West Virginia Impeaches 3 Of 4 State Supreme Court Justices

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West Virginia lawmakers have voted to impeach three out of four of the state's sitting Supreme Court justices as of 8:45 Central Time Monday evening. 

West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports the judges were named in 14 articles of impeachment "for their roles in lavish spending on court office renovations, the personal use of state resources, and the overpayment of other judges." 

Democrats on the state's House Judiciary Committee approved the articles last week. 

The court previously had five justices but one pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud and resigned last month. 

Lawmakers have a deadline of Tuesday, 11:59 p.m., to trigger a special election to fill court vacancies. After that time, West Virgina Gov. Jim Justice would have to appoint new justices. 

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Some Google Apps Might Be Tracking Your Data Without Your Permission

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Turning off location settings might not stop Google from tracking where you go. 

According to an Associated Press investigation, many Google services still log a user's location even when certain privacy settings are turned on. 

Google says users can control what information the company tracks by turning location history off. 

But the AP says some Google apps store a user's timestamped location data without asking. If users want to prevent that data from being stored, they'll have to turn off a second setting called "Web and App Activity." The outlet estimates this affects about two billion users with devices running Google's Android operating system and hundreds of millions of iPhone owners who use Google's map app.

In a statement to the AP, Google seemed unfazed by the report. The company said, "We provide clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time."

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President Trump Signs $717 Billion Defense Authorization Bill

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President Donald Trump signed the 2019 federal defense bill into law Monday.

The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act allots $717 billion for defense efforts. It raises military pay by 2.6 percent and will provide funding to repair or replace old tanks, planes, ships and other equipment.

It'll also provide a personnel boost. Trump said at the signing ceremony, "With this new authorization, we will increase the size and strength of our military by adding thousands of new recruits to active duty."

One focus of the bill was cracking down on China's influence in the U.S., including tightening reviews on Chinese investment in America.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed support for the harsher measures concerning China.

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Gov. Watchdog Group Wants Commerce Secretary Investigated

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A nonpartisan government watchdog group wants the Commerce Department's inspector general to investigate Secretary Wilbur Ross for potentially violating criminal laws on conflict of interest and making false statements.

Citing public records, the Campaign Legal Center filed a more-than-100-page complaint that claims Ross kept financial assets in companies that could've overlapped with his work in the Trump administration.

The complaint also alleges Ross may have made false statements about divesting those assets on government forms.

In a statement, Ross's attorney said he "has not violated any conflict of interest law or regulation" and that "CLC's framing of these assertions and their conclusion are simply wrong." 

Additional reporting by Newsy affiliate CNN.

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Florida AG Files Manslaughter Charges In ‘Stand Your Ground’ Case

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A Florida man is now facing charges for a shooting that was initially deemed justified by the state's "stand your ground" law.

According to Newsy's partner WFTS, authorities arrested Michael Drejka on Monday on manslaughter charges for the death of 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton.

McGlockton was killed on July 19, and witnesses say the interaction between the two stemmed from a dispute over a parking spot. Surveillance video shows McGlockton pushing Drejka to the ground before Drejka fires his gun.

Florida's stand your ground law allows people to use deadly force if they "reasonably believe" they're in danger of "death or great bodily harm."

But in filing charges, the state attorney general alleges Drejka was not justified in his shooting of McGlockton.

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Study: 1 Million Borrowers Default On Federal Student Loans Every Year

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More than 1 million borrowers default on their federal student loans each year. 

That means by 2023, nearly 40 percent of borrowers are expected to default.

That’s according to research by the Urban Institute research organization. It looked at about 80,000 borrowers who started repayment in 2012.

The report breaks down their findings into several categories, including what made borrowers more likely to default.

It found those who had lower balances were more likely to default than those with higher balances. Thirty-two percent of borrowers who owed less than $5,000 defaulted at least once.

But only 15 percent of borrowers who owed over $35,000 defaulted within four years.

People of color are also more likely to default. Previous research has shown black and Hispanic students are more likely to borrow to get a degree.

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To Fix Gerrymandering, Lawmakers Might Need To Give Up Some Control

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I know you've heard of gerrymandering. And gerrymandering wouldn't really exist without redistricting which is the drawing of the legislative lines which determines where you vote. 

The most common way to redistrict is through a state legislature. More than half of states use this process and it's definitely the most partisan and political way to do it. 

"It is an inherently political process. And it is even more inherently political when one party controls all the branches of government,"  Michael Li, Senior Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice told Newsy. 

But is there a way to try and take some of the partisanship out of the process and draw lines that are as fair as possible, no matter the outcome? Yep, there is. 

"There are a number of ways, you can make the process better," Li said. 

One of those ways is to have some sort of redistricting commission. Some states already use this process to draw their Congressional or Legislative districts. There are essentially two types - one is just a normal bipartisan commission and the other is what's called an advisory commission. 

Both types are similar in that they are meant to be truly bipartisan. They are full of people from different areas of the state, different backgrounds and from every side of the political spectrum. 

SEE MORE: Gerrymandering — What Is It?

The biggest difference is advisory commissions don't have the final final say. The state legislatures can typically come in and overrule them if they don't really like what the commission comes up with. 

Some experts point to a state like California as proof these kind of commissions really work and work in really big states. The Golden State's commission has equal parts GOP, Democrats and third party representation. 

"That fosters compromise and negotiation in a way that doesn't happen when for example Republicans in Michigan can just pass a plan because they have a majority and the governor's mansion," Li said. 

