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State of the Union: The president's address

Written by Barack Obama Wednesday, 21 January 2015 06:46

The president delivers the State of the Union address.

President Barack Obama delivered the State of the Union address to Congress on Jan. 20 at the U.S. Capitol. The following is a transcript of his remarks, as provided by the White House. He began the speech at 9:10 p.m. EST and ended at 10:11 p.m. EST. 

Obama’s address to pitch tax proposals to help middle class

Written by JULIE PACE,
AP White House Correspondent
Monday, 19 January 2015 11:29

President Barack Obama is turning to his biggest television audience of the year to pitch tax increases on the wealthiest Americans and put the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over the middle class.

As Obama continues to signal what he will propose during the State of the Union policy address on Jan. 20, senior administration officials said that he will call for raising the capital gains rate on top income earners and eliminating a tax break on inheritances. The revenue generated by those changes would fund new tax credits and other cost-saving measures for middle-class taxpayers, officials said.

Biased, obsolete laws litter the books

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Thursday, 15 January 2015 14:14

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. subscribed to St. Augustine’s view of the law: “An unjust law is no law at all.” King was martyred during his fight to eliminate laws that treated people unjustly.

West Hollywood ordinance requires gender-neutral restrooms

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 14 January 2015 11:47

West Hollywood, California, this week begins requiring gender-neutral restrooms under a new ordinance.

The ordinance that takes effect on Jan. 15 requires that restrooms with only one stall in restaurants, businesses and public places cannot restrict it to a specific sex either by signage or fixtures.

Excerpts from the president's prepared State of the Union remarks

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 20 January 2015 17:45

President Barack Obama will deliver the State of the Union address tonight. Here are excerpts, as prepared for delivery and released by the White House:

“We are fifteen years into this new century.  Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world.  It has been, and still is, a hard time for many.

Communities enact bans on GMO crops

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 15 January 2015 19:07

A protest at the Jackson County Court House in Oregon.
— Photo: AP Photo/The Mail Tribune/Jamie Lusch

Two Oregon farmers are defending a local ordinance in federal court in a campaign to protect their harvests and create a zone free of genetically engineered crops.

Raising 2015
Minimum wage hike, other new laws take effect

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 15 January 2015 14:10

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks about raising wages during the AFL-CIO National Summit. {break}— PHOTO: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Minimum-wage workers in 20 states  — about 3.1 million people — saw a boost in their paychecks with the arrival of the new year.

Groups compare cost of social programs to Big Oil giveaways

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 13 January 2015 14:36

The newly released Fossil Fuel Subsidies Tradeoff Calculator at compares the cost of government giveaways for Big Oil to the cost of social programs, including food stamps, higher education grants, health care for veterans and other government services.

Groups fighting for racial and economic justice are joining communities of faith and environmentalists to remind federal lawmakers that welfare for polluters is an unacceptable use of public money. As federal programs that feed the hungry and heal the sick struggle for funding, oil and gas companies continue to drain billions of U.S. tax dollars in the form of subsidies and other special interest giveaways.

Pope: Catholics need not breed 'like rabbits'

Written by The AP Tuesday, 20 January 2015 05:57

Pope Francis is firmly upholding church teaching banning contraception, but said on Jan. 19 that Catholics don't have to breed "like rabbits" and should instead practice "responsible parenting."

Speaking to reporters en route home from the Philippines, Francis said there are plenty of church-approved ways to regulate births. But he said most importantly, no outside institution should impose its views on regulating family size, blasting what he called the "ideological colonization" of the developing world.

Respect for Marriage bill reintroduced in Congress

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 15 January 2015 14:18

Brandy Gardner, left, and her spouse Michelle Long-Gardner of Florida hold their marriage license and their two children.
— Photo: AP Photo/Northwest Florida Daily News/Nick Tomecek

The sunny day Floridians Joe Williams and Peter Rostenkowski skipped down the steps of their county courthouse with a marriage license in hand, a Florida congresswoman reintroduced legislation aimed at guaranteeing them access to full marriage benefits.

Denver-area church refuses memorial tribute with same-sex kiss

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 15 January 2015 09:33

Family and friends of a recently deceased gay woman are upset after a Denver-area church that was about to host her memorial service refused to show a video that included images of the woman kissing her fiancee.

Gary Rolando, a chaplain contacted by the woman's family to officiate the service, said the funeral at New Hope Ministries in Lakewood was abruptly canceled and moved to a nearby funeral home after church officials insisted images of the couple kissing could not be shown in the ceremony.

Study: iPhone separation causes anxiety, poor performance

Written by WiG Tuesday, 13 January 2015 06:50

Apple's iPhone and separation anxiety. — PHOTO: Apple

Research from the University of Missouri shows that cellphone separation can have serious psychological and physiological effects on iPhone users, including poor performance on cognitive tests.