By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Ohio voters will decide Tuesday on whether to become the first Midwestern state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, though a rival ballot measure could kill the law before it takes effect. Issue 3 would add an amendment to the state constitution that legalizes both personal and medical use of marijuana for those over 21 years old. If it passes, Ohio would become the fifth, and largest, state to legalize the recreational usage of marijuana, following Alaska, Colorado, Washington and Oregon, as well as the District of Columbia.
California was one of three U.S. states, along with Mississippi and Wyoming, that did not join JPMorgan's $216 million settlement in July of related charges by the federal government, the other 47 states and Washington, D.C. The California settlement includes a $5 million fine plus $45 million to be used at Harris' discretion, court papers show.
The trial of a white former suburban Detroit police officer accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Floyd Dent in January is scheduled to begin this week. Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday, and Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans said opening statements in the case could begin on Wednesday in a case that made national headlines after Inkster police officer William Melendez was caught on a police dashboard-camera punching Dent in the head during a traffic stop. Dent, 58, who has said he suffered memory loss and other damage from the beating, earlier this year reached a $1.4 million settlement in a civil lawsuit against the city of Inkster, which has a majority black population but a majority white police force.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by satellite television providers to challenge states taxes they say unlawfully treat them differently from cable TV companies. The nine justices turned away a joint challenge from DirecTV Inc, a subsidiary of AT&T Inc, and Dish Network Corp over taxes in Massachusetts and Tennessee. Massachusetts imposed a 5 percent excise tax on satellite TV providers as part of its budget for 2010.
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Only an external impact could have caused a Russian plane to dive into the Egyptian desert, killing all 224 people on board, the airline said Monday, adding to a series of incomplete and confusing statements from investigators that left unclear why the plane broke up in mid-flight.
President Barack Obama, who has made criminal justice reform a top priority of his last years in office, will announce actions on Monday to help formerly incarcerated people reintegrate into society. The White House said the steps, to be unveiled by Obama at an appearance in Newark, New Jersey, would include up to $8 million in federal education grants over three years for former inmates as well as new guidance on the use of arrest records in determining eligibility for public and federally assisted housing. Obama is also directing the Office of Personnel Management to take steps where possible to modify its rules in order to delay inquiries into criminal backgrounds until later in the hiring process.
By Tim Ghianni NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - Fred Thompson, a former Republican U.S. senator from Tennessee who briefly ran for president and straddled the world of politics and entertainment with a prolific television and film acting career, died of cancer on Sunday at age 73. Thompson, a onetime real-life federal prosecutor best known to prime-time TV audiences for his role as a district attorney on NBC's hit show "Law & Order," died from a recurrence of lymphoma, said Brent Leatherwood, executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party. The actor-politician, who first made a name for himself in Washington as a Watergate investigator, was in hospice care at the time of his death, Leatherwood said.