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Deadliest U.S. Fraternity Abolishes Pledging for New Members

Fratrnity ends pledgingSigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the largest U.S. fraternities and the deadliest, said it would ban pledging, citing the toll that hazing has taken on its recruits and its reputation.

SAE announced yesterday what it called a “historic decision” to eliminate pledging, typically a months-long induction period featuring secret rituals. During pledging, recruits have been subject to forced drinking, paddling and other abuse. At least 10 deaths since 2006 have been linked to hazing, alcohol or drugs at SAE events, more than at any other fraternity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Gay couples sue Indiana for nuptials

gay lawsuit indianaFour gay couples from southern Indiana sued the state Friday, seeking to force Indiana to recognize same-sex marriages from out of state and issue licenses to same-sex couples.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in New Albany, Ind., asks a federal judge to overturn Indiana’s Defense of Marriage Act, which declares same-sex marriages void even if another state recognizes the union.

“How long do you wait before you decide ‘I think I’d like to stand up for myself,’ ” said 66-year-old Lane Stumler of New Albany, who wants to marry his longtime partner Michael Drury. “How long do you wait to say that?”

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Boeing freezes pension benefits for 68,000 non-union employees

Boeing pension changesBoeing announced the freezing of traditional defined-benefit pensions for all non-unionized employees, including management and executives, to be replaced by a 401(k)-style defined-contribution retirement-savings plan come 2016.

Boeing called the change an effort to edge “unsustainable growth” of their long-term pension liability.

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Playboy must pay $6M to fired whistleblower

Playboy to pay whistleblowerA former controller at Playboy Enterprises who was fired in 2012 may have just won the largest payout ever under a 2002 law that protects whistleblowers. Playboy has been ordered to pay Catherine Zulfer $6 million for her wrongful termination, Reuters reports.

Zulfer says in 2010 she refused to accrue bonuses for top executives worth $1 million because the board hadn't OKed them, and that she then told management about "actual and suspected frauds and improprieties."

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Barbie, remove that Girl Scout tie, ad group says

Barbie Girl Scout tieIt's one thing for Barbie to strut her stuff on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in a sexy one-piece. But it's another thing entirely for world's most famous doll to show up on a Girl Scout patch.

A consumer advocacy group wants the patch — and the commercial tie-in with Girl Scouts — nixed. While the patch does not show a Barbie doll, it shows the familiar Barbie logo.

"Holding Barbie, the quintessential fashion doll, up as a role model for Girl Scouts simultaneously sexualizes young girls, idealizes an impossible body type and undermines the Girl Scouts' vital mission," says Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

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Political Prisoner Marshall Eddie Conway Released After 44 Years

Marshall Eddie ConwayA small hearing March 4, 2014, in an obscure courtroom at the Circuit Court for Baltimore City ended with the release of former Black Panther Marshall Edward Conway, who has spent nearly 44 of his 67 years in maximum security prisons. Eddie, as he is known to his thousands of supporters, entered the courtroom wearing a Department of Corrections sweatshirt, in handcuffs and leg chains, and walked out of the courthouse about an hour later in civilian clothes to greet a host of family, supporters and old friends:

"I am filled with a lot of different emotions after nearly 44 years in prison. I want to thank my family, my friends, my lawyers and my supporters; many have suffered along with me."

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Delaware lacks lethal injection drugs needed to execute death row inmates

lethal injectionLike other states, Delaware prison officials have found it difficult to get the drugs used in lethal injections because major manufacturers several years ago began prohibiting the use of their products in executions out of ethical concerns and fearing the unwanted publicity.

As a result, supplies of two of the three drugs used in Delaware executions have expired, according to records obtained by the Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act. Moreover, prison officials aren’t even trying to get the necessary drugs.

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