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<September 2015>


What Pope's abortion move means

How Jeb Bush killed Trump's Florida casino dreams

Officer killed; hunt on for 3 suspects
Investigators combed neighborhoods north of Chicago on Tuesday in a massive manhunt for three suspects accused of shooting dead a police officer.

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CNN amends debate criteria, Fiorina may get in

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina at a Fox-sponsored forum for lower polling candidates in August. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina at a Fox-sponsored forum for lower polling candidates in August. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

WASHINGTON — CNN on Tuesday amended its criteria for the next Republican presidential debate, giving former technology executive Carly Fiorina a better chance at appearing in the Sept. 16 primetime affair.

The news network announced the change following weeks of public pressure from Fiorina and her supporters.

Fiorina, the only woman in the GOP field, likely would not have been among the top 10 candidates on the debate stage as determined by the original terms, which relied on national polling conducted between July 16 and Sept. 10. The new terms add any candidate who ranks in the top 10 in polling between Aug. 6 and Sept. 10 — a period that better reflects Fiorina’s rise in the polls.

The shift raises the possibility of more than 10 candidates on the stage for the GOP’s second formal debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library later in the month.

“We now believe we should adjust the criteria to ensure the next debate best reflects the most current state of the national race,” CNN said in a statement.

The Fiorina campaign and the Republican National Committee praised the move.

“I applaud CNN for recognizing the historic nature of this debate and fully support the network’s decision to amend their criteria,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

In a message posted on Twitter, Fiorina aide Sarah Isgur Flores thanked “the thousands of grassroots supporters and conservative activists around the country who weren’t afraid to take on the political establishment and challenge the status quo to make this happen.”

“We look forward to watching (Fiorina) debate the other front-runners at the Reagan Library,” Flores said.

While Fiorina has been rising in the polls, her place on the debate stage is not assured.

The final participants won’t be announced until Sept. 10.

The post CNN amends debate criteria, Fiorina may get in appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

How disadvantaged neighborhoods amplify racial inequality

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 28: A young boy rides his bike through a housing development that was built in the Upper Ninth Ward after Katrina destroyed neighborhoods when levies broke, on May 28, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Low-income residents who lost their homes live here and either rent or own their homes. It has been almost 10 years since hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, devastating many neighborhoods. Rebuilding has been slow and controversial. (Photo by Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)

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The post How disadvantaged neighborhoods amplify racial inequality appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Senate leader: Not enough votes to defund Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood has been the focus of a partisan showdown in the U.S. Senate. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

Planned Parenthood has been the focus of a partisan showdown in the U.S. Senate. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

WASHINGTON — The Senate’s top Republican is conceding that his party will have to await the next president before it can cut off federal funds that go to Planned Parenthood.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says Republicans lack the votes to halt the payments. He also says that standing in the GOP’s way is President Barack Obama, who doesn’t leave office until January 2017.

“The way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it, the president has to sign it,” McConnell said in an interview with Kentucky TV station WYMT recorded Monday.

“The president’s made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood,” McConnell said. “So that’s another issue that awaits a new president, hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood.”

The majority leader’s remarks drew an angry response from conservative Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., who has been gathering signatures on a letter from House lawmakers who say they’ll oppose spending legislation this fall if it includes any funds for Planned Parenthood.

Mulvaney, who has clashed before with top Republicans, likened McConnell’s comments to waving “a white flag” and said GOP senators should consider replacing their leader.

“Tell me the difference between Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid,” Mulvaney said in an interview, referring to the Senate Democratic leader from Nevada.

Federal agencies run out of money Oct. 1 unless Congress sends Obama legislation financing them. A stalemate would lead to a government shutdown, which McConnell has repeatedly said will not occur. Congress returns next week from a summer recess.

Mulvaney, who collected 18 signatures on the letter before the House left for a summer recess in July, said he did not know how many additional lawmakers have signed the letter.

Shortly before leaving on its break, the Senate fell six votes short of advancing legislation that would have blocked Planned Parenthood’s federal money. The organization receives over $500 million annually in government financing, which includes money from states.

The GOP effort to block Planned Parenthood’s funds was prompted by videos, secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists, showing the organization’s officials discussing their provision of tissue from aborted fetuses to researchers.

“The real question is can McConnell convince the rest of Congress to not hold the federal government hostage as a few politicians try to score cheap political points by cutting health care for millions,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the group’s political arm.

The post Senate leader: Not enough votes to defund Planned Parenthood appeared first on PBS NewsHour.