TPM News

An appeals court has struck down as unconstitutional California's requirement that DNA collection be part of post-arrest routine in the state, reports Wired.

The DNA Act (Proposition 69), which passed voter approval and has been in use in the state since 2009, requires any adult arrested for a felony to submit to a DNA sample. The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco ruled that this was a violation of the Fourth Amendment as a "warrantless and suspicionless search of individuals" before they have been convicted of a crime, for evidence of a crime "unrelated to that for which they have been arrested."

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Beset by debt ceiling woes, President Obama has been trailing behind a hypothetical "generic Republican" in recent polls. But no longer! The latest from Gallup has him moving into a solid lead.

According to the monthly survey, which was conducted from August 4 -7, Obama would win 45-39 against "the Republican party's candidate." The previous two polls from Gallup had the generic GOPer running strong with a 47-39 lead in July and 44-39 lead in June.

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Mike Huckabee, who won Iowa in 2008, will join Herman Cain at his Ames Straw Poll booth this weekend to lay down some bass grooves behind Cain's gospel vocals.

While not billed as a formal endorsement, Huckabee's appearance is a major boost to Cain, who has been counting on a strong performance at Ames to rocket him into the top tier of GOP contenders.

"I am honored to have the Governor join me on stage for this historic event," Cain, who like Huckabee is a Baptist minister, said in a statement. "We share many commonalities, including the deepness of our Christian faith and our love of music. I am humbled by his graciousness to share his musical gifts with me and I hope Iowa voters will enjoy the show."

Cain will also appear on Huckabee's FOX show the day after the straw poll.

Tim Pawlenty's numbers haven't looked great anywhere in recent weeks, but the latest from PPP in little-polled Michigan peg him at fringe status, polling last behind candidates like Rep. Thad McCotter (R-MI).

According to PPP, Romney, who won the state in 2008's GOP primaries, currently leads the pack with 24%, followed by Michele Bachmann at 18%. Rick Perry stands at 14%, while Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich have 7% each. Ron Paul has 6%, followed closely by McCotter at 5%. Pawlenty is at a humble 4%.

McCotter is from Michigan so he has some home court advantage. But given the much higher profile campaign from Pawlenty, the results are surprisingly weak. As PPP puts it, "he gets the dubious distinction of being the first serious candidate to poll behind Thad McCotter anywhere."

Apple has won the right to temporarily block Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1in all of Europe except for the Netherlands, according to multiple news reports.

Funnily enough, market research group Forrester Research issued a report Monday saying that Apple's rivals might have a better time selling their tablets in Europe if they cut their prices. Apple has a smaller footprint across Europe than in the United States.

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Between a stalled recovery in the United States, a major debt crisis in Europe, fallout from the earthquake in Japan, a recent fuel price spike, and gridlock in Washington where legislators have reached consensus in favor of austerity measures, speculation had climbed over the last several days that the Federal Reserve would intervene by buying up a significant amount of assets, injecting money into the economy -- a new round of so-called "Quantitative Easing".

But in a statement after a regular meeting of the Fed's Open Market Committee, the central bank decided to continue its current policies, with the caveat that they might start loosening those policies if things don't improve quickly.

Here's their assessment of the weak state of the economic recovery. "[E]conomic growth so far this year has been considerably slower than the Committee had expected. Indicators suggest a deterioration in overall labor market conditions in recent months, and the unemployment rate has moved up. Household spending has flattened out, investment in nonresidential structures is still weak, and the housing sector remains depressed. However, business investment in equipment and software continues to expand. Temporary factors, including the damping effect of higher food and energy prices on consumer purchasing power and spending as well as supply chain disruptions associated with the tragic events in Japan, appear to account for only some of the recent weakness in economic activity."

But though unemployment remains significantly higher than the Fed's employment mandate requires, they're not really ready to intervene in a major way just yet. "The Committee discussed the range of policy tools available to promote a stronger economic recovery in a context of price stability. It will continue to assess the economic outlook in light of incoming information and is prepared to employ these tools as appropriate."

Full statement below:

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The Environmental Protection Agency has granted almost $3 million to researchers to simulate the functions of a human liver in an effort to replace the expensive and cruel process of testing the impact of environmental toxins on rodents.

The computer liver is part of EPA's virtual organ program -- several other government agencies are working on similar projects.

The Food and Drug Administration is also working on computer simulations of the liver to test the safety of new drugs.

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While seven Republican presidential hopefuls will be competing in the Iowa Straw Poll this Saturday in Ames, candidate Gary Johnson will be in a slightly different kind of race. The former Governor of New Mexico announced Tuesday that he would be spending Saturday competing in a 100 mile-long mountain bike race in Leadville, Colorado.

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