NEWS OF THE DAY
A 15-yearold Tennessee girl was rescued near a cabin in a remote part of Northern California on Thursday, more than a month after her 50-year-old teacher kidnapped her and set off a nationwide manhunt, authorities said. Health sciences teacher Tad Cummins surrendered to sheriff ’s deputies without incident in Cecilville (Siskiyou County), hours after they had set up surveillance on his vehicle in the area, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said. The girl was apparently healthy and unharmed. Cummins faces state charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor as well as a federal charge of taking a minor across state lines to have sex.
The Cherokee Nation sued distributors and retailers of opioid medications Thursday, alleging the companies have contributed to “an epidemic of prescription opioid abuse” within the tribe and have not done enough to prevent tribal members from acquiring illegally prescribed opioid painkillers. The lawsuit alleges that six distribution and pharmacy companies have created conditions in which “vast amounts of opioids have flowed freely from manufacturers to abusers and drug dealers” within the 14 Oklahoma counties that comprise the Cherokee Nation.
Drawing the line:
A Republican-drawn map setting the boundaries of Texas’ statehouse districts violates the U.S. Constitution by intentionally discriminating against minority voters, a federal court found Thursday — the third such ruling against the state’s voting laws in roughly a month. The latest ruling means Texas’ strict voter ID law, congressional maps and state legislative maps — all enacted in 2011 — have recently been found in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act. For Texas, the losses carry the risk of a court punishing the state by demanding approval before changing voting laws.
Georgia has issued a birth certificate for a toddler with the last name “Allah” after initially declining to do so because that doesn’t match either of the parents’ last names, a civil rights group that sued on behalf of the parents said Thursday. The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia sued last month on behalf of Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk, who had chosen the name ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah. The group said it is dropping its lawsuit because the Georgia Department of Health has issued a birth certificate with the name the couple had chosen.
Hawaii’s Democratic lawmakers on Thursday criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions after he expressed amazement on a radio show that a “judge sitting on an island in the Pacific” could stop the president’s travel ban. U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono responded by trying to give Sessions a civics lesson on Twitter, saying Hawaii has been a U.S. state for 58 years. Sessions made the remarks on “The Mark Levin Show” regarding U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson.