Harper Lee’s new novel is a story of lost innocence

AP National Writer
Tuesday, 14 July 2015 07:17

The novel is out today.

Like her classic “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the Harper Lee novel out on July 14 is a coming of age story.

Can the KKK 'adopt a highway'? That's a legal question

Written by The AP Friday, 10 July 2015 06:26

A Georgia court heard arguments on July 9 about whether the state violated a Ku Klux Klan group's constitutional rights by refusing its application to a highway cleanup program and whether a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision applies in the case.

The north Georgia KKK group applied to join the state's Adopt-A-Highway program in May 2012, hoping to clean up along part of Route 515 in the Appalachian Mountains. The state Department of Transportation, which runs the program, denied the application. The department said its program was aimed at "civic-minded organizations in good standing."

Protesters prompt cancelation of 'Kimono Wednesdays'

Written by The AP Thursday, 09 July 2015 07:48

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston is canceling "Kimono Wednesdays" after protesters decried the event as racist.

In a statement issued this week, the museum apologized for offending some visitors with the event, where museum goers were encouraged to don the traditional Japanese garments and pose in front of Claude Monet's "La Japonaise."

Kansas governor issues anti-gay executive order

Written by WiG Wednesday, 08 July 2015 06:28

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has issued an executive order that would allow discrimination against LGBT people, especially those seeking adoptions or other family services from state contractors, based on religion.

The Preservation and Protection of Religious Freedom order prohibits state government from taking action against any "individual clergy or religious leader” or any “religious organization” that chooses not to participate in a marriage that is inconsistent with its sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.

Pentagon announces plan to lift ban against transgender servicemembers

Written by The AP
and WiG reports
Monday, 13 July 2015 17:55

The Pentagon's current regulations banning transgender individuals from serving in the military are outdated, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on July 13, ordering a six-month study aimed at lifting the ban.

Pope Francis' historic speech to Congress in September will be viewed by tens of thousands on the U.S. Capitol grounds and beyond in a landmark event to rival any presidential inauguration or State of the Union address.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the pontiff's Sept. 24 address to a joint meeting of Congress will be broadcast live from the West Front, allowing the public in the shadow of the Capitol to watch along with those in the House chamber.

Sex offenders sue, make use of Indiana's 'religious objections' law

Written by The AP Wednesday, 08 July 2015 08:18

A lawsuit filed on behalf of two registered sex offenders cites Indiana's new religious objections law in arguing they've been wrongly prohibited from worshipping at churches that have schools on the same property.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit on behalf of two unnamed sex offenders, one of whom belongs to a Fort Wayne church and another who has attended an Elkhart church.

Women's World Cup final draws record U.S. TV audience

Written by Reuters Tuesday, 07 July 2015 12:09

The Women's World Cup final between the United States and Japan attracted a record U.S. television soccer audience, while Japanese viewing figures were higher than when they won the tournament in 2011.

The July 5 game, which capped a month-long tournament played in six Canadian cities, was the most watched soccer match of all time in the United States as 25.4 million Americans tuned in to watch their team's 5-2 triumph, FIFA said in a statement.

Trump accuses Mexico of sending criminals across border

Written by The AP Monday, 13 July 2015 08:38

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump this week criticized U.S. immigration and trade policies on in speeches that veered from accusing Mexico of deliberately sending criminals across the border to professing respect for the Mexican government and love for its people.

Speaking to a gathering of Libertarians in Las Vegas before headlining an event in Phoenix, Trump repeated his charge that Mexico was sending violent offenders to the U.S. to harm Americans and that U.S. officials were being "dumb" in dealing with immigrants in the country illegally.

The Confederate flag comes down in South Carolina today

Written by The AP Friday, 10 July 2015 06:06

South Carolina officials were preparing on July 10 to quietly and quickly remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse where it has flown for more than a half-century.

The state planned a simple, short ceremony at 10 a.m. EST to remove the rebel banner, which was surrounded in its final hours by ropes and barricades.

The home for a 6-foot-statue known as Big Mountain Jesus rests with a three-judge appeals panel after a lawyer representing a group of atheists asked for it to be removed from U.S. Forest Service property in Montana.

A federal district judge in 2013 said the Flathead National Forest could reissue a 10-year permit for the statue that has stood along a ski run at the Whitefish Mountain Resort since 1954. The judge, Obama appointee Dana Christensen, said no reasonable observer would conclude the Forest Service was endorsing Christianity by permitting a private party to place it on land it leases from the government.

Protesters clash over Confederate flag issue at Phoenix Walmart

Written by The AP Tuesday, 07 July 2015 10:27

Things got noisy outside a west Phoenix Walmart after the company's decision to remove Confederate flag merchandise attracted scores of protesters and counter-protesters.

The Arizona Republic reports that Jon Ritzheimer organized a July 5 protest of Walmart's decision. Ritzheimer is a former Marine who staged a contentious rally outside a Phoenix mosque in May.