STATE SUPREME COURT RULES IN FA­VOR OF GUN TAX

The Denver Post - - NEWS - — Den­ver Post wire ser­vices

SEATTLE» The state Supreme Court ruled to up­hold Seattle’s tax on gun and am­mu­ni­tion sales, ac­cord­ing to an opin­ion is­sued Thurs­day morn­ing.

The jus­tices ruled 8-1 to af­firm a pre­vi­ous de­ci­sion by the King County Su­pe­rior Court, which sided with the city against op­po­nents, in­clud­ing the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion.

The city has been im­pos­ing the tax of $25 per firearm and 2 or 5 cents per round of am­mu­ni­tion for more than a year and a half, af­ter City Coun­cil pas­sage in 2015.

Smug­glers throw some 280 mi­grants into the sea off Yemen.

Smug­glers have thrown ap­prox­i­mately 280 mi­grants into the sea off the coast of Yemen in the past two days, caus­ing more than 50 to drown and leav­ing over 30 miss­ing, the U.N. mi­gra­tion agency said Thurs­day.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Du­jar­ric said the mi­grants who were forced from boats in two sep­a­rate “deeply trou­bling” in­ci­dents were hop­ing to reach coun­tries in the Gulf via wartorn Yemen.

The In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion said Wed­nes­day that up to 50 mi­grants from Ethiopia and So­ma­lia were “de­lib­er­ately drowned” by a smug­gler off Yemen. The U.N. agency said 160 Ethiopian mi­grants were vi­o­lently forced into the Ara­bian Sea on Thurs­day.

Elec­tion dis­pute in­ten­si­fies with con­flict­ing claims.

KENYA» A dis­pute over NAIROBI,

Kenya’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in­ten­si­fied Thurs­day when sup­port­ers of op­po­si­tion leader Raila Odinga said an un­of­fi­cial tally showed that he won — a claim that con­flicted with a pro­vi­sional of­fi­cial re­sult that put in­cum­bent Uhuru Keny­atta in the lead. Al­though most of the East African na­tion was calm af­ter Tues­day’s vote, scat­tered clashes broke out be­tween po­lice and op­po­si­tion sup­port­ers.

The un­cer­tainty has left Kenya in po­lit­i­cal limbo, as its peo­ple await fi­nal re­sults that they hope will dis­si­pate tensions over vote-rig­ging al­le­ga­tions and pre­serve the long-term sta­bil­ity that has made the coun­try a com­mer­cial hub.

Politi­cians block­ing peo­ple on so­cial me­dia ig­nites de­bate.

SALT LAKE

CITY» An emerg­ing de­bate about whether elected of­fi­cials vi­o­late peo­ple’s free speech rights by block­ing them on so­cial me­dia is spread­ing across the U.S. as groups sue or warn politi­cians to stop the prac­tice.

The Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union this week sued Maine Gov. Paul LePage and sent warn­ing let­ters to Utah’s con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion. It fol­lowed re­cent law­suits against the gov­er­nors of Mary­land and Kentucky and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

Trump’s fre­quent and of­ten un­ortho­dox use of Twit­ter and al­le­ga­tions he blocks peo­ple with dis­sent­ing views has raised ques­tions about what elected of­fi­cials can and can­not do on their of­fi­cial so­cial me­dia pages.

Politi­cians at all lev­els in­creas­ingly em­brace so­cial me­dia to dis­cuss gov­ern­ment busi­ness, some­times at the ex­pense of tra­di­tional town halls or in-per­son meet­ings.

Cana­dian diplo­mat in Cuba also suf­fered hear­ing loss.

The Cana­dian gov­ern­ment said Thurs­day that at least one of its diplo­mats in Cuba also has been treated for hear­ing loss af­ter dis­clo­sures that a group of Amer­i­can diplo­mats in Havana suf­fered se­vere hear­ing loss that U.S. of­fi­cials be­lieve was caused by an ad­vanced sonic de­vice. Global Af­fairs Canada spokes­woman Bri­anne Maxwell said Cana­dian of­fi­cials “are aware of un­usual symp­toms af­fect­ing Cana­dian and U.S. diplo­matic per­son­nel and their fam­i­lies in Havana. The gov­ern­ment is ac­tively work­ing — in­clud­ing with U.S. and Cuban au­thor­i­ties — to as­cer­tain the cause.”

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