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The Sunrise News Sampler

Tuscaloosa native Arthur Brown, who is on death row in Texas for the killing of four people in Houston in 1992, has lost a federal court appeal which has placed him closer to execution. Brown has requested the hiring of a mitigation specialist to help with his clemency petition.

Leanna Harris, the mother of the Georgia toddler who died after bing left for hours in his father’s car, insists her husband was a loving father and would never have intentionally harmed their son. She has moved back to Alabama since the child’s death.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference will begin its 2014 convention in Birmingham this morning with round-table discussion involving participants in the civil rights movement from years past.

The Alabama Democratic Party expects to hold an appeal hearing early this week over contested results in a Jefferson County Commission race where District 2 candidate Sandra Little Brown beat challenger Shelia Smoot by 26 votes in a primary runoff election, but the results were challenged by a Smoot supporter.

Topping the headlines this morning is news of the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was killed by police in a St. Louis suburb. According to CNN, there are conflicting reports on what led to the shooting. Brown is said to have been visiting the neighborhood with his grandmother and was supposed to start college today.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is urging President Obama to expand limited airstrikes that began last week in Iraq amid the fear that an American city could soon be a terrorist target if the U.S. military fails to turn back Islamic militants on the march in Iraq and Syria.

NASCAR Sprint Cup racer Tony Stewart was killed in a crash at a dirt sprint car race in New York this weekend. He was 20.

The making of Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic progresses as actors have been cast to play Missy Elliott and Timbaland.

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