Social issues

US communities reach out to homeless as liver disease surges

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — This industrial city in central Massachusetts has had many nicknames through the years, including “the Heart of the Commonwealth” and “Wormtown.” Among them was this less-known medical moniker: “Hepatitisville.” Worcester has endured several outbreaks of the liver-battering disease, including one that sidelined 90 members of a college football team in 1969. … Continue reading US communities reach out to homeless as liver disease surges

Top US diplomat suggests taking Cameroon to global forum

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The top United States diplomat to Africa says perhaps it’s time to take the deadly separatist crisis in Cameroon to an “international forum.” An exasperated Tibor Nagy told reporters on Tuesday that “my heart breaks for Cameroon … I just don’t understand why this crisis goes on and on and on.” Some … Continue reading Top US diplomat suggests taking Cameroon to global forum

UN chief warns of ‘relentless’ pushback on women’s rights

UNITED NATIONS (AP)— Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday that there is a “deep, pervasive and relentless” pushback on women’s rights and called for a fight to “push back against the pushback.” Calling himself “a proud feminist,” the U.N. chief said, “It is a fight we must win — together.” Guterres spoke at the opening of … Continue reading UN chief warns of ‘relentless’ pushback on women’s rights

Google paid former exec $35 million after harassment claim

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)— Google paid former search executive Amit Singhal $35 million in an exit package when he was reportedly forced to resign after a sexual assault investigation, according to court documents released Monday. Details of the exit package were revealed as part of a shareholder lawsuit against the company, one that followed a published … Continue reading Google paid former exec $35 million after harassment claim

UAW chief raises strike pay, issues warning to automakers

DETROIT (AP) — The president of the United Auto Workers union warned automakers that the union is prepared to strike if it doesn’t get its way in upcoming contract talks. Gary Jones told delegates at the union’s bargaining convention in Detroit that it would raise weekly strike pay from $200 to $250 per week this … Continue reading UAW chief raises strike pay, issues warning to automakers

Winning documentary portrays Israeli human rights lawyer

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP)  — A documentary about an Israeli human rights lawyer has won the top prize in its category at the Thessaloniki International Festival. “The Advocate,” a 108-minute film directed and produced by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche, focuses on Lea Tsemel, who has defended Palestinians of every stripe, from protesters to known … Continue reading Winning documentary portrays Israeli human rights lawyer

Allred: Tape appears to show R. Kelly sexually abusing girls

NEW YORK (AP)  — A man who said he was cleaning out an old videotape collection found what he thought was a recording of R&B singer R. Kelly in concert, but instead turned out to show a man who appeared to be Kelly sexually abusing girls, he and his attorney said Sunday. The man then … Continue reading Allred: Tape appears to show R. Kelly sexually abusing girls

Smollett indicted on 16 counts stemming from reported attack

CHICAGO (AP)  — A grand jury in Chicago indicted “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs. The Cook County grand jury indictment filed Thursday says he made a false report about an offense. Smollett was … Continue reading Smollett indicted on 16 counts stemming from reported attack

Women’s national soccer team players sue for equitable pay

Three months before beginning their defense of their Women’s World Cup title, American players escalated their legal dispute with the U.S. Soccer Federation over equal treatment and pay. Players filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the federation Friday, alleging ongoing “institutionalized gender discrimination” that includes unequal pay with their counterparts on the men’s national team. … Continue reading Women’s national soccer team players sue for equitable pay

Judge dismisses porn star’s hush money suit against Trump

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday tossed out porn actress Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit against President Donald Trump that sought to tear up a hush-money settlement about their alleged affair. U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero in Los Angeles said the suit was irrelevant after Trump and his former personal lawyer agreed … Continue reading Judge dismisses porn star’s hush money suit against Trump

36 Western states air concerns over rights in Saudi Arabia

GENEVA (AP) — Three dozen Western countries have delivered unusually strong criticism of Saudi Arabia at the U.N.’s top human rights body, urging the Gulf nation to disclose “all information available” on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Ambassador Harald Aspelund of Iceland told the Human Rights Council on Thursday the countries were concerned about … Continue reading 36 Western states air concerns over rights in Saudi Arabia

Human Rights Campaign to honor Christina Aguilera

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization is honoring Christina Aguilera with its Ally for Equality award. The Human Rights Campaign announced Thursday the six-time Grammy-winning singer is a true “LGBTQ icon” who uses her platform to “share a message of hope and inspiration” to those who have been marginalized. The group … Continue reading Human Rights Campaign to honor Christina Aguilera

Warner Bros. chair being investigated for sexual misconduct

LOS ANGELES (AP) — WarnerMedia is investigating claims that Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara promised acting roles in exchange for sex as detailed in The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday. The article includes text messages between actress Charlotte Kirk and Tsujihara going back to 2013 when they were introduced by Australian billionaire James Packer. The messages suggest … Continue reading Warner Bros. chair being investigated for sexual misconduct

Police link Scotland university device to London mail bombs

LONDON  (AP)  — British police said a suspicious package destroyed by bomb-disposal experts at the University of Glasgow on Wednesday contained an explosive device and was linked to three letter bombs sent to two London airports and a railway station. The Metropolitan Police force’s Counter Terrorism Command said the item sent to the Scottish university … Continue reading Police link Scotland university device to London mail bombs

