Defense secretary says climate change creates challenges for military

Written by The AP Wednesday, 15 October 2014 08:05

Rising sea levels and other effects of climate change will pose major challenges for America's military, including more and worse natural disasters and the threat that food and water shortages could fuel disputes and instability around the world, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said earlier this week.

Addressing a conference of military leaders as the Pentagon released a new report on the issue, Hagel said, "Our militaries' readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed."

Environmental groups sue government to protect wolverine

Written by From AP
and WiG reports
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 06:23

A coalition of advocacy groups on Oct. 13 challenged the U.S. government's denial of protections for the snow-loving wolverine, arguing in a lawsuit that officials disregarded evidence a warming climate will eliminate denning areas.

An estimated 250 to 300 wolverines survive in the Lower 48 states. The elusive but ferocious members of the weasel family give birth to their young in deep mountain snowfields that scientists say could be at risk of disappearing as the climate changes.

Beyond marriage, other gay-rights challenges loom

Written by DAVID CRARY,
AP National Writer
Monday, 13 October 2014 07:50

Even as they celebrate epic victories in the push for marriage equality, gay-rights activists acknowledge that other difficult issues remain on their agenda. There’s the persistent high rate of HIV infections, the struggles to expand transgender rights, and the striking fact that even in some states allowing same-sex marriage, people can lose their job for being gay.

For many activists, the top priority after marriage is federal legislation that would outlaw a broad range of discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. There’s no such federal law now, and more than half the states do not ban discrimination by employers or public accommodations based on sexual orientation.

Federal judge rules against Alaska ban on gay marriage

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 13 October 2014 04:12

A federal judge on Oct. 12 struck down Alaska's first-in-the-nation ban on gay marriages, the latest court decision in a busy week for the issue.

The state of Alaska will begin accepting those applications first thing this morning (Oct. 13), Phillip Mitchell, with the state Department of Vital Statistics, told The Associated Press in an email. Alaska has a three-day waiting period between between applications and marriage ceremonies.

On a wing and a paintbrush at Milwaukee Art Museum

AP writer
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 11:55

That black speck walking precariously out on the Milwaukee Art Museum's giant white wings? That's a painter.

Matt Radmacher, owner of Wisconsin Industrial Painters, and two other painters are touching up 40 rust spots on the museum's Burke Brise Soleil - affectionately called wings - and repainting 72 rusted plates at the base.

Catholic bishops acknowledging the 'gifts and qualities' gays offer

Associated Press writer
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 05:57

Catholic bishops are showing remarkable openness to accepting the real lives of many Catholics today, saying gays have gifts to offer the church and that there are “positive” aspects of a couple living together with being married.

A two-week meeting of bishops on family issues arrived at its half-way point with a document summarizing the closed-door debate so far. No decisions were announced, but the tone was one of almost revolutionary acceptance rather than condemnation, with the aim of guiding Catholics toward the ideal of a lasting marriage.

Plastic bag manufacturers push to overturn California ban

Written by The AP Monday, 13 October 2014 07:41

Plastic bag manufacturers on Oct. 10 passed their first hurdle in their effort to delay and eventually repeal California's new ban on single-use plastic shopping bags before it takes effect.

The office of Attorney General Kamala Harris cleared the way for the groups to begin collecting signatures for a referendum vote on the ban on the November 2016 ballot.

Supreme Court denies stay, same-sex couples to marry in Idaho

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 10 October 2014 17:22

The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 10 denied a stay of the Ninth Circuit decision striking down Idaho’s marriage equality ban, allowing marriage equality to take effect in that state.

Idaho still has the option to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari. However, the state cannot refuse to grant same-sex couples marriage licenses pending a decision by the Supreme Court.

Paul Ryan: Humans might not be responsible for climate change

AP writer
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 06:30

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.

The planet has faced climate change forever and humans' pollution might not be to blame, Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said during an Oct. 13 debate against his Democratic challenger in southern Wisconsin.

Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity building political machine

AP writers
Monday, 13 October 2014 07:58

Over scrambled eggs and croquettes, Andres Malave gave a last-minute pep talk to about a dozen volunteers in a Cuban restaurant before they left to meet voters in Miami.

“Don’t just deliver a message,” he said before beginning his own 31/2-hour shift knocking on doors. “Try to get them engaged.”

Mormons push their church to be more accepting of gay members

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 13 October 2014 07:32

Court decisions this week paving the way for same-sex marriage to become legal in dozens of states, including Mormon strongholds like Utah, Idaho and Nevada, have emboldened a growing group of Latter-day Saints who are pushing the conservative church to become more accepting of gay members.

The church's stance toward gays has softened considerably since it was one of the leading forces behind California's ban on gay marriage in 2008, but high-ranking leaders have reiterated time and again the faith's opposition to same-sex unions.

Voter ID law in Wisconsin is blocked, reaction …

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 10 October 2014 05:50

The Supreme Court on Oct. 9 blocked Wisconsin from implementing its voter ID law.

Reaction to the emergency order: