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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Remembering the Uvalde mass shooting; two years ago today

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Friday, May 24, 2024   

Two years ago today, a teenager killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The families of those shot and killed have agreed to a $2 million settlement with the city, which equals the entire amount of the town's insurance policy.

Attorneys for the group say they worked with city officials for more than a year after leaders reached out and asked what could be done to ease the families' pain.

Javier Cazares, who lost his daughter in the shooting, said justice and accountability are his main concerns.

"It's been an unbearable two years," he said. "We all know who took our children's lives, but there was an obvious failure out there on May 24. The whole world saw that. We've been let down so many times. The time has come to do the right thing."

The mass shooting garnered international attention and questions after 376 law-enforcement officers waited 77 minutes before going into the classroom to stop the shooter. Family members are disappointed that no disciplinary action has been taken against any of the officers involved, although Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez resigned amid questions over how the incident was handled.

In addition to the $2 million settlement, the city of Uvalde has agreed to "restorative justice" policy changes that include establishing an annual day of remembrance on May 24, mental-health services for all families in the community, and addressing public safety risks and the burden of gun violence on police officers.

Although families have settled with the city, said attorney Josh Koskoff, they are filing additional lawsuits including one against the state of Texas, "which has done nothing but burden this town before the shooting by not giving them the resources they need, preventing these families from getting the information they need, and then blaming the city, as if they didn't have how many police officers there? 98? As if they didn't know how to shoot somebody."


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