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In the Media: New Motions in Freddie Gray Case, Gov Shutdown Looms, O'Malley on Marijuana

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Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley

A digest of Baltimore news from local sources.

From The Baltimore Sun: New Defense Motions in Freddie Gray Case

"Three of the officers in the Freddie Gray case are asking to have their reckless endangerment charges tossed, arguing that failing to seat belt a prisoner is not a crime.

"Attorneys for Lt. Brian Rice and Officers Garrett Miller and Edward Nero have requested a hearing on the motions, which were filed last week after Judge Barry Williams denied the officers' request to move the trial outside of Baltimore.

"Rice, Nero and Miller each face additional charges of second-degree assault and misconduct in office; Rice is also charged with manslaughter."

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From The Washington Post: Congress Nearing Government Shutdown

"President Obama has been ramping up his attacks on fractious congressional Republicans in recent days, accusing them of pushing the country toward a government shutdown that would damage the U.S. economy.

"On Thursday, with 13 days left in the fiscal year, the president met at the White House with Democratic congressional leaders — Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) — signaling that the Democrats were taking the shutdown possibility seriously even as they reveled in the GOP’s dysfunction.

"Reid and Pelosi met with Obama for about 90 minutes to prepare for negotiations. They said they are willing to back a continuing resolution to keep the government open, but insisted that such a stopgap measure be a short-term one and include the same size increases for military and non-military spending."

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From The Baltimore Sun: O'Malley Vows to Reclassify Marijuana if President

"Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O'Malley met with Colorado marijuana regulators Thursday and vowed immediate change on marijuana policy if he takes office — even as he laid out contradictory plans about how he'd do that.

"The former Maryland governor repeated his pledge to reclassify marijuana under federal drug laws if elected. He sat down with state pot regulators, along with marijuana activists and a few representatives from the industry.

"Reclassification could open the door to doctors being able to prescribe marijuana, which currently has no accepted medical use under federal law. Such a change would place the drug under control of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, not the states."

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From The Washington Post: Federal Reserve Holds on Interest Rates

"The Federal Reserve said Thursday that the U.S. economy faces new threats from abroad and needs continued support to grow, backing away from expectations that the moment had come to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

"The risks are many: Breakneck growth in China finally appears to be slowing down — and it’s unclear whether officials there know how to handle that. Wild swings in financial markets around the globe have put investors on edge. Even Canada is in a recession.

"The global turmoil had already colored the Fed’s two-day meeting in Washington — long regarded by many investors as the time when it could finally raise rates. In the end, what was striking was not only that officials overwhelmingly voted to keep the central bank’s interest rate at zero, but also that there were also fresh doubts that the economy would be ready to stand on its own anytime soon."

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