US court reviews gay Russian’s asylum case

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 04 December 2013 09:48

A U.S. appeals court has ordered immigration officials to review their decision not to grant asylum to a gay man who said he was attacked for his sexual orientation in 2002 and 2003 in his native Russia and feared he would be persecuted if forced to return there.

The Department of Justice’s Board of Immigration Appeals was wrong when it concluded that the man had failed to show that government officials in Russia were either unwilling or unable to control his attackers, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently.

Humane Society: Kohl's 'faux fur' handbags trimmed with real rabbit fur

Written by WiG Tuesday, 03 December 2013 10:27

Independent laboratory testing recently confirmed that accessories sold on as "faux fur" were actually made with real rabbit fur, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

The nonprofit, on Dec. 2, issued a consumer warning about the products, which apparently were no longer available on the retailer's website on Dec. 3.

Bob Dylan faces insult charge in France after comparing Croatians to Nazis, KKK

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 03 December 2013 07:07

French authorities have filed preliminary charges against Bob Dylan over a 2012 interview in which he is quoted comparing Croatians to Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.

The charges of "public insult and inciting hate" were filed against the musician in mid-November, Paris prosecutor's office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said on Dec. 3.

Gay marriage banned by popular vote in Croatia

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 02 December 2013 10:38

A majority of Croatians voted in a referendum on Dec. 1 to ban gay marriages in what is a major victory for the Catholic Church-backed conservatives in the European Union's newest nation.

The state electoral commission, citing near complete results, said 65 percent of those who voted answered "yes" to the referendum question: "Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?" About 34 percent voted against.

Federal appeals court judges question Wisconsin abortion law

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 04 December 2013 07:19

An appellate court on Dec. 3 questioned a lawyer for the state of Wisconsin about why lawmakers singled out abortion clinics in requiring their doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, as judges heard arguments about the hotly debated law.

The sometimes-contentious, hourlong hearing before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was meant to help a three-judge panel decide whether to lift a temporary block on the law imposed by a lower court.

Olympic diver Tom Daley 'so happy' with boyfriend

Written by WiG Tuesday, 03 December 2013 10:10

Nineteen-year-old Olympic diver Tom Daley of Great Britain has posted a YouTube video in which he comes out and shares his happiness about having a boyfriend. The video is titled, "Something I want to say …"

In the video, first circulated on Dec. 2, Daley said, "Come spring this year, my life changed massively when I met someone, and they make me feel so happy, so safe and everything just feels great."

NIH to increase funding toward a cure for HIV/AIDS

Written by WiG Monday, 02 December 2013 14:53

The White House marked the 25th annual World AIDS Day on Dec. 2 with an announcement that the National Institutes of Health will redirect funds to expand support for research directed toward a cure for HIV.

The NIH plans to invest an additional $100 million over the next three fiscal years on this increasingly promising area of HIV/AIDS research, according to an announcement from the White House.

Gay couples marry in Hawaii

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 02 December 2013 08:36

Same-sex couples are taking advantage of Hawaii's newfound aloha for gay weddings.

Six couples at a Waikiki resort tied the knot early Monday, exchanging vows side-by-side with one another in front of a few hundred guests shortly after midnight, while even more couples watched and waited their turn.

ACLU sues Catholic bishops on behalf of pregnant woman denied care

Written by WiG Tuesday, 03 December 2013 12:41

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan have sued the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on behalf of a pregnant woman who miscarried and was denied appropriate medical treatment because the only hospital in her county is required to abide by religious directives.

The directives were written by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and prohibited the hospital from complying with the applicable standard of care in the case, according to a news release from the ACLU.

Mississippi judge denies same-sex couple a divorce

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 03 December 2013 09:40

A Mississippi judge this week has refused to grant a divorce to a lesbian couple who got married in California, saying the marriage wasn't recognized under state law, according to the woman who filed and her lawyer.

Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham, who filed for the divorce in September in north Mississippi's DeSoto County, said in a telephone interview Monday that the judge seemed sympathetic and that she plans to appeal the ruling.

Miley Cyrus leads in Time's Person of the Year poll

Written by WiG Monday, 02 December 2013 12:58

Pop singer Miley Cyrus is in the lead for Time magazine's annual Person of the Year. Cyrus, with two days left in the popular voting online, had 20.3 percent of the vote.

In the No. 2 spot is Egyptian defense minister Abdel Fattah El-Sisi with 18.5 percent, Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan at 18.3 percent and Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi at 16.9  percent.

IRS pushes to rein in tax-exempt political groups

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 29 November 2013 10:19

The Obama administration is trying to rein in the use of tax-exempt groups for political campaigning.

The effort launched this week is an attempt to reduce the role of loosely regulated big-money political outfits like GOP political guru Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS and the pro-Obama Priorities USA.