Slatest PM: George Zimmerman's Personal Arsenal

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 26 2013 4:50 PM

Slatest PM: George Zimmerman's Personal Arsenal

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George Zimmerman, the acquitted shooter in the death of Trayvon Martin, faces a Seminole circuit judge during a first-appearance hearing on charges including aggravated assault stemming from a fight with his girlfriend November 19, 2013 in Sanford, Florida.

Photo by Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Zimmerman's Arsenal: NBC News: "George Zimmerman possessed five guns — including an AR-15-type rifle — when he was arrested last week and accused of pointing one of the weapons at his girlfriend, according to documents released by police. The other firearms included a Keltec shotgun and three handguns, and Zimmerman also had 127 rounds of ammunition for the weapons, the papers say. ... Search warrants and an affidavit made public Monday cataloged the weapons Zimmerman had in the house. An investigator said that when police arrived, in response to 911 calls, 'it appeared as if George Zimmerman had locked the firearms up.'"

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Texas Bound?: Orlando Sentinel: "According to the search warrant, Zimmerman talked to deputies after he was taken into custody. He told them that he and [his girlfriend] had lived together since Aug. 23, that she was pregnant with his child and that they had agreed earlier that day to separate. He said his plan was to move to Texas, according to the warrant. He told deputies that as he was packing, [she] began to throw his belongings around the house, including two of his guns, the shotgun and one of the handguns. In a recorded phone call with a dispatcher, he said he had not pointed a gun at her. He told deputies in his face-to-face interview that he had not touched or pushed her, according to the warrant."

It's Tuesday, November 26th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees, and the whole team at @Slatest.

Obamacare Heading Back to SCOTUS: Associated Press: "The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to referee another dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law: whether businesses may use religious objections to escape a requirement to cover birth control for employees. The justices said they will take up an issue that has divided the lower courts in the face of roughly 40 lawsuits from for-profit companies asking to be spared from having to cover some or all forms of contraception. ... The court will consider two cases. One involves Hobby Lobby Inc., an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain with 13,000 full-time employees. Hobby Lobby won in the lower courts. The other case is an appeal from Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a Pennsylvania company that employs 950 people in making wood cabinets. Lower courts rejected the company's claims."

Limiting PACs: New York Times: "The Obama administration on Tuesday moved to issue new rules that would curtail political activity by tax-exempt nonprofit groups, with potentially significant ramifications for one of the fastest-growing sources of campaign spending. The proposed rules ... would expand and clarify how the I.R.S. defines political activity and then establish clearer limits for how much activity nonprofits can engage in. Such a change — long urged by government watchdog groups — would be the first wholesale shift in a generation in the regulations governing political activity. ... The rules would not prohibit political activity by nonprofit organizations. But by establishing clearer limits for campaign-related spending, the new rules could have a significant impact on the big-spending nonprofit groups that have played a central role in national politics in recent years, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on political advertising and voter outreach."

U.S. Flies B-52s Over Disputed Airspace: Washington Post: "The U.S. military has flown two warplanes over the East China Sea on a training exercise, the Pentagon announced Tuesday, blatantly ignoring a recent edict from China that it must be informed in advance of any such flights over the region. The two unarmed aircraft flew Monday evening, Eastern time, over a small island chain that China and Japan both claim as their territory, said Lt. Col. Tom Crosson, a Pentagon spokesman. He said the U.S. military did not provide any notice to Beijing and described the mission as 'uneventful,' saying that there was 'no contact, no reaction from China.' ... Crosson declined to identify what kind of U.S. military aircraft carried out the mission on Monday but said the planes came from a base on Guam, the U.S. territory in the Pacific. Another U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the operation, said the aircraft were both long-range B-52 bombers"

Sandy Hook 911 Calls: USA Today: "Connecticut judge Tuesday ordered Newtown police to release the 911 calls from the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. The recordings must be made public by Dec. 4, Superior Judge Eliot Prescott said in a 33-page decision rejecting arguments by Danbury State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III that the calls may cause emotional harm to survivors and victims' families. The calls from inside the school include two gun shots but no graphic sounds from victims during the Dec. 14 carnage, which killed 20 first-graders and six educators, sources have told the Danbury News Times. Sedensky said he will review Prescott's decision to determine whether to appeal."

T-Giving Travel Update: CBS/AP: "A winter storm that hit parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas was expected to be worse, but with temperatures creeping above freezing the outcome was less dramatic than forecasters had feared. Still, the severe weather could ramp back up Tuesday as it sweeps toward the East Coast, where it is poised to threaten plans for those traveling during a long holiday weekend. Much of the South is seeing heavy rain this morning. Snow is falling from Kentucky to Maine, as the storm moves east. Washington, New York, and Boston are bracing for heavy rain and strong winds starting tonight. In places like Kentucky, the snow has already started coming down, and they could see up to six inches. Other inland areas could see up to a foot of snow. Most of the East Coast will be impacted Wednesday as millions of Thanksgiving travelers take off for the holiday."

That's all for today. See you back here tomorrow. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

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