The second black box from the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps last week has been found after a nine-day search, prosecutors said on Thursday. Authorities are hoping to unearth more clues about the disaster from the black box after the first voice recorder suggested that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately flew the plane into a mountain. The first black box, found the same day as the crash, recorded conversations between Lubitz and the pilot and showed that the 27-year-old German was alone at the time of the crash. He apparently took advantage of the captain's brief absence to lock him out and set the plane on a deadly descent into the Alps.
Lawmakers in Indiana and Arkansas plan remedies on Thursday to religion acts that were sent back to them this week following criticism from rights activists and businesses who said the measures allowed discrimination against gays. In Indiana, lawmakers planned to unveil changes to the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), enacted into law last week, which spurred protests, threats of boycotts and warnings from powerful U.S. firms about pending economic damage for the act's perceived stand against U.S. ideals of inclusion. "What was intended as a message of inclusion, inclusion of all religious beliefs, was interpreted as a message of exclusion, especially for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community," Speaker Brian Bosma told a news conference. The Arkansas Senate took up the challenge late on Wednesday, sending legislation to the House of Representatives that would bring it in line with federal statutes.
McDonald's Corp plans to raise the average pay of about 90,000 U.S. workers to around $10 an hour, but the increase will not benefit workers at the vast majority of the restaurants, because they are operated by franchisees, who make their own wage decisions. Workers groups said the move by McDonald's, which is also adding benefits such as paid vacations, fell short of their goals. McDonald's, which announced the increases on Wednesday, has been fighting weak traffic and slumping sales in the United States. Starting wages at the restaurants will move to $1 above the locally mandated minimum wage.
The chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores has emerged as an unlikely voice for gay rights after the Arkansas state governor heeded his call on Wednesday to reject a much-criticized bill. For years it has resisted calls by labor groups to pay a "living wage" and its move in February to increase pay to at least $9 an hour was viewed by many analysts as driven by competition for workers in a tight labor market as much as social concerns.
By Kathy Finn NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Robert Durst, the real estate scion awaiting extradition to California to face a murder charge, is due in a New Orleans courtroom on Thursday on weapons charges his attorneys are expected to say stem from an improper search. Durst, recently featured in the HBO documentary "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst," has sought to speed his extradition to California, where he has been charged with the 2000 murder of longtime friend Susan Berman and could face the death penalty. His lawyers argue that his arrest and the initial search of his hotel room last month without a warrant in New Orleans were improper, and that investigators wrongly interviewed him without counsel present. The HBO documentary showed Durst being presented with evidence his handwriting appeared to match that of Berman's likely killer.