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MUSIC NEWS

Pledge of Allegiance Prompts Lawsuit by NJ Family

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 4:55am

iStock/Thinkstock(ABERDEEN, N.J.) -- A New Jersey family is suing their local school district, charging that the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance turn atheists into "second-class citizens."

The suit filed this week against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District by the Washington, D.C.-based American Humanist Association keeps the identity of the family under wraps because their child attends school there.

Under New Jersey state law, students in all 590 school districts must recite the pledge each day or else stand without speaking.

In response to the suit, Matawan-Aberdeen schools officials say their district is being unfairly singled out, drawing resources away from schools in order to defend their case.

Previous objections to the Pledge of Allegiance have had to do with the separation of church and state. However, this lawsuit is alleging that the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is being violated when one is forced to say "under God."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Object Washes Ashore; Connected to Flight 370?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 5:55am

(PERTH, Australia) -- An unidentified object washed ashore in Australia, and investigators are trying to determine if the object is related to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

According to a press release from Australian authorities, the item washed ashore near Augusta, on the country’s southwestern coastline.

The news has been shared with Malaysia officials, who are overseeing the overall search efforts.

Authorities believe the jet landed in the Indian Ocean, but have yet to find any evidence directly connected to the doomed plane.

The 777 jetliner was carrying 239 people when it went missing March 8.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

White House Mulls Leaving Less than 10,000 Troops in...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 6:58am

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Although the Obama administration is still considering how many U.S. troops to leave in Afghanistan after 2014, there are reports that the residual force could fall well under 10,000.

Some of the factors going into the decision include the failure of the Afghan government to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement and the relatively peaceful election process earlier this month in which the Taliban didn't exercise much muscle.

However, everything is a moot point if the new Afghan president fails to sign a post-war pact.

White House spokeswoman Laura Lucas Magnuson said in a statement, "The longer we go without a BSA, the more challenging it will be to plan and execute any US mission. Furthermore, the longer we go without a BSA, the more likely it will be that any post-2014 US mission will be smaller in scale and ambition."

Keeping a residual force in Afghanistan in a training and advisory role would help national forces repel attempts by the Taliban to destabilize the government.

Furthermore, American soldiers are needed to protect CIA bases in Afghanistan where drone strikes are launched against militant targets in neighboring Pakistan.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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