A federal judge has ordered mediation for a lawsuit filed by the mother of Sandra Bland, the black woman whose death in a Texas jail cell last summer incited months of protests. 

     Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo apologized for the violent arrest of a black woman by white officers during a traffic stop in June 2015, of which one of the officers later made racially derogatory comments.


     It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for Republican speechwriters.
     Refusing to budge an inch, Republican delegates with bait on their breaths took cold comfort this week from the longevity of speeches exposing their soulless wits.
     Faint-hearted, lily-livered cowards with no conscience at all, their action-taking whoreson knave cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war, though to give the devil his due, the green-eyed monster was already dead as a doornail.
     Good riddance.
     But I, with a heart of gold upon my sleeve, more sinned against than sinning, do not want to milk the Republican speakers' human kindness. If any. As it were.
     Umm ... Where were The Royal We?
     O, brave new world! Isn't our candidate's wife a dish fit for the gods!
     Hathn't he said so, for goodness sake?
     And if his tender lamb should be hoist on Michelle Obama's petard, to be a laughing stock all the livelong day, isn't love blind? And doesn't love play fast and loose?
     But lest I set your teeth on edge and send you on a wild goose chase, I confess: The 26 clichés I have squeezed in so far all come from William Shakespeare — except the first one. I stole that one from Chuck Dickens.
     Pardon me for having a memory.
     But in 1987 Joe Biden, then senator from Delaware, now vice president of the United States, was forced to drop his quest for the presidency when The New York Times showed he had cribbed a few sentences in a speech from Britain's Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock — and — brace yourself, my fellow Americans — from President Kennedy.
     Biden couldn't stand the heat from the press, and got out of the kitchen. (Cliché count so far: 30.)
     How the mighty have fallen. (2 Samuel: 1:25 (31)).
     Many moons ago (32: citation uncertain) I taught English for six years on an Indian reservation.
     It was an immense reservation, big as Rhode Island, and, thank God for small favors (33), miles away from cities of white men.
     I tried and failed to teach my students what a cliché is. They'd never heard my clichés. Those were the days. (34: U.S. copyright to Eugene Raskin.)
     By the way (35), Raskin stole the song "Those Were the Days" from Russian composer Boris Fomin, who died of tuberculosis in 1948, and the poet Konstantin Podrevsky, who died in 1930 after Stalin had him arrested as a counter-revolutionary for writing romantic songs.
     Even though Raskin had stolen the song, hook line and sinker (36), he sued a gefilte fish company for using the tune in a commercial — I am not making this up — and won.
     Then Paul McCartney bought rights to the tune from Raskin and — need I go on? (37)
     After Mary Hopkin made the song a hit in 1968, Raskin got a royalty check for $26,000 — for one month of sales — so, what the hell (38), he bought himself a house in Majorca, a sailboat and a Porsche and lived off the royalties for the rest of his life.
     Have I made myself clear? (39)
     Everyone plagiarizes all the time, though most of us don't know it. This is because most of the 7.2 billion human residents of Planet Earth stumble all their lives through other people's words.
     I do it myself. I wake up each morning clasping a metaphorical shovel to clear away the bullshit.
     So what's wrong with Republicans plagiarizing their betters for their own tawdry ends? (40)
     Nothing, I guess. Except their dishonesty and vicious threats when they're nailed for it. (41)
     Who they gonna sue? Shakespeare?
     What a loser he was ...

     Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has chosen Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine to be her running mate, ending weeks of speculation just days before the start of the party's national convention in Philadelphia.

     A divided Virginia Supreme Court on Friday set aside Gov. Terry McAuliffe's executive order restoring the voting rights of more than 200,000 felons, siding with the GOP lawmakers who argued the governor's action was unconstitutional. 

     Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel late Friday asked a federal judge to stay a ruling allowing people to vote without photo identification pending an appeal. 

     The 18-year-old gunman who opened fire at a crowded Munich shopping mall and fast-food restaurant, killing nine people and wounding 16 others before killing himself, was obsessed with mass shootings, police said Saturday.

     The Justice Department sued a Pennsylvania town over its municipal board's denial of a zoning application for a mosque, saying the decision is a clear case of discrimination on the basis of religion.

     The Democratic Party's chairwoman repeatedly mocked Bernie Sanders and his staff in private while another top official floated using religion and hit pieces to undermine his campaign, leaked emails show.


     Betting that antipathy toward Donald Trump will undermine other GOP office-seekers, California's Democratic Party has launched a website attacking several Republican congressional candidates for their party's presidential nominee.

     A 9/11 defender told a military judge Thursday he can find no other example that mirrors the Guantanamo war court — an abandoned airfield tainted by fuel spills and toxic chemicals transformed into a court.

     Filmmaker Mark Boal sued to quash the government's subpoena for more than 25 hours of unedited audio recordings from his interview with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for the podcast "Serial."  

     Thousands of visitors decked out in their finest comic-book costumes descended on San Diego this week for the annual Comic-Con event, which funnels more than $135 million into city coffers over the jam-packed 4-day affair.

