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NEW YORK — The New York Police Department says it is assessing a threat posted on a website related to the Islamic State group against the organizer of a cartoon contest about the Prophet Muhammad.

Blogger Pamela Geller organized the contest over the weekend in Texas, where two men started shooting before they were killed by police. She leads an organization called American Freedom Defense Initiative.

The Cannabis Training University / CC

AUSTIN — A proposal seeking full legalization of marijuana on religious grounds has cleared an unlikely legislative hurdle.

Republican state Rep. David Simpson of Longview argues marijuana comes from God and therefore shouldn’t be banned by government. The Tea Party stalwart has repeatedly championed what he calls the “Christian case” for legalization.

Simpson’s bill languished for weeks before the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. Three committee Democrats and two Republicans surprisingly voted to support it Wednesday, though, and it passed 5-2.

Texas Shooting Raises Concerns Of Lone-Wolf Attacks

May 7, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

NEW YORK — The attempted attack on a provocative cartoon contest in Texas appears to reflect a scenario that has long troubled national security officials: a do-it-yourself terror plot, inspired by the Islamic State extremist group and facilitated through the ease of social media.

Trying to gauge which individuals in the United States pose such threats — and how vigorously they should be monitored — is a daunting challenge for counterterrorism agencies. Some experts caution that a limited number of small-scale attacks are likely to continue.

Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said federal authorities are aware of “thousands” of potential extremists living in the U.S., only a small portion of who are under active surveillance.

Thecomeupshow Uploaded by MyCanon (Snoop Dogg) / CC

AUSTIN — Texas’ chief law enforcement official called Snoop Dogg a “dope smoking cop hater” before reprimanding a state trooper who posed for a picture with the rapper, according to emails made public Wednesday.

Snoop Dogg posted a photo to Instagram with Department of Public Safety Trooper Billy Spears in March with the comment “Me n my deputy dogg.”

It was taken during the South by Southwest music festival, where Spears was working off-duty as extra security. Spears is now suing DPS after being disciplined for taking a picture with a public figure who has a several convictions for drug possession.

Emails obtained by Spears’ attorney through open records laws show that the incident went all the way to DPS Director Steve McCraw, who is best known for overseeing the state’s expansive border security operations.

Courtesy: vote4rickmiller.com

HOUSTON — Beau Miller and Patrick Summers have been dating for four years, but last December was the first time they spent Christmas at Miller’s parents’ home.

It seemed like a breakthrough, since the younger Miller is an HIV-positive gay activist and his father Rick is a conservative Texas state lawmaker.

But barely seven weeks later, Rick Miller filed a bill that would repeal local ordinances banning discrimination against gay and transgender people, attempting to roll back rules passed in all of Texas’ largest cities.

“We were invited to Christmas, and I thought that was a good step,” said Beau Miller, a commercial litigation and product liability attorney who works on the 41st floor of a gleaming office tower in downtown Houston. But now, “My dad wants people to be able to have the opportunity to discriminate against his own son.”

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