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Wednesday's Mini-Report, 2.22.17

Today's edition of quick hits.
Today's edition of quick hits:* It was a 6-2 ruling: "For well over a decade, Duane Buck has been challenging his death sentence as based in part on racial prejudice, after a psychologist testified that he was more likely to be a future danger because he is black. On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to give him another try."* Unwrapping the details of the policy: "This week, the Trump administration unveiled new immigration policies to ramp up border security and expand authorities to deport undocumented immigrants. The new rules, formally released by the Department of Homeland Security, raise several questions about how immigration policy might change."* A big ruling: "Maryland's ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons and its 10-round limit on gun magazines were upheld Tuesday by a federal appeals court in a decision that met with a strongly worded dissent. In a 10-4 ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the guns banned under Maryland's law aren't protected by the Second Amendment."* Another big ruling: "A federal judge, on Tuesday, put a halt on Texas' effort to cut Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood services in the state. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks' preliminary injunction temporarily stopped the state's effort to defund the reproductive health non-profit" (Disclosure: my wife works for Planned Parenthood, but her work is unrelated to the Texas affiliate).* This ATF story is stunning: "Working from an office suite behind a Burger King in southern Virginia, operatives used a web of shadowy cigarette sales to funnel tens of millions of dollars into a secret bank account. They weren't known smugglers, but rather agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives."* A legend passes: "Kenneth J. Arrow, one of the most brilliant economic minds of the 20th century and, at 51, the youngest economist ever to win a Nobel, died on Tuesday at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 95.... Paul A. Samuelson, the first American to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, called Professor Arrow 'the most important theorist of the 20th century in economics.'"* This a great story, but let's not forget that 40 light-years is still prohibitively far: "Astronomers from NASA and the European Southern Observatory announced Wednesday that four new Earth-sized exoplanets have been discovered orbiting a star about 40 light-years away, and that three may contain liquid water and be able to sustain life."Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.