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NATIONAL BRIEFS


FLORIDA: Tougher rules for the band

President James Ammons proposed stringent requirements Monday for membership in Florida A&M University's famed marching band, bidding to stamp out a culture of hazing after the November beating death of a drum major. Ammons said only full-time students should be allowed in The Marching 100, student participation in the band would be limited to four years and academic requirements for joining would be stiffened. He also requested creation of an "anti-hazing special assistant to the president."


WISCONSIN: Guv's fate up to the voters

The battle over Gov. Scott Walker's agenda comes down Tuesday to voters deciding whether to keep him, or fire him and hand his job to the Milwaukee mayor. Polls show Walker, a Republican just 17 months into his term, with a small lead over Democrat Tom Barrett. Walker is only the third governor in U.S. history to face a recall vote. The other two attempts lost, most recently California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003. Walker took the state by surprise with a proposal to effectively end collective bargaining rights for most workers, a measure to ease budget problems. The recall idea emerged soon thereafter.


PUERTO RICO: Referendum on right to bail

A day after his teenage son was killed in a drive-by shooting, Luis Arvelo found some comfort in the arrest of a suspect. That evaporated hours later when the man was freed after posting a $33,000 bail bond. Puerto Rico is the only place in the Western hemisphere where all people, including those charged with rape and murder, are always entitled to bail. But an upcoming referendum would allow judges in the U.S. territory to deny bail in certain cases. The right to bail has long been a legacy of the islanders' historic distrust of American authorities, and an individual's right to freedom, especially the marginalized.

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