And even commissions aren't always perfect. Experts say it really matters how the commission is chosen; if they are chosen by state lawmakers like in New Jersey, you can end up with some of the same issues if the state legislature drew the district on its own. 

"It's important that commissions be well designed and they sort of fit the state where they're in or the jurisdiction they are in because it's not a one-size fits all sort of thing. Even if commissions aren't perfect, they are a 100,000 times better than leaving it in the hands of legislatures," Li said. 

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Big Data Doctors Are Focusing On How We Live To Catch Health Issues

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The United States spends more than $3 trillion a year on health care. That's the highest of any wealthy nation. That includes $672 billion a year in Medicare, $565 billion in Medicaid, almost $329 billion the pharmaceutical industry pulls in and over $1 trillion that goes to hospitals.

And many people think our current health care system isn't working. And oftentimes, the folks in charge can't agree on how to fix it. One idea being explored more than ever before is to focus on a group of factors called the social determinants of health. 

"So at the basic level, the social determinants of health are the structural aspects of your life that you bump into every day," Ryan Bosch told Newsy. 

Bosch is an internal medicine physician and one of the founders of an organization called Socially Determined. They are working to create a new science to help refine how we study the impact of things like housing, a social support network, the food you eat and your health literacy on health. 

SEE MORE: Smart Cities Creator: It's Time For US To Take The Next Step

It is a much broader look at what health care means, and proponents say if we fixed those things, the U.S. would end up spending less on health care and people like us would get better care.

Think of it like this: The U.S. is a ship, and upstream from the U.S.S. America are these social determinants of health. If we stay focused on and fix those things that don't feel like they have immediate effects, we can stop health issues before they even pop up. Bosch and his company hope to lead that change in the health care industry by using technology. 

"We aggregate data. We take that data, and we risk stratify that data. Then we create cohorts of members or patients, 2,000-3,000 folks, and we identify a strategy to improve the health and the outcomes of that patient set," Bosch said.

Essentially, they look at those social determinants and measure what kinds of things their clients are at risk for and what can be done to help mitigate that risk before something happens.

"So then we help create that cohort of 2,000-3,000 that would be managed with interventions to support their food scarcity, or to support their health literacy, to provide information in their first spoken language, to really help move them on a curve of better care," Bosch said. 

Socially Determined is just one example of a company using data in the hopes of changing our daily lives. But Bosch says they're careful to do more than just score their clients and give them a number.

"We felt the need to really manage and support that intervention, to really understand, with a scientific process, did it work or not, to have both humility and arrogance to give it a shot, but then create a very objective platform year over year to say, 'Did that intervention work? Was the patient and the population healthier? What was their total cost of care?'" Bosch said. 

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Aretha Franklin Made ‘Respect’ A National Anthem For Social Justice

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Aretha Franklin is a force — not just because of her legendary voice, but because of her impact on the Civil Rights movement, women's equality and the music industry in general.

In 1967, she made history with one song you'll definitely recognize. 

Though Franklin wasn't the first person to record "Respect," her 1967 rendition is by far the best known and most revered. That year is important to mention, because it was after the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the year of the U.S. Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia and the year leading up to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

SEE MORE: Lawmakers Are Trying To Modernize Music Licensing Laws

It was right in the middle of the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War and the movement for gender equality.

In her 1998 autobiography, Franklin said the song was "the need of a nation, the need of the average man and woman in the street, the businessman, the mother, the fireman, the teacher — everyone wanted respect. ... The song took on monumental significance."

"Respect" quickly made it to the top of the charts, and in 2002, it was added to the Library of Congress' National Registry.

SEE MORE: 'This Is America' — How Musicians Add Perspective To Social Issues

Listening to the song, it's not difficult to hear what makes the rendition of "Respect" such an anthem. Franklin's gospel vocals punctuated each line with a force that earned her the title of "The Queen of Soul." And the joyful, commanding vibe — of which Franklin also played the piano — empowered listeners.

Since "Respect," Franklin also lent her strong vocals to major hits like "I Say A Little Prayer," "A Natural Woman" and "Chain of Fools." 

In 2009, she performed at the inauguration of then-President Obama, and in 2014, she was honored by his administration as one of the "foremothers" of American music.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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A Space Force Would Probably Bring New Weapons With It

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The Trump administration has called for a Space Force in part because "our adversaries have transformed space into a warfighting domain already." And that's true: Even if the Space Force never gets off the ground, the U.S. and other countries are working toward weapons on a frontier they've never gone to before.

Air Force officials say the Pentagon has almost a dozen programs with the primary goal of making tech that defends U.S. interests in space. Some are designed to protect U.S. satellites from foreign attacks or to develop technology to jam electronic communications.

By some counts, the U.S. is already years behind its adversaries in the space fighting domain. Military officials say Russia and China are a few years away from anti-satellite weapons. Russia has already demonstrated it can use GPS and satellite jammers to disrupt space-based communications in Ukraine.

SEE MORE: The US Military Has A Satellite Problem

It's harder to say what actual space-based weapons might look like or when they might arrive. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 prohibits weapons of mass destruction in space, and so far that seems to be holding up. But the U.S. has notably come out against other U.N. treaties that would prevent conventional weapons in space, and legal experts worry other countries may follow suit. 

For now, one of the surest checks on U.S. weapons in space could be dissent in Congress. The administration might have called for more warfighting abilities in space, but legal experts and lawmakers say minting a new branch of the armed forces — which is what the Space Force would be — requires an official act of Congress.

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