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Cybersecurity bill blocked in Senate

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A bill that would establish new standards for cybersecurity in the United States was blocked Thursday by a Republican filibuster in the Senate, the Washington Post said.

The bill would have established optional standards for computer systems that oversee all of the United States' critical infrastructure, the Washington Post said.

Senators voted 52 to 46 in favor of the bill, but fell short of the two-thirds majority necessary to force a final vote, the Washington Post said. The bill had bipartisan support, but neither part could agree on proposed amendments to the legislation.

In an effort to win over detractors of the bill, Senator Joseph A. Lieberman made the standards outlined in the bill optional instead of mandatory as was originally written, the New York Times said.

According to the New York Times, the bill's opponents were led by Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona. McCain sided with businesses that opposed the legislation, saying that the restrictions outlined in the bill were too demanding and would place a financial strain on private companies.

The Obama administration strongly supported the bill, and President Obama himself wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal backing the legislation, the Washington Post said.

According to the Washington Post, the bill will likely be voted on again in the fall.

A Kent State student has been arrested and charged for on suspicion of posting a tweet threatening to "shoot up" the school's campus, the Washington Post reported.

William Koberna, 19, was arrested Sunday afternoon at his parent's home in Brunswick, Ohio, the Washington Post reported. Koberna is charged with inducing panic and aggravated menacing.

According to the New York Daily News, the tweet was posted on July 25.

Koberna is set to be arraigned Monday morning, the Washington Post said. He also faces suspension or possible dismissal from the school.

Joe Paterno statue removed

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The statue of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was removed Sunday in the wake of allegations that the iconic coach covered up sexual abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky, the Washington Post said.

A construction crew used jackhammers and a forklift to remove the nearly 1,000 pound bronze statue from outside Lane Stadium, where it had stood for over a decade, the Daily Collegian reported. Over 100 people chanted "We are Penn State," as the statue was carried away by the forklift.

The university announced it was removing the statue because of recent allegations that Paterno and three other Penn State administrators failed to report sex abuse claims against former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, the Washington Post said.

The NCAA announced that it would impose further sanctions on the Penn State football program on Monday, the Washington Post said.

According to the Daily Collegian, Penn State President Rodney Erickson said the statue had to be removed and placed into storage because it would cause division on campus and remind people at the university of the sex abuse scandal.

The Paterno family issued a statement that said the removal of the statue "does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky or help heal the Penn State community," the Washington Post reported.

House votes to repeal health care for 33rd time

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The House of Representatives voted to repeal President Obama's health care law for the 33rd time on Wednesday, the Washington Post said.

The Republican-led House voted 244-185 to overturn the Affordable Care Act, just two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the law is constitutional, the Washington Post said.

"Hope springs eternal," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said to the New York Daily News in reference to why the House once again voted to repeal the health care law

According to the Washington Post, five Democrats broke broke ranks for the vote, Reps. Dan Boren (Okla.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Kike McIntyre (N.C.),Jim Matheson (Utah) and Mike Ross (Ark.). Boren and Ross are not seeking reelection, and Kissell McIntyre and Matheson will face tough reelection battles in the fall.

The GOP said the repeal effort is meant to rally opposition to the law, the New York Daily News said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the vote "legislation to nowhere," in a statement to the Washington Post. The Democratic-led Senate will not support the repeal.

George Zimmerman freed on $1 million bond

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George Zimmerman was released from a Florida jail on Friday on a $1 million bond as he awaits trial for the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the Associated Press said.

Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in a gated community on Sanford, Fla., in February, the Associated Press said.

Zimmerman is required to stay in Seminole County, Fla., as a condition of his release, said the Associated Press. Also, Zimmerman cannot open a bank account, obtain a passport or enter an airport.

Zimmerman had been released on bail of $150,000 in April, but that bail was revoked on June 1 after the judge, Kenneth R. Lester, found that Zimmerman had lied about his finances, the New York Times said.

According to the Associated Press, Zimmerman and his legal defense had raised $135,000 in online donations at the time of his first release in April. On Thursday, that number had risen to $211,000.

Peter Madoff to plead guilty in ponzi scheme

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Peter Madoff, the brother of Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernard Madoff, will plead guilty to conspiracy and falsifying records on Friday , the Associated Press said.

According to the Associated Press, Madoff is officially pleading guilty to two criminal counts, including conspiracy to commit securities fraud, falsify records of an investment adviser, falsify records of a broker dealer, make false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, commit mail fraud and obstruct the Internal Revenue service..

According to the New York Times, Madoff's plea deal does not include an admission that he knew of or actively participated in his brother's Ponzi scheme. Instead, Madoff has admitted to acting as a false compliance officer and allowing his brother to commit his crimes.

Madoff has agreed to serve a prison sentence of 10 years as part of the plea bargain. He has also agreed to forfeit $143 billion, including all of his personal assets, the Associated Press said.


Microsoft reveals new tablet

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Microsoft revealed its first entry into the tablet market, the Surface, on Monday, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Microsoft said that the Surface is as fully functional as a Windows desktop and comes with the complete Microsoft Office program. The tablet also features the latest Intel CPU.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Surface has a built-in kickstand and a magnetic smart cover, which also doubles as a touch keyboard.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Microsoft even focused on details as small as the sound of the kickstand.

Apple, the company who currently dominates the tablet market with the iPad, had no comment, said the Wall Street Journal.

Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said that the Surface is a bold challenge against Apple, but the tablet's battery life and price will ultimately determine its marketability.

Justice Department will not retry John Edwards

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The United States Department of Justice said it will not retry former United States senator John Edwards on corruption charges that were dropped earlier this month, reported the New York Times.

The decision comes two weeks after a federal jury in Greensboro, N.C., could not reach a decision on any one Edwards' five campaign finance fraud charges. Edwards had been accused of using money from campaign donations to cover up an extramarital affair he was having with Rielle Hunter during his bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

The Los Angeles Times reported that a lack of evidence combined with unreliable testimony from the prosecution led to a deadlock in the juror's decision about the charges.

Assistant Atty. Gen. Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department's Criminal Division said the government respects the jurors' decision and will not seek a retrial.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Edwards had faced up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines had the jury convicted him on all of the charges.

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