Today's Takeaway: Judge Upholds Strict Alabama Immigration Law

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Florida May Hold Early Primary Election; Reebok to Pay Settlement Over EasyTone Sneakers; Boston Man Accused of Bomb Plot in Washington; New Questions Over 65-Year-Old Execution; Judge Upholds Strict Alabama Immigration Law; Cantaloupes Cause Worst Food-Borne Illness Outbreak in a Decade; How to Increase Youth Involvement in Democracy; 'Don't Shoot': David Kennedy on Ending Violence in Inner-City America

Top of the Hour: Supreme Court Asked to Rule on Health Care, Morning Headlines

The Justice Department has formally asked the Supreme Court to hear a case concerning last year's health care overhaul, making it all but certain the Court will rule on one of President Obama's signature policies in the middle of the 2012 reelection campaign.


Florida May Hold Early Primary Election

Presidential candidates put a lot of effort into strategizing their election campaigns, and timing is an important part of that. Republican candidates could find their carefully arranged schedules completely flipped tomorrow, if Florida decides to move its primary election to January 31 — a month earlier than party leaders expected. This could result in other states changing the dates of their primaries, including the traditional early states: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.

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A Historic Night in Baseball

It was one of the most memorable nights in recent baseball history on Wednesday as the New York Yankees faced off against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox played the Baltimore Orioles. "Within eight minutes the world changed," said Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. George Vecsey, sports reporter for The New York Times and author of "Stan Musial: An American Life," and Frank Shorr, director of the Sports Institute at Boston University and former executive producer at Channel 7, talk about those eight minutes.


Boston Man Accused of Bomb Plot in Washington

Law enforcement officials accused a 26-year-old man from a town west of Boston of plotting to blow up the Pentagon and the Capitol Building with a remote-controlled aircraft fitted with explosives. Officials said Rezwan Ferdaus, who has a physics degree from Northeastern University, has also provided resources to Al Qaida to aid in attacks on American soldiers overseas.

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Reebok to Pay Settlement Over EasyTone Sneakers

Some enticing advertisements for shoes by Reebok have been circulating, promising "up to 28 percent more of a work out for your butt, up to 11 percent more for your hamstrings and calves." It sounds like a lot to expect from a simple shoe, and the Justice Department is saying it's worse than just an exaggeration — the company is making false claims, and should reward disappointed customers with refunds, which could add up to $25 million.


Germany Approves EU Bailout Fund

German Chancellor Angela Merkel scored a major political victory on Thursday as the Parliament voted to expand the European Union's bailout fund. While the measure passed, the divisive vote had threatened Merkel's control over her own governing collation. The legislation increases Germany's share of guarantees from €123 billion to €211 billion. Six out of 17 euro zone nations still need to pass the agreement. Analysts are skeptical, saying the fund is too small to help seriously indebted European countries.

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Top of the Hour: US Ambassador Attacked in Syria, Morning Headlines

Supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have reportedly attacked U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford in Damascus this morning. Ford is said to be trapped inside offices belonging to the Syrian opposition.


Judge Upholds Strict Alabama Immigration Law

A federal judge in Alabama upheld sections of a one of the strictest immigration laws in the country on Wednesday. The law requires public schools to determine the immigration status of all students. It also gives police the power to detain anyone who is unable to produce proper documentation proving citizenship. The law, which was challenged by the Justice Department, is likely to be one of many state immigration provisions to be ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.

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How to Increase Youth Involvement in Democracy

Yesterday on The Takeaway, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said one of the best ways to ensure the continued success of American democracy is to get young people engaged again. "My commercial message is let's restore the teaching of civics to the high schools so that younger generations will know how their government works," Breyer said. "They’ll know a little bit about history and they’ll understand the importance of participating in the community's life." But what does it take to get today's students excited about civic life and government?

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Cantaloupes Cause Worst Food-Borne Illness Outbreak in a Decade

As many as 72 people have fallen ill and 16 have died, after eating cantaloupes that were contaminated with listeria, a dangerous bacteria. The contaminated fruit was traced back to Jensen Farms in Colorado, which ships to 25 states. This makes the outbreak the country's deadliest of food related illness in more than a decade, according to public health officials.


'Don't Shoot': David Kennedy on Ending Violence in Inner-City America

Gang violence erupted in cities across the country in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the youth homicide rate skyrocketed along with the crack epidemic. The government attempted to solve the problem by pouring money into strict policing programs, but while the incarceration rate soared, gang members still murdered each other in the streets. The problem seemed unsolvable until a method called Operation Ceasefire took root, an anti-violence strategy that held entire gangs accounted at group forums for any violence that occurred.

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Islamists in a Post-Gadhafi Libya

As Libya creates a new government without Col. Moammar Gadhafi, Islamist groups throughout the country say they will not allow secular politicians to exclude or marginalize them. While many Libyans are deeply religious, they are also weary of having an Islamic state. Allan Little of the BBC reports on whether Islamism and democracy can sit side by side in a new Libya.


A Tampa Bay Rays Fan Reacts to Last Night's Upset

Last night's unlikely win by the Tampa Bay Rays over the New York Yankees will go down in the history books. Robb Brown, owner of, reacts to last night's win.