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Louisiana governor signs order protecting LGBT rights

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 10:14

The Democrat's executive order also protects state employees and employees of state contractors against discrimination based on other criteria including race, religion, disability or age. It also bans state agencies from discrimination while offering an exemption for churches and religious organizations. Edwards followed in the steps of previous Democratic Louisiana governors Edwin Edwards and Kathleen Blanco in signing such an order as there is no state law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people from employment discrimination, the governor's office said in a statement.

Politics reporter quits newspaper owned by Ivanka Trump’s husband after it endorses Donald Trump

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 09:55

The sole national political reporter at the New York Observer announced he would leave the paper after three years in the wake of the paper’s endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose son-in-law, Jared Kushner, owns the Observer. Ross Barkan, who does not have another job lined up, broke the news in a pair of tweets. “Personal news: I’m announcing today that my last day at the New York Observer will be April 27th,” Barkan wrote.

Judge orders 'affluenza' Texan to spend about two years in jail

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 09:47

A Texas county judge sentenced the so-called "affluenza" teen on Wednesday to serve four consecutive 180-day terms in jail after he killed four people outside of Fort Worth with his pickup truck while driving drunk in 2013. Ethan Couch, 19, has been in a Tarrant County jail since January. In his first appearance in adult court, he was given the sentence of almost two years in jail by Judge Wayne Salvant, the maximum allowable probation conditions for the case in the adult system.

Russian Fighters Buzz US Navy Destroyer at Close Range, US Says

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 09:45

Russian fighter jets overflew a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea almost two dozen times earlier this week, with one pass at 30 feet from the ship causing wake in the waters nearby, a U.S. Defense Department official said today. On Monday and Tuesday, pairs of Russian SU-24 fighters overflew the destroyer USS Donald Cook at close range while it was in international waters in the Baltic Sea, 70 nautical miles off of Kaliningrad, Russia, a U.S. Defense official confirmed.

National Labor Relations Board declines VW's union challenge

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 09:25
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday declined to take up Volkswagen's challenge of a union vote at its lone U.S. assembly plant in Tennessee.

Strong quake hits Myanmar, felt in India; no major damage

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 08:07

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A strong earthquake struck Myanmar on Wednesday night and was felt in parts of eastern India and Bangladesh, causing residents to rush out of their homes in panic. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or major damage.

Unions endorse Sanders, Clinton for president as NY race nears

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 07:56

By Megan Cassella WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders won his first endorsement from a fellow U.S. senator on Wednesday, and he and rival Hillary Clinton both announced backing from New York City labor unions as they battled to win next week's state primary. The Transport Workers Union Local 100, representing 42,000 workers in the New York region, backed Sanders as he struggled to dent Clinton's lead in a state each has called home. Deriding "fierce attacks" against unions over the last several decades, Sanders called organized labor the last line of defense against corporate greed in America.

Donald Trump says he won’t attend White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 07:42

Despite receiving invitations from "every single group of media available to mankind," the Republican frontrunner is skipping the annual black tie gala because of the the "dishonest" press.

Donald Trump Mocked by RNC Head: ‘Give Us All a Break’

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 07:18

The tweet came in response to comments by Trump following the Colorado primary, which saw Ted Cruz take all of the state’s 34 delegates after the Colorado GOP voted last year that the party’s closed caucus would decide who gets the delegates rather than a statewide vote. “I know the rules very well, but I know it’s stacked against me by the establishment,” Trump told CNN. “They changed the rules a number of months ago. Despite losing in Colorado and Wisconsin in recent weeks, Trump still leads Cruz in the delegate count 743 to 545.

Hillary Clinton blames NYC mayor for racially-charged sketch

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 05:47

The Democratic frontrunner is sidestepping the controversy over a comedy skit she performed with Bill de Blasio over the weekend.

Prep school abuse case makes its way into US Senate race

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 04:59

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Investigations into sexual misconduct by faculty at a renowned New Hampshire prep school have found their way into the state's high-profile U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte and Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, whose husband is a former principal of the school.

'Mars Matters' for the Future of Space Exploration, NASA Chief Says

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 03:35

"Mars matters," was the central theme of a speech by NASA administrator and former astronaut Charles Bolden today (April 12) at the National Space Symposium, perhaps the largest international spaceflight meeting in the world. Bolden noted that almost six years ago today, President Obama announced at the Kennedy Space Center that NASA should pursue a human mission to Mars. "Even though we here recognize why Mars matters, it's important every now and again to remind ourselves, so that we'll be more effective in reminding our friends and neighbors," Bolden said, before listing various reasons why a mission to Mars could help humanity.

Trump’s daughters and wife defend his treatment of women

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 19:25
Throughout the Republican presidential primaries, Donald Trump has had a strained relationship with female voters — thanks in part to his derogatory comments about women. Asked by an audience member what they think about the media’s portrayal of Trump as insensitive to women, his daughters Ivanka and Tiffany and wife, Melania, came to his defense. “I’ve witnessed these incredible female role models that he’s employed in the highest executive positions at the Trump organization my entire life.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Grassley tells Garland no hearings

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 16:20

By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's U.S. Supreme Court selection, failed to persuade Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley during a private meeting on Tuesday to hold confirmation hearings on his nomination. "As he indicated last week, Grassley explained why the Senate won't be moving forward during this hyper-partisan election year," Grassley's office said in a statement that described the meeting as "cordial and pleasant." The two men met for 70 minutes in the Senate dining room.

Taxpayers pick up bulk of rehab bill for 'affluenza' Texan: newspaper

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 16:12

Texas taxpayers picked up most of the $200,000 bill for the so-called affluenza teen's court-ordered rehabilitation in a probation deal that kept him out of prison for killing four while driving drunk, a newspaper reported on Tuesday. Ethan Couch, who turned 19 this week and was 16 at the time of the incident, will be in a Tarrant County adult court on Wednesday for a likely determination of how much time behind bars he must spend for violating the probation deal. Taxpayers paid more than $150,000 of the bill for his year-long rehabilitation because his parents were unable to pay for all of the treatment, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram said, citing court documents.

Kobe Bryant says farewell after 20 years with the LA Lakers

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 16:04

Kobe Bryant is down to one last shot, and everybody knows he's going to take it. After two decades spent dazzling the world, Bryant will end his basketball career at home with the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night. Nobody ever got to spend 20 seasons with one NBA team before the 37-year-old Bryant, and he intends to thank Los Angeles with one last display of his transcendent talent.

Flint's latest conundrum? Too little water being used

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 14:02

Flint residents have grown accustomed to using bottled water and avoiding the faucet.

North Carolina softens anti-transgender law

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 13:52

The state moved to curtail a law targeting gay and transgender people, but stopped short of ending limits to public bathroom access.

Music producer David Gest dies in London at 62

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 13:16

LONDON (AP) — David Gest, a music producer, reality TV star and former husband of Liza Minnelli, was found dead Tuesday at a London hotel. He was 62.

Music producer David Gest dies in London at 62

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 13:16

LONDON (AP) — David Gest, a music producer, reality TV star and former husband of Liza Minnelli, was found dead Tuesday at a London hotel. He was 62.