- - Thursday, November 15, 2012

MICHIGAN

DETROIT | Michigan’s ban on affirmative action in college admissions was declared unconstitutional Thursday by a deeply divided federal appeals court, six years after state voters said race could not be an issue in choosing students.

In an 8-7 decision, the court said the 2006 amendment to the Michigan Constitution is illegal because it presents an extraordinary burden to opponents who would have to mount their own long, expensive campaign through the ballot box to protect affirmative action.

That burden “undermines the Equal Protection Clause’s guarantee that all citizens ought to have equal access to the tools of political change,” said Judge R. Guy Cole Jr., writing for the majority at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

OHIO

Judge: Bridge bomb plot equal to terrorism

CLEVELAND — Three men who pleaded guilty in a plot to bomb a highway bridge should be sentenced as terrorists, making them subject to harsher prison terms, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge David D. Dowd’s ruling upheld a government request to impose stricter sentences based on a “terrorist enhancement” for the trio. The ruling that the three were trying to intimidate the government expands their possible sentences from five or six years to 15 to 30 years or more.

The judge will sentence Connor Stevens, 20, of Berea; Brandon Baxter, 20, of Lakewood; and Douglas Wright, 26, of Indianapolis, on Tuesday.

REGION

Diabetes rates rocket in Oklahoma, South

NEW YORK — The nation’s diabetes problem is getting worse, and the biggest jump over 15 years was in Oklahoma, according to a new federal report issued Thursday.

The diabetes rate in Oklahoma more than tripled, and Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama also saw dramatic increases since 1995, the study showed.

The South’s growing weight problem is the main explanation, said Linda Geiss, lead author of the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bolstering the numbers is the fact that more people with diabetes are living longer because better treatments are available.

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