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Weekend News Review

These are the top stories making the news this week:

Following a recent audit of the city, auditors suggest Tuscaloosa create a whistle blower policy, which the Tuscaloosa City Council is considering. Mayor Maddox says it would strengthen the accountability practices within the city.

Alabama’s Constitutional Revision Commission ended its rewrite of the state constitution Wednesday with no major changes to provisions that give Montgomery broad control over the state’s 67 counties.

The Democrat-controlled Senate and House Republicans can’t agree on how to avoid a partial government shutdown at midnight Monday. Senate Democrats want to strip away a plan to defund the health care law in a bill to keep the government operating through November 15, but Republicans will not accept a “clean” spending measure.

Fox Sports reports that O.J. Simpson was reportedly caught by prison guards while trying to steal oatmeal cookies. He is said to have been let off with only a warning.

Jason Glen Thomas, the former Tuscaloosa police sergeant who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in May 2011has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. He’ll also pay a $100 fine and serve time on supervised release after his sentence. The victim’s civil suit against Thomas is still pending.

Thursday, Governor Bentley discussed statewide economic development issues with members of Manufacture Alabama.

Lawmakers are proposing changing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by keeping surveillance on terror suspects who travel to the U.S. if they’re already being monitored overseas by the National Security Agency.

Nissan is recalling nearly a million vehicles worldwide because of an accelerator sensor problem that could cause the engine to stall. So far, no accidents have been reported that are related to the problem. Most of the vehicles being recalled are in Japan, but some are in North America.

South Africa’s president says former leader Nelson Mandela is responding to treatment at his home, where a team of doctors is caring for him.

Terrorist group al-Shabab is warning authorities to be prepared for an abundance of blood if Kenyan troops remain in Somalia. This comes in the wake of the storming of an upscale mall in Nairobi.

Alabama’s federally facilitated health insurance marketplace launches next week, and figures show the typical plan in Alabama will be slightly cheaper than the national average in most cases.

Attorney General Luther Strange is asking for a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center to be dropped, saying the Alabama Accountability Act won’t help students in failing public schools.

Former NFL player and ESPN analyst Hugh Douglas has been arrested after allegedly choking and attacking a woman at a hotel.

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation intended to crack down on the paparazzi by increasing penalties on those who harass the children of public figures, including taking photos and video of them without consent.

Governor Bentley’s announcement at the Tuscaloosa River Market  centered around the news that a Mercedes-Benz supplier, Bolta, plans to build a $40 million manufacturing plant in Tuscaloosa. The plant is expected to create 350 new jobs.

Earlier this month, parents of Southview Middle School were notified that there were two confirmed reports of students who were treated for a skin condition, and a professional company was hired to clean part of the school. The Alabama Department of Public Health investigated and found that the school does not have an outbreak of staph infection.

Payday loan businesses are suing to block a new loan database planned by the Alabama Department of Banking, which is intended to prevent such businesses from extending loans to disqualified seekers.

Alabama farmers are harvesting what they expect will be a record corn crop because of favorable weather for growing.

Police in Durham, N.C. say they’ve shot and killed a gunman near the campus of North Carolina Central University. That man, who was not a student, is said to have challenged officers. The university was on lockdown for about three hours.

An 11-year-old Mobile girl is said to have been critically wounded by a stray bullet while watching television in her home Sunday night.

President Obama addressed the U.N. General Assembly this morning, where called on Security Council members to approve a resolution that would mandate consequences for Syria if it doesn’t cooperate with a plan to turn its chemical weapons stockpiles over to the international community.

State retirement officials say they’re trying to crack down on former public employees retiring, collecting pensions, and working as contractors for public agencies.

President Obama continues his push for tougher gun laws. He spoke at a memorial for the 12 people killed in last week’s shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, where he stated that Americans cannot accept “senseless violence.”

Just two days after Apple launched the technology that it promises will better protect devices from criminals and snoopers seeking access, Reuters reports that a group of German hackers claim to have cracked the iPhone fingerprint scanner.

Microsoft is said to be releasing a new, smaller tablet to compete with Google’s Nexus 7 and Apple’s iPad Mini.

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