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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

1 hour ago
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Editor's note: This report contains accounts of rape, violence and other disturbing events.

Sex trafficking wasn't a major concern in the early 1980s, when Beth Jacobs was a teenager. If you were a prostitute, the thinking went, it was your choice.

Jacobs thought that too, right up until she came to, on the lot of a dark truck stop one night. She says she had asked a friendly-seeming man for a ride home that afternoon.

The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

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Shape Of Debate: Tinfoil Hats And Toy Helicopters

May 9, 2013
Originally published on May 9, 2013 7:54 pm

Things got a little out of hand at the Missouri state Capitol late Wednesday. An unusual evening session of the House featured a representative wearing a tinfoil hat, a toy black helicopter flying around the chamber and some heated words between legislators.

"It was definitely tense," says Jonathan Shorman, a reporter for the Springfield News-Leader. "It was a moment of high drama for the session."

The tension was rooted in several bills touching on topics of importance to conservatives. One would ban sharia law, or Islamic strictures, from the state of Missouri. Another would nullify federal gun control laws within the state. The third would ban implementation of Agenda 21, a United Nations plan for sustainable development that some fear intrudes on private property rights.

These bills passed the GOP-dominated chamber easily, most by a roughly 6-to-1 margin. The outnumbered Democrats were clearly unhappy.

Democratic state Rep. Michael Frame was reprimanded by GOP Speaker Tim Jones for wearing a tinfoil hat, as a sartorial comment on the nature of the legislation before the House. This led to a brief debate about whether a cravat is appropriate attire.

State senators, meanwhile, were celebrating their "seersucker caucus" day. A number of House members, jealous of the attention their Senate peers have received with their summer wear, had decided to dress Wednesday in beige suits and posed for a group photo.

At one point, a remote-control helicopter flew up from the floor to the press gallery, leading observers to tweet their thoughts that a few legislators could have taken advantage of the dinner break prior to the evening session to enjoy some adult beverages.

"Did I mention things feel a little drunk in here?" tweeted Jason Hancock, a government reporter with the Kansas City Star.

Shorman, the reporter from Springfield, speculated that the atmosphere may have been affected by a controversial education bill. The legislation is a priority of the GOP leadership, but another version had been defeated earlier in the session.

"Some of that revelry, those fun moments you saw earlier in the evening, were a way of getting people into a better mood before going into a controversial education bill," Shorman says.

If the mood was festive, it quickly turned sour. Rep. Keith English became embroiled in a verbal argument with Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, a fellow Democrat and a sponsor of the bill, who was watching the proceedings from a side gallery. English said loudly that he didn't want to be threatened and Nasheed left.

"On a lot of issues, people get fired up and tensions get raised," says Republican Rep. Jay Barnes, the House sponsor of the education bill, who did not take part in the argument.

Barnes said the fact that the measure was taken up after 10 p.m., at the end of an evening already filled with divisive legislation, was a matter of happenstance more than anything.

"I sure wish we could get bills like this across the finish line," he says.

The Missouri Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on May 17.

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