airstrikes carried out outside of "areas of active hostilities"
  • Combatants: between 2,372 and 2,581 deaths
  • Non-combatants: between 64 and 116 deaths

The Supreme Court this week delivered its strongest affirmation of a women's right to abortion in years. By a margin of 5-3, it struck down two key provisions of a Texas law restricting the procedure.

Gay Talese Disavows His Disavowal Of His New Book

8 hours ago

Author Gay Talese said he would not be promoting his latest book — and then changed his mind — after the Washington Post raised serious doubts about the story it tells.

Called The Voyeur's Motel, it's the nonfiction account of an Aurora, Colo., man named Gerald Foos, who says he bought the motel in question in order to spy on the sexual lives of his guests. The book combines Talese's reporting with Foos' own journals to produce a kind of retractable telescope of voyeurism: readers watching Talese watch Foos watch his guests.

Babies Of Color Are Now The Majority, Census Says

9 hours ago

Today's generation of schoolchildren looks much different than it did just a few decades ago. Non-whites are expected to become the majority of the nation's children by 2020, as our colleague Bill Chappell reported last year. This is now the reality among the very youngest Americans: babies.

Austria's highest court has overturned the results of the country's presidential election and ordered a re-do, citing vote-counting irregularities.

In the May runoff election, left-leaning, Green Party-backed candidate Alexander Van der Bellen defeated his far-right, anti-immigration rival Norbert Hofer by fewer than 31,000 votes. As we reported, his margin of victory was just 0.6 percent.

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