A Florida judge ruled Thursday that the state's congressional redistricting map favored Republicans and was therefore invalid, a decision that could impact 2014 elections. Leon County Judge Terry P. Lewis wrote in a scathing opinion that the GOP-controlled Legislature had "made a mockery" of the 2012 redistricting process, which was supposed to produce fair districts under state constitutional amendments voters approved in 2010. Deirdre Macnab, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, called the ruling "a great day for democracy." Harold Maass
Every nail salon in New York will be required to post a workers' bill of rights in plain view of employees and customers, The New York Times reports. The announcement comes after the newspaper highlighted widespread exploitation and abuse of manicurists, many of whom are new immigrants.
The posters Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed Friday will be printed in 10 languages. They include information about minimum wage, tipping, safety measures, and a phone number to report violations. Officials will also hand out information cards to consumers outlining questions they should ask upon entering nail salons.
"We’re asking New Yorkers to help; we're asking New Yorkers to get involved," Cuomo said at a news conference with New York City advocate Letitia James. Julie Kliegman
Empire's first season aired its finale in March, and fans have been eagerly waiting to find out when they'll finally get to see all those dangling cliffhangers resolved.
Unfortunately, the season two premiere date is still pretty far away — but at last you can put it down on your calendar. Taraji P. Henson, who plays Cookie, took to Twitter to reveal that Empire will return on September 23. Set your DVRs accordingly. Scott Meslow
Creator of black market website Silk Road, Ross William Ulbricht, 31, was sentenced to life in prison Friday.
After its 2011 launch, Ulbricht ran the underground cyber-bazaar, where anonymous users used the cryptocurrency bitcoin to purchase drugs, hacking tools, and fake identification, for about two years before he was arrested.
Ulbricht received the maximum sentence for his felony convictions of conspiracy, money laundering, and drug trafficking. Stephanie Talmadge
A Texas high school senior was suspended and barred from graduation this week after a can of Bud Light was found in a cooler in his truck. Quintin Walker says he didn't realize the single beer can was still in the soda-filled cooler that his mother had packed for a family picnic the previous weekend. "I worked 12 years to walk across that stage," Walker said. "It's just crazy."
Former U.S. House speaker Dennis Hastert reportedly paid off a man to conceal past sexual misconduct, two federal law enforcement officials told the Los Angeles Times. A federal grand jury indicted Hastert on Thursday for allegedly evading currency reporting requirements. He reportedly withdrew the cash to give to an unidentified person, who one official claimed is a man Hastert wanted to conceal a past relationship with.
The alleged misconduct, which one source called "sex" and the other confirmed involved sexual abuse, dates back to Hastert's stint as a Yorkville, Illinois, high school wrestling coach and teacher, LAT reports.
"It goes back a long way, back to then," one source told the paper. “It has nothing to do with public corruption or a corruption scandal. Or to his time in office." Julie Kliegman
Yes, we know that Bud Light basically tastes like water anyway. But for victims of the devastating floods in Texas and Oklahoma, actual drinking water is essential right now. Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, which makes big-name beers like Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, Corona, and tons more, decided to halt beer production at its Georgia brewery in order to produce 2,000 24-packs of drinking water, which are currently en route with the Red Cross to flood victims in Texas and Oklahoma.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 29, 2015
Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is expected to formally enter the 2016 presidential race June 3, a source told Politico on Friday. Chafee's spokesperson told MSNBC there'd be a "major announcement."
Chafee, 62, became a Democrat midway through his term as governor, which ended earlier this year. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1999 to 2007 as a Republican.
Chafee is slated to speak at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. He would face Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and likely former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (expected to announce Saturday) in a Democratic primary. Julie Kliegman