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Lapel Video Unavailable in Third Fatal Albuquerque Police Shooting in Past Month

shot by copPolice in Albuquerque, New Mexico, shot and killed 19-year-old suspected car thief Mary Hawkes after she allegedly pulled a gun out at officers. It may have been just another police shooting in America but for it being the third one in Albuquerque in the last month and the first since a scathing Department of Justice (DOJ) report on civil rights violations and brutality in the Albuquerque Police Department (APD).

The DOJ report stopped short of holding any actual police officers accountable for the pattern and practice of constitutional violations. But the fatal shooting of Hawkes highlights the necessity of holding police officers to a high standard and penalizing them up to the point of termination for poor conduct, even if that conduct doesn't rise to the level of actual crime.

Too often, cops are not accused of crimes, because such an accusation requires a determination be made by a prosecutor who almost always relies on cooperation from police to pursue other cases. Prosecutors, then, aren't usually interested in prosecuting cops. So-called officer-involved shootings often end with investigations partly or wholly undertaken by the departments to which the cops under investigation belong, with prosecutors declining to prosecute or failing to make a case to indict to a grand jury.

By the account of the APD, the shooting of Hawkes appears arguably justifiable. No narrative from the family, which includes her foster father, a former judge and cop, or anyone else has emerged to contradict the police's story. Yet, unsurprisingly, doubts remain about what happened, because a decades-long pattern of abuse and brutality at the department—while police continue to duck accountability for any wrongdoing—has eroded any constructive relationship the police may have with the community. In this particular shooting, the police chief, Gordon Eden, said lapel video from Jeremy Dear, the officer who killed Hawkes, could not be recovered and that officers who fail to activate their lapel cams could face letters of reprimand or suspensions.

If the APD hopes to ever restore its relationship with the community and its very integrity, it will have to treat cops who fail to follow procedure and then kill in the line of duty far more harshly. Dear may or may not have erred in shooting Hawkes, but he erred in not activating his lapel camera every time he went on duty. That negligence has now contributed to uncertainty about the shooting, further wrecking the reputation of the APD and exacerbating the pattern or practice of abuse, brutality, and corruption in Albuquerque that the DOJ reported on to  just two weeks ago. Dear may or may not belong in jail. His dereliction of duty, however, ought to already preclude him from continued employment with the APD. 

Strippers v. the Supreme Court: Live Nude Theater!

Is it constitutional to require strippers to wear pasties and G-strings?

In 1991's Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc, the Supreme Court ruled that go-go dancers in Indiana could indeed be compelled to cover up their naughty bits. The decision upholding such bans is the subject of the provocative—and nudity-filled!—play Arguendo.

Check out Reason TV's lastest video offering above or click the link below for downloadable versions.

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David Cameron Was Right When He Called the U.K. a 'Christian Country

British Prime Minister David Cameron has caused a minor controversy in the U.K. by writing in the Church Times that "I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country." After the article was published, 50 public figures signed a letter to The Daily Telegraph objecting to Cameron's article, saying:

Apart from in the narrow constitutional sense that we continue to have an established Church, Britain is not a “Christian country”. Repeated surveys, polls and studies show that most of us as individuals are not Christian in our beliefs or our religious identities.

Unlike the American president, the British head of state (Queen Elizabeth II) is the head an established church (the Church of England). However, as the signatories of the letter to The Telegraph rightly point out, most Britons "are not Christian in our beliefs or our religious identities."

As the chart below from The Washington Postbased on 2011 British census data—shows, almost 60 percent of Britons identify as Christian, and a little over 25 percent are not part of a religion.

The Washington Post goes on to mention that according to the results of the 2013 British Social Attitudes Survey, 48 percent of Britons did not belong to a religion. In 2013, the Church of England said that church attendance rates were "stabilising" after years of decline, with 1.1 million attending weekly services in 2011. The U.K. has a population of almost 64 million. The British Humanist Association claims that many Britons identify as religious for cultural reasons, not because they believe in religious metaphysical claims.

While it might be the case that the British are not very religious, it is hard to deny that the U.K. and its institutions are drenched in religious history and culture, as Harry Cole explained in The Spectator:

Leaving aside the fact that 59% of the UK population self-defines as Christians, we need only look at our institutions and state structure to see how bizarre this row has been. England has an established church. English bishops sit in our Parliament. A glance around the rim of our £1 coin will show you that our Head of State has another far more interesting title – Defender of the Faith. The Left weren’t so snooty about the Archbishop of Canterbury, our state-declared spiritual leader, when he was defending foodbanks.

