Take a look at the stories from around our area and world that are making news today.

Holder’s move against Texas could send the Voting Rights Act back to the Supreme Court: Sahil Kapur of Talking Points Memo reports: "The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday officially joined the battle to prevent Texas from changing its voting laws without federal permission. The move comes after the Supreme Court’s decision in June overturning a key section of the Voting Rights Act and freeing Texas from such federal oversight. Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision carries important short-term implications and sets the stage for potentially sending the Voting Rights Act back to the Supreme Court so that the justices can decide whether or not to continue chipping away at what’s left of it."

Hilldale owners want to reconfigure mall as an outdoor plaza: Teddy Nykiel of the Isthmus' Daily Page reports: "Developers working on a plan to transform Hilldale Shopping Center on Madison's west side into an outdoor plaza presented their vision to the Urban Design Commission Wednesday evening. The project aims to fix two key problems with the existing mall. The first is 'Main Street,' which runs north-south through the mall. On the newer east face, Anthropologie, The North Face and other merchants can be accessed independently because they open directly onto the sidewalk. Developers also want to open up the west side of the mall to convert the shopping center into an entirely outdoor plaza. Plans include demolishing the indoor hallway and reconstructing walls so storefronts face outwards and open onto the sidewalk."

Politifact: Scott Walker America's most untruthful governor: Jud Lounsbury of Uppity Wisconsin writes: "Of all the governors that Politifact has rated at least 10 times for truthfulness, Scott Walker has the dubious distinction of being the most untruthful. Only 23% of Walker's 72 statement were rated 'true' or 'mostly true,' while 77% were rated 'half true,' 'mostly false,' 'false' or 'pants on fire.' Here's the top five: 1.) Scott Walker, WI (23%) 2.) Rick Perry, TX (27%) 3.) Rick Scott, FL (31%) 4.) Lincoln Chafee (36%) 5.) Chris Christie (38%). This is the second year in a row that Scott Walker has brought home the dishonesty gold as the nation's least truthful governor."

CBO: Stopping sequester would boost economy but hurt long-term output: Josh Hicks of the Washington Post reports: "Congress could boost the economy by ending the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester, but such a move would saddle the federal government with more debt and eventually lead to negative impacts, according to a nonpartisan report released on Thursday. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that canceling the 10-year austerity measure would increase federal spending by $104 billion through fiscal year 2014, driving up economic growth by .7 percent and adding 900,000 jobs over the same period. But those gains would come at a cost, the report said."

Zimmerman 'got away with murder,' says juror in interview with ABC: Meteor Blades of The Daily Kos writes: "Saying she owes an apology to the parents of Trayvon Martin, the second juror to go public in the trial of George Zimmerman said in an interview with Robin Roberts at ABC News: 'George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can't get away from God. And at the end of the day, he's going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with.' She also said she felt as if she had 'let down' Travyon's parents. None of the jurors have been publicly named yet, and ABC only addresses Juror B-29 in the interview as 'Maddy.' She is the only racial minority who served on the six-woman Florida jury that acquitted Zimmerman in the slaying of Martin."

The GOP's female candidate problem: Caitlin Huey-Burns and Scott Conroy of Real Clear Politics write: "As the GOP works to close the gap with female voters -- who composed the majority of the 2012 electorate and supported President Obama over Mitt Romney by a 12-point margin --no viable Republican woman appears inclined to throw her hat in the 2016 ring. The potential consequences of this are daunting for a party that is staring down the likelihood of Hillary Clinton as the Democrats’ standard-bearer, potentially making history as the first female presidential nominee from either major party. Although the Republicans’ strategy for attracting more female voters is more complex than simply fielding a more diverse presidential field, the optics of Americans watching a host of Republican men fighting it out against one another as Clinton marches to the Democratic nomination is a source of concern for a party that hopes to win back the White House after eight years in exile."

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