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Jeb Bush: Stronger 'Christian voice' needed in the world

Written by The AP Monday, 11 May 2015 08:18

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush over the weekend condemned the Obama administration's use of "coercive federal power" to limit religious freedom as he courted Christian conservatives at a Liberty University commencement ahead of a likely presidential run.

Bush, a Catholic convert, is preparing to enter a Republican primary contest that includes competitors considered far more popular with the party's religious right. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz formally announced his presidential campaign at Liberty University last month. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist pastor, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry have all made their Christian faith a centerpiece of prospective campaigns.

Pope stokes flames ahead of US trip even as he ends problems

Written by NICOLE WINFIELD,
AP writer
Monday, 04 May 2015 19:21

When Pope Francis visits the United States this fall, he can expect the same rock-star adulation that greets him wherever he goes.

But his positions on hot-button issues such as the death penalty and climate change could quickly set the stage for conflict. That may explain why Francis has been clearing the decks on a host of less high-profile matters of contention that could also have marred the visit.

For 100 years, celebrities have helped urge animal kindness

Written by By SUE MANNING,
Associated Press
Friday, 01 May 2015 10:17

These days, people pay piles of cash to pamper their pets, but problems remain on the farm and in the slaughterhouse, on movie sets and at animal shelters — even in the wild.

That's why the American Humane Association is touting its past to move animal welfare forward. It's celebrating 100 years of “Be Kind to Animals Week,” which draws celebrities, politicians and everyday enthusiasts each May to raise awareness about the plight of animals.

2,000 groups urge Congress to oppose fast-track authorization

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 30 April 2015 07:28

A coalition of labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, faith, Internet freedom and other organizations this week escalated the campaign to defeat fast-track trade authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A letter endorsed by 2,009 groups was sent to members of Congress.

Broad coalition works to sideline fast-track authority

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 12:35

An activist joins in a Washington, D.C., rally against fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement.
— Photo: Public Citizen

A growing coalition of progressive groups — more than 2,000 as of May 6 — wants Congress to derail the drive for fast-track trade authority.

Labor assists marijuana legalization effort in California

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 04 May 2015 14:26

Organized labor is assisting efforts to frame a California ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana use in the state, sensing an opportunity to expand its presence in the workplace.

The United Food and Commercial Workers' Western States Council commissioned a series of focus groups, where likely voters across the state filed into rooms with one-way mirrors to share opinions, The Sacramento Bee reported. The research is aimed at shaping a legalization initiative for the 2016 ballot.

Opponents of 'ag-gag' law plead case to judge

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 01 May 2015 10:00

Animal rights lawyers are asking a federal judge to strike down an Idaho law aiming to stop people from secretly filming animal abuse in the state's agricultural facilities.

Divided Supreme Court upholds campaign limits for judicial candidates

Written by From AP
and WiG reports
Thursday, 30 April 2015 06:59

A divided Supreme Court ruled this week that states can ban judicial candidates from personally asking for campaign contributions. The justices' 5-4 ruling means that restrictions on soliciting campaign cash can remain in place in 30 states that elect state and local judges. In all, 39 states hold elections for judges and some allow personal appeals for donations.

Chief Justice John Roberts, in a rare break with fellow conservatives, said in his majority opinion that laws barring judicial candidates from personally asking for campaign cash do not run afoul of First Amendment free speech rights. He said the state has a compelling interest "in preserving public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary."

Baltimore rises up for justice, against inequality

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 09:59

The day of the funeral, the night of the riots in Baltimore, people thought of 1968. That year Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and the unrest unsettled Baltimore.

The day after the riots, when the Maryland National Guard arrived, people thought of 1972. That year another National Guard was called out in another state and four people were killed.

Supreme Court rejects challenge to ban on ex-gay therapy

Written by The AP Monday, 04 May 2015 08:00

The Supreme Court has turned away a challenge to New Jersey's ban on so-called gay conversion therapy for patients under 18 years old.

The justices did not comment on their order on May 4. It followed similar action last year that left California's therapy ban in place.

Jeffrey Dahmer's killer alleges prison guards set him up

Written by WiG report Thursday, 30 April 2015 16:31

A former prison warden says the Wisconsin Department of Corrections should look anew into the beating death of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer following allegations made by his confessed killer.

The 2016 Race: Key things to know about Bernie Sanders

Written by The AP Thursday, 30 April 2015 06:48

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders from Vermont.

Key things to know about independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is expected to enter the 2016 Democratic presidential campaign on April 30, according to people familiar with his decision.