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Law And Order
May 8, 2014
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The City Council in Carson, California unanimously voted in favor of a measure making bullying a misdemeanor this week. The anti-bullying ordinance still has to pass a final vote later in May, NPR reported.

Groups are already questioning how effective the measure would be, though. The ordinance would make it a misdemeanor to cause any person between kindergarten age through 25 years old to "feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested," notes the Los Angeles Times. Meant to include cyberbullying, City Council members say the ordinance would better protect groups especially vulnerable to bullying; they say that includes gay, overweight, disabled, and gifted children.

What is not spelled out is what does and does not constitute a provocation under those terms: What if a "joking" text message is not taken as such by the recipient? What should happen to classmates of a young girl left out of a game at recess, does that warrant calling the police? And as for the age cutoff at 25, that feels entirely arbitrary.

Carson Mayor Jim Dear told Reuters he and fellow Council members are aware of the challenges, but that they support the measure: "We're not talking about putting a five-year-old in jail, we're talking about intervening in both the bully's life, who is a person who is hurting too, and the victim's life."

While the goal of a bully-free community is commendable, Carson's ordinance appears to have an awful lot of tweaks to iron out before it can adequately enforce such an ideal. Sarah Eberspacher

This just in
5:37 p.m. ET
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In a previously sealed document from a 2005 deposition, comedian Bill Cosby admitted to acquiring Quaaludes, which he said he intended to give to younger women he wanted to have sex with.

The admission came under oath, as part of a lawsuit filed by a former Temple University employee against Cosby. Cosby admitted to giving her three half-pills of Benadryl. The lawsuit was settled in 2006.

The Associated Press went to court in a successful petition for the release of the documents, which were publicly released on Monday afternoon. Cosby's lawyers unsuccessfully sought to keep the documents sealed, arguing that their release would "embarrass" Cosby. Scott Meslow

This just in
4:31 p.m. ET
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The South Carolina Senate on Monday voted 37-3 to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds in Columbus, The Associated Press reports. The Senate will still need to vote on the bill one more time Tuesday, though The New York Times reports it is "virtually assured of success" in the Senate. How the bill will fare in the House, however, still remains to be seen; it must also pass there before it can be signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley.

South Carolinians began pushing for their state to remove the flag, considered by many to be a racist symbol, after a white gunman last month killed nine African-Americans attending a Bible study group in a historically black Charleston church. Samantha Rollins

This just in
3:53 p.m. ET
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Less than two weeks after Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was formally sentenced to death for his role in the April 2013 bombing, he filed a preliminary motion for a new trial. Tsarnaev's lawyers are requesting a new trial for both his conviction and death sentence, saying a new trial is required "in the interests of justice." The motion is considered a placeholder for a more detailed one his lawyers will file next month, before Tsarnaev's post-trial action deadline of August 17.

Tsarnaev was convicted on 30 charges in May in relation to the bombing that killed three people and injured 264 others. Becca Stanek

Behold the future
3:38 p.m. ET

In 50 to 60 years, your wildest Dune-inspired dreams might just come true. That's because OXO, a French architecture company, is literally constructing a vertical city in the middle of the Earth's biggest desert, the Sahara. The plans call for the building to stand 1,476 feet high and contain approximately 84,000 square feet of residential and commercial areas, amid other livable spaces.

"The idea is to make a city out of this tower... The idea is to obtain a building combining different programs including housing units adjacent to offices of course. There is a museum, a meteorological observatory on the Sahara, there are libraries, gyms, pools. The idea was really to offer a sufficient number of programs to be able to remain self-sufficient and not to have to rely on other buildings or have to create new ones," architect Manal Rachdi told Reuters.

The vertical city will also function as its own "livable, green ecosystem," with a towering central garden irrigated by rainwater. Work on the building begins in 2025 (you can see the plans in the Reuters video below), and is expected to be completed over the course of 50 years. Now, would the future mind hurrying up? Jeva Lange

Breaking Records
3:22 p.m. ET
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Team USA's 5-2 win over Japan on Sunday in the Women's World Cup final wasn't just a victory for soccer-loving Americans everywhere. The game was also a major win for Fox, which broke a ratings record for the most-watched soccer telecast on a single network in U.S. television history.

The ratings mark a 77 percent increase since the last Women's World Cup in 2011, which aired on ESPN. An estimated 20.3 million viewers tuned in for the championship match.

That's more than the number that tuned in to any of the U.S. men's team's matches in the 2014 World Cup. It is also comparable to the 23.5 million viewers who watched Game 7 of the 2014 World Series. Lori Janjigian

The price we pay
3:01 p.m. ET
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For the second year in a row, Starbucks is set to raise prices, tacking on anywhere from 5 to 20 cents to affected beverages' prices. Both a small and a large cup of coffee, for instance, will go up by 10 cents in most areas of the country, Starbucks says, bringing the price of a plain ol' cup of joe up to $2.45. The upped price tags will take effect on Tuesday and will apply to beverages only.

Starbucks' plan to raise prices comes amid some coffee sellers' decision to lower prices, The Associated Press reports. Just last week, The J.M. Smucker Co. docked prices in anticipation of lower unroasted coffee bean prices. According to Starbucks, its decision to raise prices included factors such as rent, labor, marketing, and equipment. Becca Stanek

2015 World Cup
2:55 p.m. ET
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The U.S. women's soccer team won the 2015 World Cup against Japan last night, with a score of 5-2. The victory made the U.S. the only team to have won three championships in the Women's World Cup — but that's not the only thing the numbers reveal. Below, the 2015 World Cup, by the numbers:

3 — Goals scored by Carli Lloyd, whose hat trick was the fastest in Women's World Cup history.

16 — Minutes it took for the U.S. to score four goals against Japan.

539 — Minutes the U.S. team had held its World Cup opponents scoreless, just short of a record. The streak ended after Japan's first goal by Yuki Ogimi.

2011 — Year the U.S. women's team last faced Japan in tournament. They lost to Japan on penalty kicks.

1991 — Year the U.S. women's team won their first World Cup. They have repeated that feat twice, in 1999 and 2015, making them the team with the most wins ever. Germany follows with two titles, in 2003 and 2007. The U.S. men's team has never won the World Cup.

2 million— Dollars earned by the U.S. women's soccer team for winning the World Cup.

52,341 — Fans in attendance at the final match in Vancouver.

20 million — People who watched the game on Sunday, breaking the record for the most watched soccer match in U.S. television history. Some estimates are as high as 25.4 million viewers, which would mean the match was far more viewed than the most recent NBA or NHL finals. Jeva Lange

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