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SPRING, Texas (AP) — A father who authorities say went on a shooting rampage at a suburban Houston home, killing four of his children and two adults and wounding his 15-year-old daughter critically, has surrendered after a standoff and is in custody, police said.

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Louis Brandeis once described the states as the “laboratories of democracy” — places where you can experiment with different policy options to see what works. The 2010 elections gave a handful of new Republican governors the chance to use their states as laboratories. So how are they doing?

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When Supreme Court justices suggested in March that certain forms of birth control were abortion-inducing, nobody stood up to point out that the claim by Hobby Lobby lacked support within the medical community.

So it came as little surprise that the 5-4 ruling against the Obamacare contraception mandate ignored the scientific research about whether those contraceptives actually cause abortion. The religious owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood believed it, and that was enough.

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Suddenly it's a possibility that experts are contemplating: marriage equality could be the law of the land all across the United States within one year.

On Wednesday, Utah asked the Supreme Court to resolve its dispute with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals which two weeks ago became the first U.S. circuit court to declare that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

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We know through Edward Snowden that the government, the National Security Agency (NSA) in particular, has been spying on all of us. But now we have conclusive proof that the NSA also had some specific targets for their surveillance: Muslim Americans. No one is entirely shocked given the treatment of Muslim Americans and even those perceived to be Muslim Americans in the post 9-11 era. In the thirteen years since that awful day, the Muslim community has endured much: numerous hate crimes; graffiti and vandalism on mosques, homes and businesses; and very public animosity against an entire community that is being targeted merely on the basis of their faith.

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