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DEA Rejects Requests to Relax Marijuana Classification

The federal government will announce Thursday that it will allow more research into marijuana but has rejected requests to relax the classification of the substance as a dangerous, highly addictive drug with no medical use, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. The decision is the Drug Enforcement Administration’s response to a 2011 petition…

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Justice Department sues Mississippi over treatment of mentally ill

The U.S. Justice Department filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the state of Mississippi over the way it treats the mentally ill. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Jackson says the state spends millions to shut away the mentally ill in hospitals when they could be provided more appropriate and helpful services, at…

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Toby Keith, on everything from politics to Swift-ian economics

Last month, 23 years after Toby Keith landed his first hit, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” one of the biggest country songs of the 1990s, he released its unofficial sequel, “A Few More Cowboys.” Keith, 55, was wrapping up production on an as-yet-unscheduled new album, and “I just grabbed the first thing that sounded like a…

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Justice Department to Streamline Tracking of Police Killings

The Obama administration is moving forward with a plan to better track killings by police officers, as heightened national scrutiny of such deaths has reinforced criticism of its reliance on self-reporting by state and local law enforcement agencies. In a notice published in the Federal Register this week, the Justice Department said it would ask…

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Streisand returns to Chicago solo, and she sure can deliver a song

Nearly four years ago, when Barbra Streisand last played Chicago’s United Center, she duetted with three teenage tenors, a saxophonist and her son, Jason Gould. This time, she soloed. Turns out, Streisand doesn’t need any help to captivate a crowd, which she did Tuesday as part of “Barbra: The Music … The Mem’ries … The…

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For Progressives Thinking About the Election

As the U.S. election season proceeds, there is controversy, confusion, consternation, and sometimes recrimination. Below, in a question and answer format, we present our views on these matters, hoping to contribute to the discussion. 1. Who are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? Trump is a narcissistic, violent, lying, racist, misogynistic, ultra-nationalist bully. He says whatever…

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In these times, Groban thinks of music as respite

It’s probably for the best if Donald Trump keeps his hands off Josh Groban’s version of the song “You Raise Me Up.” And just to be safe, Hillary Clinton should ask Groban’s permission before she uses “You Are Loved.” Groban has opinions about this year’s presidential election as well as opinions about the right time…

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Staunton Music Festival Brings World Class Music

Get ready for the Staunton music festival August 14th through the 21st. Concert highlights include: Dancing with the Devil – Sunday, Aug. 14 Enjoy an evening of devilish music at the Blackfriars Playhouse featuring music by Mozart, Saint-Saens, Wadsworth, Gesualdo and culminating with a staged version of Stravinsky’s “A Soldier’s Tale” from the Starr Foster modern dance company….

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In toughest campaign yet, Phoenix sheriff raises nearly $10M

The sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix has raised close to $10 million in his bid for a seventh term, a stunning collection of campaign riches for a local police race, and much of it was contributed by a devoted base of backers who live outside Arizona. Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s fundraising far exceeds the amount normally spent…

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