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Pot politics
July 17, 2014
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Who says Congress is slacking off this summer? A day after the House passed a bipartisan bill to bar state and federal governments from taxing internet service forever, lawmakers in the lower chamber passed a bill Wednesday aimed at giving legal marijuana businesses access to regular banking services. The amendment to an appropriations bill, which passed 231-192, prohibits financial regulators from spending any money to prosecute banks that do business with marijuana growers and purveyors in states where pot is legal.

Banks have generally refrained from doing business with marijuana operations because while the drug is now legal in Colorado and Washington, and partly legal in dozens of other states — Washington, D.C., decriminalized weed at midnight tonight — possession and sale of pot still violates federal law. Also on Wednesday, the House rejected a measure that would have voided Treasury Department guidelines announced in February aimed at sort-of getting banks to work with the legal pot industry.

So really, the GOP-led House voted for legal marijuana twice in one day — another milepost on pot's long, strange trip to respectability. In May, the House passed another bill the prohibited the Justice Department and DEA from interfering with state medical marijuana programs. It's not clear that any of these wills will be cleared by the Senate. The pot industry is still celebrating. "This is a huge step forward for the legal cannabis industry," said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, in a statement. At least it's a baby step. Peter Weber

you go girl
11:34 p.m. ET

For Carli Lloyd of Team USA, the Women's World Cup final game was one for the record books. After scoring in the third, fifth, and 16th minutes of play, Lloyd (#10) became the first player in history to score a hat trick in a Women's World Cup final. Her goal in the third minute was the fastest ever scored in a final, and she also became the first American to score in four straight World Cup games. "I'm so proud and so zapped at the same time," she told CNN. "It doesn't feel real. We just made history." The U.S. defeated Japan 5-2, earning their first Women's World Cup title since 1999. Check out photos of Team USA celebrating their big victory below. Catherine Garcia

RIP
10:36 p.m. ET
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Burt Shavitz, the co-founder of Burt's Bees whose face appeared on the company's packaging, has died. He was 80.

"We remember him as a bearded, free-spirited Maine man, a beekeeper, a wisecracker, a lover of golden retrievers and his land," the company said on its Facebook page. "Above all, he taught us to never lose sight of our relationship with nature." Shavitz co-founded Burt's Bees in 1984 with Roxanne Quimby, an art school graduate he met while hitchhiking. Quimby used his beeswax to make candles that she sold at fairs, and during their first year in business, the company earned $20,000, NBC News reports. Their most famous product, lip balm, was introduced in 1991.

The cause of Shavitz's death has not been announced. Catherine Garcia

This is terrible
10:20 p.m. ET
Facebook.com/CourierJournal

A boating accident late Saturday night on the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky, has left two dead and three missing.

Donald Swinney, 52, and Mark Swinney Jr., 14, both died from drowning, officials said. The incident occurred as thousands gathered around the river for 4th of July festivities, The Courier-Journal reports. The pontoon boat hit a barge and capsized, authorities said, and four people, including three children wearing life jackets, were quickly rescued.

Because of river conditions, rescue teams have been unable to deploy divers to help in the search. The current is "extremely swift, and there's a lot of debris," Louisville Fire Chief Greg Frederick said. "It's challenging, even for our rescue boats, especially when you get close to the dam. You have to be extremely careful." The search will resume Monday. Catherine Garcia

accidents
9:34 p.m. ET
Facebook.com/TheJewelOfTheSOBX

At least 24 members of a family were injured in North Carolina Saturday when the deck they were standing on collapsed.

The group — with members ranging in age from 5 to 94 — gathered on the 24-by-12-foot deck of their beach house rental to take a family photo, authorities said. Five people are still hospitalized, two in critical condition. In a statement, Emerald Isle town manager Frank A. Rush Jr. said preliminary findings suggest the collapse was due to deteriorated nails on the 29-year-old house. "Although Emerald Isle is a busy and popular tourism destination, it prides itself on its 'family beach image' and 'small-town atmosphere,' and an incident of this nature affects our entire community deeply," he said.

The deck fell at least 10 feet, Emerald Isle Fire Chief Bill Walker told the Los Angeles Times. "It was basically a one-story house that was built on pilings," he said. Rush said no complaints have been filed over the condition of the home, and state law says it is the responsibility of a rental property owner or manager to routinely inspect their properties. Catherine Garcia

This just in
9:04 p.m. ET
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The United States defeated Japan Sunday in the Women's World Cup final game, 5-2, giving the team its first World Cup win since 1999. Within the first 16 minutes of the game, Carli Lloyd scored three goals. Lauren Holiday also scored in the 14th minute and Tobin Heath in the 55th minute. In the 2011 Women's World Cup final, the U.S. lost to Japan on penalty kicks. Catherine Garcia

Don't try this at home
8:50 p.m. ET
Thomas Lhones/Getty Images

A 22-year-old man in Maine was killed Saturday night after setting off a firework on top of his head, authorities said.

Devon Staples of Calais was drinking with friends on the 4th of July when the incident took place, Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said. Staples died instantly. The firework was designed to launch the explosive out of a small tube into the air, The Boston Globe reports. This was the first fireworks-related death to take place in Maine since they became legal in 2012, McCausland said. Catherine Garcia

Greek debt crisis
4:26 p.m. ET
Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images

Former Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced he was stepping down from his role as the head of the nation's conservative opposition party, New Democracy, on Sunday, Reuters reports. His statement came after it became increasingly clear the public voted against Greece taking the eurozone bailout deal, a decision likely to keep the economy in turmoil. With the majority of votes in, the Greek Interior Ministry shows about 61 percent voting "no" in the referendum.

"Our party needs a new start. As of today, I'm resigning from the leadership of New Democracy," he said in a televised statement. Julie Kliegman

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