     A Pittsburgh hospital accused of not reporting an employee's criminal drug use must face lawsuits from patients he went on to infect in a Kansas hospital, a Pennsylvania appeals court ruled. 

     Two Tennessee police officers claim in court that they were placed on administrative leave for blowing the whistle on multiple instances of corruption in their department. 

     Swiss authorities have seized three paintings by Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh following a U.S. request as part of a probe into the scandal surrounding the Malaysian wealth fund 1MDB.

     State officials don't have to pay landowners to access their property for environmental testing as part of a massive tunnel project that will divert water to Central and Southern California, the state's high court ruled Thursday. 

     France's top court ruled Friday that International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde must stand trial over her role in a 404 million euro ($434 million) arbitration deal.

     A class of shareholders claims medical device company EndoChoice made false statements in financial filings, causing company stock to plummet by over 66 percent since its initial public offering.

     Pacific Gas and Electric rested its defense on Friday after a federal prosecutor debunked the company's final exhibits as gimmicks manufactured to mask the company's criminal culpability.


     A federal judge refused to dismiss a case from a diver who claims a drunken dive instructor feeding sharks led a mako shark directly to her, and it bit her.  

     A West Hollywood bar must pay $5.4 million to the victim of a sexual assault that occurred in a unisex bathroom stall. 

     The history of the bacteria in our guts predates our species, evolving in parallel with our ape relatives over millions of years, according to a new study.

     Indicted on claims that he steered $20 million in union funds to his hedge fund friend for kickbacks, ex-Correction Officers' Benevolent Association chief Norman Seabrook pleaded, "Absolutely not guilty," on Friday.

     The Pentagon has revised its Law of War guidelines to remove wording that could permit U.S. military commanders to treat war correspondents as "unprivileged belligerents" if they think the journalists are sympathizing or cooperating with enemy forces.

     Criminal defense lawyers cannot crack open the Justice Department's how-to manual on navigating criminal prosecution discovery, the D.C. Circuit ruled. 

     A Houston woman's attempt to get a lighter federal sentence by claiming she has "stage five" breast cancer backfired when authorities realized there are only four recognized stages of cancer.

     The more than two-year-long hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will be suspended once the current search area in the Indian Ocean has been completely scoured, the three countries conducting the operation announced Friday, possibly ending all hopes of solving aviation's greatest mystery.

     Two Iowa men who made online threats against the Pokemon World Championships and took firearms to the event in Boston last August have each been sentenced to two years in prison.

     "American Pie" singer Don McLean has admitted to domestic violence assault against his estranged wife, and will avoid jail time.

     Former Patriots Tight End Aaron Hernandez has a new legal team in his fight against double homicide charges following his 2015 conviction for a previous murder.

     Equilon dba Shell Oil does not always honor the discounts it promises in its Fuel Rewards Network aka My Shell Bucks cards, six California district attorneys claim in Alameda County Court. 

     The day after Donald Trump accepted the Republican party's nomination for President, a federal judge said he's likely to allow a major lawsuit against him to go to trial.

     Attorneys for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his top aide argued in court Friday afternoon that their clients' repeated disregard of a federal judge's orders did not amount to criminal contempt.

      The day's top stories from Courthouse News in short takes with links.

     While the delegates at the Republication National Convention this week danced and sang along with a raucous medley of classic rock hits, the organizers of the genre's greatest festival say the feeling isn't mutual.

     Finding too many variations among players' work situations and pay, a federal judge decertified a Fair Labor Standards Act collective of minor league ballplayers and refused to grant their motion for class certification. 

     National Football League medical adviser Elliot Pellman — who routinely dismissed the connection between concussions and football — will retire and be replaced, according to a letter league chief Roger Goodell sent to club executives.

     Many questions linger as to why North Miami police shot Charles Kinsey, an African-American mental health care worker, on Monday. But at a news conference, North Miami City Manager Larry Spring answered a big one.

     Eighteen states saw significant job gains in June, but the unemployment rate rose in six others, the Labor Department announced Friday. 


     Long the party of "tough on crime" stances, the GOP adopted a platform Monday embracing the reduction of mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent crimes.

     Britain's economy appears to be shrinking at its fastest pace since the global financial crisis in early 2009 as a result of the vote to leave the European Union, according to a survey published Friday.

      A Catalan government opinion poll says more people in Spain's northeastern region favor independence from Spain but they still fall short of a majority.

     Poland's lawmakers have approved a final version of legislation regarding the Constitutional Tribunal, in a move the ruling party says is intended to end the conflict around the top court.

     Police raided the Bangkok home of a British journalist's wife and questioned her for several hours Friday in connection with his social media posts containing embarrassing photographs purported to be of Thailand's crown prince, the heir apparent to the throne.

     A Dutch court has convicted four men in absentia for travelling to Syria to join extremists, including the Islamic State group, and sentenced them to six years in prison.

     A Croatian court on Friday annulled a 1946 verdict against a Catholic cardinal convicted by the former communist authorities of collaborating with the pro-Nazi puppet regime during World War II.