Italian populists launch welfare program for poor, jobless

ROME (AP) — Italy’s populist government opened its new minimum income welfare program Wednesday, fulfilling a key campaign promise of the 5-Star Movement to help reduce poverty and spur employment in the eurozone‘s third-largest economy. The so-called “citizen’s income” is essentially a new system of welfare and unemployment benefits for residents whose household monthly income … Continue reading Italian populists launch welfare program for poor, jobless

Kenya flights disrupted by airport workers strike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Hundreds of air passengers were stranded Wednesday in Kenya because of a strike at Nairobi’s international airport by the Kenya Aviation Workers Union. Police violently dispersed striking workers who attempted to protest at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Kenya’s military took over screening and security services at the airport following the … Continue reading Kenya flights disrupted by airport workers strike

Iran lawyer convicted after defending women protesters

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A prominent human rights lawyer in Iran who defended protesters against the Islamic Republic’s mandatory headscarves for women has been convicted and faces years in prison, an activist group said Wednesday. The conviction of Nasrin Sotoudeh, who previously served three years in prison for her work, underlines the limits … Continue reading Iran lawyer convicted after defending women protesters

Feds: Forgery operation produced over 10,000 fake documents

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Located in an apartment in a primarily Hispanic town in Oregon, a clandestine lab churned out thousands of fake Social Security cards, drivers’ licenses and immigration documents that were sold around the United States for years. The clandestine operation, revealed for the first time Tuesday in a federal court document, showed that a … Continue reading Feds: Forgery operation produced over 10,000 fake documents

Board votes to retain Stoneman Douglas superintendent

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.  (AP) — The superintendent of the Florida school district where a gunman killed 17 last year weathered an attempt Tuesday to fire him by a board member who lost a daughter in the shooting. The Broward school board voted 6-3 to retain Superintendent Robert Runcie, rejecting a motion introduced by member Lori Alhadeff, … Continue reading Board votes to retain Stoneman Douglas superintendent

Arata Isozaki wins Pritzker for designs blending East, West

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, credited with bringing together the East and West in his innovative designs, has been awarded this year’s Pritzker Architecture Prize, known internationally as the highest honor in the field. The 2019 prize was announced Tuesday by the jury of the Hyatt Foundation. Founded in 1979, the prize honors … Continue reading Arata Isozaki wins Pritzker for designs blending East, West

UN says Burundi forces closure of its rights office there

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Burundi’s government has forced the United Nations human rights office in the troubled East African country to close after 23 years, the U.N. rights chief announced with “deep regret” on Tuesday. Burundi in December asked the U.N. office to leave, months after the outgoing U.N. rights chief called the country one … Continue reading UN says Burundi forces closure of its rights office there

AP Newsbreak: Border agents using firearms less

WASHINGTON (AP) — Firearms use by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agents is declining, and less-lethal force is also down, according to data obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press. The decrease comes as fewer people are crossing the border illegally and after the agency overhauled how force should be deployed at the border. … Continue reading AP Newsbreak: Border agents using firearms less

Judge allows preservation of more records in Spacey case

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP)— A judge has approved a request by attorneys for Kevin Spacey to preserve more phone records in the sexual assault case against the Oscar-winning actor. The Nantucket District Court judge on Monday allowed a motion to extend an earlier order preserving phone and electronic records between the alleged victim and his former … Continue reading Judge allows preservation of more records in Spacey case

Fledgling gangland news fills niche neglected by other media

CHICAGO (AP) — Shawn Cotton no longer drives his $55,000, bright pink Corvette to work because he’s afraid it could get him killed like his friend. But there are two things he won’t leave home without: his bulletproof vest and the 9 mm pistol he slips into his pocket. Cotton, 28, quit his $7-an-hour job … Continue reading Fledgling gangland news fills niche neglected by other media

Egypt’s top cleric calls polygamy ‘injustice,’ draws debate

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s top Muslim cleric has stirred up controversy after saying that polygamy is an “injustice” for women, but stopped short of calling for a ban on the practice. “Those who say that marriage must be polygamous are all wrong. We have to read the (Quranic) verse in full, said Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, … Continue reading Egypt’s top cleric calls polygamy ‘injustice,’ draws debate

German public servants to get 8-percent pay increases

BERLIN (AP) — Union and government negotiators say they’ve reached a new wage agreement that will give more than a million public servants in Germany a nearly 8 percent pay increase over 33 months. The deal, announced just before midnight Saturday, comes after disruptive short-term strikes by teachers and others designed to put pressure on … Continue reading German public servants to get 8-percent pay increases

Croatian journalists rally for media freedom in EU country

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Several hundred Croatian journalists have rallied in the capital Zagreb against what they say is pressure on journalists and curbing of media freedoms in the European Union country. The gathering on Saturday dubbed “You took over media, we won’t give up journalism,” was organized by the Croatian Journalists’ Association in protest … Continue reading Croatian journalists rally for media freedom in EU country

Transgender troops tell Congress they excel in military

SAN DIEGO  (AP) — Transgender troops testifying for the first time to Congress on Wednesday said transitioning to another sex made them stronger, while Pentagon officials defended the Trump administration’s desire to bar people like them from enlisting in the future. Army Capt. Alivia Stehlik, an infantry officer and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at … Continue reading Transgender troops tell Congress they excel in military

Missouri House passes wide-ranging abortion restrictions

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.  — The Missouri House on Wednesday took steps to outlaw most abortions in the state should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, an effort that’s part of a broader Republican push amid renewed optimism that the high court might be more open to increased restrictions, and possibly an outright ban, … Continue reading Missouri House passes wide-ranging abortion restrictions