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Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA agent with Missouri ties, was convicted of espionage Monday. He was accused of leaking information to New York Times reporter James Risen about a secret plan to disrupt Iran's nuclear program. The case prompted years of debate about journalists' ability to protect their confidential sources.

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The U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear a challenge to Oklahoma's lethal injection protocol. The case could have direct impact on Missouri in at least two ways.

First, it raises questions about the use of midazolam. Oklahoma uses the drug as the first step in its execution procedure. Missouri also has administered midazolam in large doses to inmates prior to execution, though the state has claimed the drug is not part of the execution procedure.

Text of the president's speech. | White House website

Video of the president's speech. | CNN

Maliki marks new stage in U.S.-Iraqi relations. | Christian Science Monitor

Primaries in several states yielded just a few unexpected results. A wealthy outsider, Rick Scott, won the Republican Florida governor's nomination. And Joe Miller, a Tea Party candidate with backing from Sarah Palin, had a narrow lead over incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Alaska Republican primary.

Scott's victory leaves both parties scrambling in Florida. | Politico

 By a vote of 63-37, it made her the third woman on the court and the fourth female justice ever. Five Republicans, all but one Democrat and two independents supported Kagan. She is not expected to alter the court's ideological balance. | Los Angeles Times

Earlier analysis: Kagan would give women on court "critical mass." | Special to the Beacon

Jurors asked Thursday for a transcript of the government's closing argument in the case of the former Illinois governor, but U.S. District Judge James Zagel turned them down, saying that closing arguments are not evidence. The judge said he might be willing to revisit the request if it is made later in deliberations, which began Wednesday. | Chicago Tribune

The former Illinois governor, who had said for months that he planned to take the stand to clear his name, would have faced a veteran federal prosecutor who had spent months preparing for the cross-examination of a lifetime, armed with allegations and recordings the jury hadn't heard yet. Closing arguments in the trial are expected next week. | Chicago Tribune

Because of its sweeping new protections, he said, "the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street's mistakes. There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts, period." The law puts broad new authority in the hands of federal watchdogs in an effort to prevent a recurrence of the crisis that erupted nearly two years ago. | Washington Post

Because of its sweeping new protections, he said, "the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street's mistakes. There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts, period." The law puts broad new authority in the hands of federal watchdogs in an effort to prevent a recurrence of the crisis that erupted nearly two years ago. | Washington Post

The Air Force erred by failing to assess the bids according to the criteria it had set out and improperly gave credit to Northrup for exceeding requirements, according to a New York Times report.

Click here for complete New York Times article.

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