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Peace activists to be sentenced today for protest in Tennessee

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 18 February 2014 06:38

An 84-year-old nun and two fellow Catholic peace activists will learn today (Feb. 18) whether they will spend the next six to nine years in prison.

On July 28, 2012, the activists trespassed on the grounds of a nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tenn., cutting through three fences in the pre-dawn hours before reaching a $548 million storage bunker that holds the nation's primary supply of bomb-grade uranium. They splashed blood on a wall of the bunker and painted messages such as, "The fruit of justice is peace."

Coast Guard reduces use of live animal training

Written by The AP Monday, 17 February 2014 14:45

The U.S. Coast Guard won’t use as many live animals for its combat medical training after an animal rights group showed a goat’s legs being removed with tree trimmers.

The agency said the video led to a review of its policies and the Coast Guard came to the decision that it could reduce by half the number of animals it uses.

Many questions facing NFL after bullying report

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 17 February 2014 09:07

Now that the NFL knows the scope of the racially charged Miami Dolphins bullying scandal, the league has been left to grapple with what its next steps should be.

A report released late last week on the Miami case concluded with a one-paragraph call to action:

Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis backs gay marriage

Written by The AP Friday, 14 February 2014 14:20

Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis says she supports gay marriage.

The likely Democratic nominee called on her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, to stop defending the definition of marriage in the Texas constitution as only between one man and one woman.

Thousands of zoo animals killed in Europe yearly

Written by MALIN RISING,
AP writer
Monday, 17 February 2014 20:16

People around the world were stunned when Copenhagen Zoo killed a healthy 2-year-old giraffe named Marius, butchered its carcass in front of a crowd that included children and then fed it to lions.

But Marius’ fate isn’t unique — thousands of animals are euthanized in European zoos each year for a variety of reasons by zoo managers who say their job is to preserve species, not individual animals. In the U.S., zoos try to avoid killing animals by using contraceptives to make sure they don’t have more offspring than they can house, but that method has also been criticized for disrupting animals’ natural behavior.

Equality victories have gay-marriage foes scrambling

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 17 February 2014 14:31

Equalities foes are scrambling to respond in Congress and state legislatures to a series of court rulings that would require some of the most conservative states to recognize same-sex marriage.

Some gay-marriage foes are backing a bill recently introduced in both chambers of Congress that would leave states fully in charge of their marriage policies, though the measure stands very little chance of passage.

Rent cap to help people living with HIV/AIDS in NYC

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 14 February 2014 14:54

New housing protections for low-income New Yorkers who are permanently disabled by HIV or AIDS will ensure those residents pay no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent, according to an announcement from the Human rights Campaign.

The nation's largest LGBT civil rights group said measure will "dramatically improve the quality of life for thousands of New Yorkers who previously had to pay upwards of 70 percent of their disability income toward rent alone."

Facebook announces dozens of options for gender profiles

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 14 February 2014 06:37

Facebook announced Thursday that its 159 million U.S. users now have dozens of options for completing the gender question on their profiles. The social media giant has been working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups to expand the choices beyond male and female. The result: a "custom" option that lets users pick from about 50 terms, including transsexual, androgynous and intersex.

The Associated Press asked Facebook users and others for their reactions:

Billie Jean King to attend Sochi closing ceremony

Written by The AP Monday, 17 February 2014 19:54

Billie Jean King will attend the closing ceremony of the Sochi Olympics in Russia. 

King, who didn’t travel to the opening ceremony because of her mother’s death, will join American speed skaters Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden on Feb. 23 as part of President Barack Obama’s official U.S. delegation.

US drug policy fuels push for legal pot worldwide

Written by GENE JOHNSON,
AP writer
Monday, 17 February 2014 13:56

Colorado and Washington are at the forefront of a worldwide push.

House Democrats want to force vote on minimum wage

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 14 February 2014 14:31

House Democrats said this week they will try to highlight GOP resistance to a higher minimum wage with a tactical maneuver meant to bring new attention to an issue they consider a political winner.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said her party will push a "discharge petition" when Congress returns from its recess on Feb. 24. If Democrats can persuade roughly two dozen Republicans to sign the petition, it would force GOP leaders to allow a House vote on the wage issue.

Federal court declares Virginia gay marriage ban unconstitutional

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 13 February 2014 22:43

A federal judge in Virginia has ruled that the state ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

The judge said Virginia’s laws prohibiting gays and lesbians from marrying — including a provision in the Virginia Constitution that prohibits marriage equality in the state — violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.