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New Congress: Fewer moderates make deals harder

Written by ALAN FRAM,
AP writer
Monday, 26 November 2012 09:28

When the next Congress cranks up in January, there will be more women, many new faces and 11 fewer tea party-backed House Republicans from the class of 2010 who sought a second term.

Overriding those changes, though, is a thinning of pragmatic, centrist veterans in both parties. Among those leaving are some of the Senate’s most pragmatic lawmakers, nearly half the House’s centrist Blue Dog Democrats and several moderate House Republicans.

Hundreds march for gay rights in New Delhi

Written by AP Monday, 26 November 2012 07:38

Hundreds of gay rights activists marched through New Delhi on Nov. 25 to demand that they be allowed to lead lives of dignity in India's deeply conservative society.

Dozens of demonstrators carried a nearly 50-foot-long, rainbow-colored banner and waved placards demanding that the government extend the scope of anti-discrimination laws to schools, workplaces and public and private spaces.

Donations to the anti-gay group NOM fell sharply last year

Written by WiG Sunday, 25 November 2012 10:38

Even before voters gave a thumbs-up to marriage equality in three states on Nov. 6 – and a thumbs-down to marriage discrimination in another – the National Organization for Marriage was experiencing a steep decline in donor support, according to an analysis by the Human Rights Campaign. NOM is the national anti-gay organization that spearheads ballot initiatives against LGBT civil rights.

NOM raised just $6.2 million in 2011, down from the $9.1 million it raised the previous year. Just two donors were responsible for funding 75 percent of the group’s total 2011 tally, with each making contributions of approximately $2.4 million.

Congressman: Opposition to abortion rights came after wife's abortions

Written by AP Saturday, 24 November 2012 05:49

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais has told a newspaper that his views about abortion have evolved after previously supporting his ex-wife's decisions to abort pregnancies during their marriage.

The Republican physician from Jasper who now opposes abortion also says he has no plans to resign over revelations about past relationships with patients.

A group of about 50 Wisconsin demonstrators has been singing protest songs inside the Madison Capitol every day at noon for almost two years.

Their target is Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who pushed a law stripping public employees of certain labor rights. The demonstrators have a songbook of 44 songs, many of them traditional songs that have had the lyrics changed to target Walker.

Civil rights leader Guyot dies

Written by WiG Monday, 26 November 2012 07:30

Lawrence Guyot, a civil rights leader who survived jailhouse beatings in the Deep South in the 1960s and went on to encourage generations to get involved, has died. He was 73.

Guyot had a history of heart problems and suffered from diabetes, and died at home in Mount Rainier, Md., his daughter Julie Guyot-Diangone said late Saturday. She said he died sometime Thursday night; other media reported he passed away Friday.

Clown died during Thanksgiving Day Parade

Written by The Associated Press Saturday, 24 November 2012 21:00

A clown suffered a fatal collapse in front of spectators at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Sixty-seven-year-old Robert Blasetti went into cardiac arrest as he made balloon animals at Sixth Avenue and West 39th Street on Thursday. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Judge dismisses transgender student's suit

Written by AP Saturday, 24 November 2012 05:44

A Maine judge has ruled in favor of the Orono school district and against the parents of a transgender child who was barred from using the girls' bathroom at school.

The district was sued in 2009 after a fifth-grader who identifies as a girl was denied access to the girls' bathroom at the elementary school. The family also claimed the school failed to stop other students from harassing the transgender student.

‘Gangnam Style’ most watched YouTube video ever

Written by AP Monday, 26 November 2012 09:09

South Korean rapper PSY’s “Gangnam Style” has become YouTube’s most viewed video of all time.

YouTube says in a posting on its Trends blog that “Gangnam Style” had been viewed 805 million times as of Saturday afternoon, surpassing Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” which has had 803 million views.

Video: Gay marriage ad features actor Morgan Freeman

Written by WiG Monday, 26 November 2012 05:28

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization, released a national TV ad campaign celebrating marriage equality and featuring the voice of Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman.

The ad titled "Dawn of a New Day" began running on Nov. 25 and is available online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdnxMFs8tTk.

NY assesses Fire Island post-Sandy

Written by AP Saturday, 24 November 2012 06:01

New Yorkers who cherish Fire Island as an idyllic summertime getaway feared the worst when the 32-mile-long barrier island took a direct hit from Superstorm Sandy's powerful surge. The wall of water swamped nearly the entire island, destroyed or washed away about 200 homes and scraped sand dunes down to nothing.

Still, residents are counting their blessings.

UN official to US: Challenge votes for marijuana

Written by AP Friday, 23 November 2012 20:18

The head of the U.N. drug watchdog agency is urging U.S. federal officials to challenge ballot measures in Colorado and Washington that decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and over.

Raymond Yans says the approvals send "a wrong message to the rest of the nation and it sends a wrong message abroad."