NH News
5:19 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

School Choice Bill Passes Senate Despite Constitutionality Concerns

 

The New Hampshire Senate passed a bill sponsored by school choice advocates that would create a tax credit for businesses that donate to scholarship organizations.

Many public school educators oppose the measure saying that it would sap schools of already scarce resources, but opponents in the senate tried to block the bill by calling into question its constitutionality.

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Space
5:09 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Spacecraft's Wild Ride To Mercury Yields Surprises

The Messenger spacecraft is depicted over the Calvino Crater on Mercury in this enhanced-color image of the planet's surface.
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:40 pm

There's a small spacecraft called Messenger that's been orbiting the planet Mercury for a year. Today, at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, astronomers revealed what they've learned about the innermost planet in our solar system, and some of the new knowledge is puzzling.

Maria Zuber, a planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studied a large crater 900 miles across called Caloris.

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Law
5:02 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

High Court Expands Defendants' Plea Bargain Rights

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, shown on Capitol Hill in April 2011, wrote the court's ruling Wednesday that for the most part, plea bargaining determines "who goes to jail and for how long. It is not some adjunct to the criminal justice system. It is the criminal justice system."
Evan Vucci AP

For the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that defendants have a constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel in plea bargains. In a 5-4 decision Wednesday, the court went further, declaring that when a lawyer acts unethically or gives clearly wrong advice, the defendant may be entitled to a second chance at accepting a plea offer.

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Middle East
5:00 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

As Illegal Immigrants Increase, Israel Plans To Act

Israel says it will begin taking tougher action against illegal immigrants, many of whom are from Africa. Here, African immigrants demand the right to stay in Israel during a protest in Tel Aviv on Aug. 1, 2009.
Yehuda Raizner AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 9:08 am

The place is Tel Aviv, but it doesn't look at all like Israel: Dozens of African men are sitting on broken stools and plastic at a makeshift restaurant.

Sudanese fare is on the menu. The men scoop up the stews and salads that remind them of home.

Abdullah Mohammad Mustafa started this restaurant with a couple of other African men who arrived in Israel five years ago from Sudan's troubled Darfur region. They are among some 40,000 Africans who have come to Israel illegally, and many have congregated in neighborhoods in Tel Aviv.

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It's All Politics
4:29 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Romney Adviser's 'Etch A Sketch' Comment Draws Flak From Rivals

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 1:18 pm

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The Record
4:00 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Reggae In The U.K.: A Steady Force

Music For 'Disenfranchised Working-Class Youth': The British reggae band Steel Pulse formed in Birmingham in 1975. Mykaell Riley is third from the left.
Echoes/Redfern Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 8:44 pm

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Shots - Health Blog
2:54 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Why Obama Hasn't Won The Battle Over Messaging About Health Care Law

Protesters show their opposition to President Obama's health care overhaul on March 16, 2010, days before it became law.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 8:44 pm

The sweeping health overhaul law turns 2 years old this Friday. And as it heads toward a constitutional showdown at the Supreme Court next week, the debate over the measure remains almost as heated as the day President Obama signed it into law.

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NH News
2:48 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Bill Would Rein in Risk Pools

Legislation is making its way through the Senate that would tighten regulations for groups that run public insurance risk pools like the Local Government Center.

Bill supporters want more accountability for how taxpayer dollars are spent.

Lawmakers want tighter restrictions for so-called risks pools – groups that sell insurance to cities and towns – after regulators charged the Local Government Center with violating state law.

For example, the Local Government Center failed to return surplus back to municipalities, despite what's on the books.

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North Country
2:27 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Senate Passes Bill To Explore Leasing Cannon Mountain

The Associated Press is reporting:

 

The New Hampshire Senate has approved exploring leasing ski operations to a private vendor at the

state-owned Cannon Mountain.

  The Senate voted by voice Wednesday to pass a bill requiring the Department of Resources and Economic Development to develop a master plan for Cannon Mountain and Franconia State Park.

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Politics
2:18 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

House Set To Vote On Gay Marriage Repeal

Marcia Blackman outside the Statehouse

The House is expected to vote this afternoon on a measure that would repeal the State’s 2009 law that legalized same-sex marriage. 

There is a decidedly quiet mood outside the Statehouse today, as both opponents and supporters of gay marriage await an anticipated vote on a repeal.  The Republican-sponsored measure attempts to re-define marriage as between a man and a woman. The bill would allow for civil unions.

Statehouse observers expect a close vote, in part because of a strong libertarian streak that runs through many House Republicans.

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