Weekly News Update


*On Thursday, federal authorities stated that Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the New York Assembly, exploited his position as one of the most powerful politicians in the state to obtain millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks as they announced his arrest on a sweeping series of corruption charges. [NY Times]

* New York’s highest court, working short-handed without two judges, has been unable to reach a decision in two major cases argued this month and thus resolved Monday to hear them again once the vacancies are filled. [Daily Freeman]

*The NFL has found that 11 of 12 New England Patriot game balls were under-inflated by about two pounds, according to unidentified league sources cited by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. While the NFL tries to figure this out, it’s possible we could see the Patriots sued by angry fans or even athletes from opposing teams like the Colts. It’s happened before and it also involved Bill Belichick and the Patriots. [Forbes]

*The guilty pleas of four men who admitted to earning more than $1 million from an IBM acquisition were dismissed by a federal judge who cited a landmark U.S. appeals court ruling that makes it harder for prosecutors to prove insider trading. [Bloomberg]

*The US House has passed a bill to tighten restrictions on abortion, just as anti-abortion activists were marching through Washington, DC. The measure would permanently ban funding for abortion costs, including tax credits offered under Barack Obama’s healthcare law. [BBC]

*Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told CNN Tuesday she intends to sue Fox News in the wake of the channel’s coverage of supposed “no-go zones” for non-Muslims. Outside legal analysts largely dismissed the likelihood that a lawsuit would succeed. [CNN]

*Both sides of New York’s teacher tenure case made their first substantive legal arguments in a courtroom on Wednesday, as a coalition of teachers’ unions and city and state officials argued that the lawsuit against tenure be dismissed before going to trial. [Capital]

*Wannabe terrorists will no longer be able to make bombs in their homes legally if Sen. Chuck Schumer has his way. Citing the growth of homegrown terror attacks, the New York Democrat said the time has come to close a legal loophole that he said handcuffs law enforcement agents investigating extremists. [NY Daily News]

*Utica is one of eight small cities fighting for more state aid in a legal battle that will begin oral arguments Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Albany. District officials say Utica schools lack enough resources for their 10,700 students, including 1,800 who are foreign-born. Hundreds of refugees from Somalia, Myanmar, Iraq and other war-torn lands settle in the area each year through a federal program. [Wall Street Journal]