It is now legal for law enforcement in North Dakota to fly drones armed with everything from Tasers to tear gas thanks to a last-minute push by a pro-police lobbyist. With all the concern over the militarization of police in the past year, no one noticed that the state became the first in the union to allow police to equip drones with “less than lethal” weapons. House Bill 1328 wasn’t drafted that way, but then a lobbyist representing law enforcement—tight with a booming drone industry—got his hands on it.
North Dakota is sitting on gold. The oil-rich Bakken formation, thanks to the advent of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, produces hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil each day; in one month this year, it produced as much oil as it had in all of 2004. And that means easy money, not just for North Dakotans, but for people all over the country in search of work. Welcome to the 21st-century boomtown. Change this drastic doesn’t come without its conflicts and complications, as director Jesse Moss found in Williston, a city in the western part of the state. Since 2008, workers have been streaming into the city, overwhelming its capacity to house them and testing the locals’ ability to be welcoming.
A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked a new North Dakota law that bans abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected – as early as six weeks into pregnancy, calling the law "clearly invalid and unconstitutional." U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland in Bismarck granted a temporary injunction Monday that blocks the Aug. 1 enactment of the law that abortion rights advocates call the most restrictive in the nation.
Members of the Senate immigration reform "gang of eight" worked furiously behind the scenes on Wednesday to come up with an amendment that would assuage Republican concerns about border security without driving away Democrats, a difficult balance that will prove pivotal to the success of the bill.
For women seeking abortions in North Dakota, there's only one place to go. Soon, it could close its doors.
North Dakota's governor positioned the oil-rich state Tuesday as a primary battleground in the decades-old fight over abortion rights, signing into law the nation's toughest restriction on the procedure and urging lawmakers to set aside cash for an inevitable legal challenge.
Political analysts have been examining campaigns from across the country and how they were run. The Washington Post has been handing out awards for the best and worst candidates and campaign ads from the 2012 election cycle. And U.S. Senator-Elect Heidi Heitkamp is at the top of the list.
Democrat Heidi Heitkamp has won North Dakota's open Senate seat after Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) conceded the race, reports the Associated Press.