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Headlines for Sunday, December 21, 2014

Moran: Ease Regulations on Wheat Exports to Cuba

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — U.S. Senator Jerry Moran urges the Treasury Department to immediately rewrite cumbersome regulations that have made it difficult to sell wheat and other agricultural commodities to Cuba.  He says this is an issue for Kansas because wheat is Cuba's second largest import behind oil and Kansas is the largest wheat-producing state.  The Republican said Friday the agency can take that step even before Congress grapples with whether to lift the U.S. trade embargo.  Agricultural commodities are among the few exceptions to the embargo. Moran says the administration of George W. Bush instituted costly rules such as requiring up-front cash payments before commodities leave U.S. ports. It also required the payments go through banks in other countries.  Moran also vows to work in Congress to entirely lift the embargo.


KC Protestors Block I-70 Entrance Ramp

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police have made about a dozen arrests after a group protesting police brutality attempted to block traffic on Interstate 70.  The Kansas City Star reports that the group gathered at a park for a rally yesterday (SAT) and proceeded to march onto an interstate entrance ramp, near downtown. No injuries were reported.  Eastbound traffic was shut down as a safety precaution.


Dozens Protest in Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — About 45 people have marched through part of downtown Topeka to protest police violence.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the march began and ended yesterday (SAT) just south of the Kansas Statehouse. Marchers chanted "No justice, no peace, no racist police." Almost all carried signs, with some bearing the names of African-Americans killed by police officers.  Occasionally, passing motorists honked their horns in a show of support for the marchers.  The event was Topeka's second tied to the police-related killings of Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York, and Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. At least 80 people attended a Dec. 5 vigil at Washburn University's Kuehne bell tower.


Teen to be Tried as Juvenile in School Plot

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Topeka teenager will be tried as a juvenile on charges of attempting to hire two people to kill four adults at his high school.  The Capital-Journal reports that a Shawnee County judge on Friday denied a prosecution motion to try the former Topeka West High School student in adult court. The teen was 17 when he was arrested in January. He is charged with four counts of soliciting first-degree murder.  The judge did agree to allow the teen, if he's convicted, to receive a controlling sentence as a juvenile as well as an adult sentence. That means if the teen fouls up on the juvenile sentence, he would face the longer adult prison sentence.

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