Supreme Court Takes Up Affirmative Action Case with a Twist

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-10_41f5b1a66d.jpgiStock/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- The Supreme Court will take up affirmative action Tuesday in a case challenging Michigan’s ban on race-conscious admissions policies at public universities. Unlike recent cases in which the high court has examined a particular plan at a public university, this case looks at affirmative action from a different perspective: a state’s total ban on racial preferences in higher education.

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Senate Chaplain Explains Scolding Tone of Recent Prayers

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-10_a22459ee45.jpgABC News (WASHINGTON) -- In the course of the Senate’s ordinary business, the chaplain is a somewhat anonymous figure. After delivering a prayer when the Senate convenes each day, he fades from the public view and into the background of the daily debate. But since the government shutdown began two weeks ago, business in the U.S. Senate has been anything but ordinary as have the prayers from Chaplain Barry Black.

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Government Shutdown: Day 14 Recap

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-10_e1eb11d65b.jpgiStock/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- As the partial government shutdown enters its 15th day, here are some of Monday’s highlights: -- The latest outline of a potential Senate deal to end the fiscal impasse calls for keeping the government funded until Jan. 15 and raising the debt limit through Feb. 15, congressional aides told ABC News.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are spearheading the negotiations. 

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Senate Leaders Optimistic, But No Shutdown-Ending Deal Yet

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-10_25db271ec0.jpgAndrew Burton/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was "optimistic" about the prospects of the Senate striking a deal to end the government shutdown and avert a default, but at least two major sticking points remain, and it is still not clear whether any Senate deal would win approval in the House.

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Assange Calls NSA Spying 'a Threat to U.S. Democracy'

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-10_aa01c976b7.jpgABC News (NEW YORK) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Sunday dismissed criticism from British and U.S. intelligence officials who called recent leaks about secret surveillance programs a “gift” to terrorists, saying in an interview on This Week that the programs are a “threat to U.S. democracy.” Andrew Parker, the new head of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency MI5, said that the leaking of classified information about surveillance programs “hands the advantage to the terrorists.”

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