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Barbara Mikulski will not seek a sixth term in U.S. Senate

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 02 March 2015 14:08

U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Maryland, announced on March 2 that she will not seek re-election. Mikulski will complete her fifth term in office in January 2017.

“Because every day, I want to wake up thinking about you — the little guys and gals, the watermen, automobile workers, researchers, small business owners and families,” Mikulski said at a news conference in Maryland. “I want to give you 120 percent of my time with all of my energy focused on you and your futures. Because it’s always been about you, never about me. That’s what it takes to be a good senator by my expectations and by my standards.”

Fill in the blank: Facebook adds new gender option for users

Written by MARTHA MENDOZA,
AP National Writer
Friday, 27 February 2015 14:32

Facebook users who don’t fit any of the 58 gender identity options offered by the social media giant are now being given a rather big 59th option: fill in the blank.

“Now, if you do not identify with the pre-populated list of gender identities, you are able to add your own,” said a Facebook announcement published online this morning and shared in advance with The Associated Press.

Wal-Mart criticizes so-called 'conscience protection' measure

Written by The AP Wednesday, 25 February 2015 10:27

Wal-Mart this week criticized a measure in the retail giant's home state that opponents say sanctions discrimination against gays and lesbians, while Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also expressed concerns about the legislation.

The proposal to prohibit state and local governments from imposing a "substantial burden" on someone's religious beliefs faced new resistance a day after Arkansas became the second state to bar cities and counties from expanding anti-discrimination protections to gays and lesbians.

Texas AG says court-allowed lesbian marriage is invalid

Written by The AP Friday, 20 February 2015 09:01

As a newlywed lesbian couple in Texas celebrate defying a statewide ban on gay marriage, the state's Republican attorney general is preparing to tell a court today why it should rule their nuptials invalid.

The marriage license given to two Austin women — who succeeded by seizing on a ruling this week in an unrelated estate squabble — thrust Texas back into the national spotlight over gay marriage but didn't send same-sex couples rushing to courthouses.

Nebraska ban on same-sex marriage blocked

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 02 March 2015 11:04

A federal judge on March 2 blocked Nebraska's ban on same-sex marriage. However, the decision will not go into effect for at least a week, providing the state time to file an appeal with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The federal district judge said the ban bars same-sex couples from accessing rights and enjoying benefits available to heterosexual married couples, including medical and financial benefits.

FCC votes to impose tougher rules on broadband service

Written by The AP Thursday, 26 February 2015 17:38
net_neutrality

Internet activists declared victory over the nation's big cable companies Thursday, after the Federal Communications Commission voted to impose the toughest rules yet on broadband service to prevent companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from creating paid fast lanes and slowing or blocking web traffic.

Labor Dept: Married gay couples protected under Family and Medical Leave Act

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 23 February 2015 13:31

Workers in legal, same-sex marriages, regardless of where they live, will now have the same rights as those in opposite-sex marriages to federal job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for a spouse with a serious health condition.

The U.S. Labor Department announced a rule change to the FMLA on Feb. 23 in keeping with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor. That ruling struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act provision that interpreted “marriage” and “spouse” to be limited to opposite-sex marriage for the purposes of federal law.

Texas issues 1st marriage license to same-sex couple

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 19 February 2015 13:19

Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant became the first same-sex couple to successfully obtain a marriage license in Texas.

The wedding took place in Travis County, Texas, after state Judge David Wahlberg issued an order requiring the local clerk to issue a license to Bryant and Goodfriend, who is sick. The order said, “Plaintiffs have no adequate remedy at law for the damage and the continuing harm that this course of action is causing them and will continue to cause them, and thus the only remedy available to Plaintiffs is the issuance of a temporary restraining order to prevent that ongoing unconstitutional denial of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights.” 

Medical pot proposal passes first test in conservative Utah

Written by The AP Saturday, 28 February 2015 19:36

A panel of Utah lawmakers has given initial approval to a medical marijuana proposal that would allow residents of the conservative state who have chronic and debilitating diseases to use certain edible products containing THC, the chemical responsible for most of the drug’s psychological effects.

After a nearly two-hour debate, a Senate committee voted 3-2 earlier this week to approve the bill and send it to the full Senate for a vote.

CBS News releases video referenced in O’Reilly dispute

Written by DAVID BAUDER,
AP Television Writer
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 12:42

CBS News this week released video from four stories it aired about the Falklands War in 1982, all part of a dispute involving Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly and his subsequent statements about covering the war.

None of the stories mentions O’Reilly, then a young CBS reporter, or makes any specific reference to a CBS crew member being hurt.

Murder suspect dubbed 'Michelangelo of buttocks injections'

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 20 February 2015 09:15

A Gothic hip-hop artist who did illegal cosmetic surgery on the side boasted at her murder trial on Feb. 19 that her body sculpting work was so popular she was dubbed "the Michelangelo of buttocks injections."

Padge Victoria Windslowe, who performed under the name "Black Madam," is accused of killing a 20-year-old dancer from London during a procedure at an airport hotel that involved industrial-grade silicone and Krazy Glue.

Vaccine opposition ebbs and flows over centuries

Written by The AP Thursday, 19 February 2015 07:29

They're considered one of mankind's greatest medical achievements, yet people have balked at vaccines almost since the time of the first vaccination — in 1796, when an English country doctor named Edward Jenner inoculated an 8-year-old boy against smallpox.

In the mid-1800s, people protested in the streets of Victorian England after the British government began requiring citizens to get the vaccination. Many opponents mistrusted doctors and were wary of a medical treatment they didn't understand. In the early days, the closely related cowpox virus was used to immunize people against smallpox.

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