We have a constitutional framework, legal system and legislature that is built around Judeo-Christian values. Almost every single bank holiday we have in this country is to mark some sort of Christian festival. Tens of thousands of children are educated every day in church-supported schools, and what is the first word of the national anthem again?

The British may not be a particularly religious bunch, especially compared with Americans, but they undoubtedly live in a Christian nation.

Formula One holds its breath as Bernie Ecclestone's bribery trial begins
F1 chief executive's trial starts in Munich on Thursday
Prosecutors have impressive track record in recent cases

Bernie Ecclestone goes on trial in Munich on Thursday and for the next five months Formula One will hold its breath. The man who transformed the sport into a billion-pound business and who has run it for four decades in his idiosyncratic and controversial way faces the possibility of 10 years in jail if found guilty of bribery. The sport could face an even longer term of uncertainty, even decline.

The judge Ecclestone will be up against does not take any prisoners; or rather, he does. Peter Noll convicted the former German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, a central figure in the Munich hearing, and sent him down for eight-and-a-half years in 2012. In his concluding statement, Noll said: "In this process we assume the driving force was Mr Ecclestone."

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Amazon strikes deal with HBO to stream The Sopranos and The Wire

Deal with Amazon Prime marks first time older shows, including Six Feet Under, have been available to non-HBO subscribers

Amazon has added The Sopranos and The Wire to its library of TV shows after signing an exclusive deal with HBO, home of the hit shows.

The exclusive agreement, announced on Tuesday, marks the first time that Time Warner-owned premium cable channel has struck such a deal with an online video provider. Until now, outside of HBOs own channels, its shows have been available only for purchase or DVD rental.

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UK military operations since cold war have cost £34bn, says study
Study says bulk of money was spent on Iraq and Afghanistan, interventions judged later to be 'strategic failures'

Britain's military operations since the end of the cold war have cost £34.7bn and a further £30bn may have to be spent on long-term veteran care, according to an authoritative study.

The bulk of the money has been spent on interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan judged to have been "strategic failures", says the study, Wars in Peace, published by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

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Fake job ad for Nigel Farage PA gets hundreds of responses
Ukip leader said only his wife was capable of fulfilling role working unsociable hours for him on modest salary

A fake job advert seeking a PA for Nigel Farage has attracted hundreds of responses, according to a recruitment firm.

The advert was posted by a recruitment firm, Xpat Jobs, after the Ukip leader said that only his wife who is German was capable of fulfilling the role while earning "a very modest salary for working extremely unsociable hours for me and being available up to seven days a week".

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Tony Blair's Middle East speech should prick consciences and spur action
His reflections are as thoughtful, and thought provoking, as of old. But there is a new strain: wisdom

Slowly and carefully, Tony Blair is re-entering the foreign policy debate in Britain. Or, more correctly, he is trying to get a mature debate going. His speech today at Bloomberg "Why the Middle East matters" was reflective, not didactic, and signalled a nuanced approach to the complex set of interconnected challenges in the region. This will come as no surprise to those who have followed his work as envoy of the Quartet on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process with well over 100 visits to date.

What is more of a surprise is that there is a need to make an argument that the Middle East still matters. After all, the peace process generates a lot of sound and fury here just take the noisy but fundamentally wrong boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign aimed at Israel, one of the handful of democracies in the region. But there is, notes Blair, a weariness in the public. He said:

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Parklife how does Blur's album sound 20 years on?

Reader's panel: This week mark's the 20th anniversary of the album that defined Britpop and turned Blur into megastars. How well has Parklife stood the test of time?

Parklife, Blur's third studio album, was released 20 years ago this Friday. A huge critical and commercial success, it sold a huge number of copies and, for good or ill, gave birth to Britpop.

To mark its 20th anniversary, we thought it was about time to give Parklife another listen. Writing about the album earlier this month, Alexis Petridis saidit continues to sound "artful, diverse and remarkably fresh" but do you agree?

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Six reasons for the fall in violent crime
From the removal of lead in petrol to fighting becoming uncool, there are plenty of theories as to why the crime rate is falling. But do any of them stack up?

Violent crime in England and Wales has fallen by 12%, according to the latest national violence surveillance network figures, based on A&E admissions. In fact, the rate of violent crime in the UK has fallen almost every year since 2001. But why? Is it because TV has got better and alcohol has got weaker? Do today's angry young men prefer to take it out online in Call of Duty, rather than square up for an after-hours brawl in the Royal Oak car park like their predecessors? Experts disagree, but there is no shortage of theories. Here are just a few.

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