AP News in Brief 06-12-18

  • FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2018, file photo, people rally outside of the Supreme Court in opposition to Ohio's voter roll purges in Washington. The Supreme Court is allowing Ohio to clean up its voting rolls by targeting people who haven't cast ballots in a while. The justices are rejecting, by a 5-4 vote on June 11, 2018, arguments that the practice violates a federal law that was intended to increase the ranks of registered voters.(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Supreme Court allows Ohio, other state voter purges

WASHINGTON — States can target people who haven’t cast ballots in a while in efforts to purge their voting rolls, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in a case that has drawn wide attention amid stark partisan divisions and the approach of the 2018 elections.

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By a 5-4 vote that split the conservative and liberal justices, the court rejected arguments in a case from Ohio that the practice violates a federal law intended to increase the ranks of registered voters. A handful of other states also use voters’ inactivity to trigger processes that could lead to their removal from the voting rolls.

Justice Samuel Alito said for the court that Ohio is complying with the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. He was joined by his four conservative colleagues in an opinion that drew praise from Republican officials and conservative scholars.

President Donald Trump hailed the ruling from Singapore on Tuesday, tweeting: “Just won big Supreme Court decision on Voting! Great News!”

The four liberal justices dissented, and civil rights groups and some Democrats warned that more Republican-led states could enact voter purges similar to Ohio’s.

Data obtained by AP shows social media alters gang life

CHICAGO — Lamanta Reese lived much of his gang life in virtual reality, posting videos on YouTube of him and others taunting rivals. He died at age 19 in the real world, bleeding from his head onto a porch on Chicago’s South Side after one of those gang rivals, prosecutors say, shot him 11 times. Another possible factor in his slaying: A smiley-face emoji Reese posted that the suspected gunman may have interpreted as a slight about his mom.

Gangs’ embrace of social media to goad foes or conceal drug dealing in emoji-laden text is the biggest change in how gangs operate compared with 10 years ago, according to new law enforcement data provided exclusively to The Associated Press ahead of its release Tuesday by the Chicago Crime Commission. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites have radically altered gang culture in Chicago. They are having a similar influence on gangs nationwide.

These days, there is nearly always a link between an outbreak of gang violence and something online, said Rodney Phillips, a gang-conflict mediator working in the low-income Englewood neighborhood where Reese lived and died. When he learns simmering tensions have spilled into violence, he no longer goes first to the streets.

“I Google it,” Phillips said. “I look on YouTube and Facebook. Today, that’s how you follow the trail of a conflict.”

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Asked what led to his son’s death, Reese’s father, William Reese, answered promptly: “Something on the internet.” He said his son and Quinton “ManMan” Gates, later charged with first-degree murder in the killing, had been trading barbs on Facebook.

By wire sources