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D.C. rabbi pleads guilty to secretly videotaping women

Rabbi pleads guilty to photographing nude womenThursday that he had secretly videotaped dozens of nude women as they prepared for a ritual bath.

In a hearing in D.C. Superior Court, Freundel pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism.

Prior to the hearing, D.C. prosecutors sent a note to victims saying that they wanted to “assure everyone that if this plea goes through, as victims of crime, you will have the right to submit a written as well as an oral victim impact statement at a sentencing hearing, expressing how this crime has impacted you.” Freundel’s sentencing hearing is set for May 15.


Texas Blocks Future Same-Sex Weddings

Texas blocks same sex marriageThe Texas Supreme Court has issued an emergency order blocking gay couples from obtaining marriage licenses after a lesbian couple wed in Austin.

Thursday's ruling doesn't invalidate the marriage of the two women who were allowed to marry hours earlier based on a one-time court order issued for health reasons. One of the women has cancer.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says he is seeking to void the marriage license through other means, though he didn't provide details.


Pediatrician won't treat baby with 2 moms

Pediatrician refuses to treat baby with 2 momsSitting in the pediatrician's office with their 6-day-old daughter, the two moms couldn't wait to meet the doctor they had picked out months before.

The Roseville, Mich., pediatrician — one of many they had interviewed — seemed the perfect fit: She took a holistic approach to treating children. She used natural oils and probiotics. And she knew they were lesbians.


University of Massachusetts bans Iranian students from select STEM degrees

U of Mass. bars Iranian students from some degreesThe University of Massachusetts Amherst is not accepting Iranian applicants into its graduate school in select science and engineering fields, citing U.S. sanctions.

The university posted the policy on its website for graduate admissions.

The University has determined that recent governmental sanctions pose a significant challenge to its ability to provide a full program of education and research for Iranian students in certain disciplines and programs. Because we must ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, the University has determined that it will no longer admit Iranian national students to specific programs in the College of Engineering (i.e., Chemical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering) and in the College of Natural Sciences (i.e., Physics, Chemistry, Microbiology, and Polymer Science & Engineering) effective February 1, 2015.


Florida puts executions on hold as high court debates anesthetic

Florida executions on holdFlorida's highest court put executions on hold Tuesday while the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether use of a controversial general anesthetic constitutes "cruel and unusual" punishment of condemned killers.

The state Supreme Court stopped the execution of Jerry William Correll next week because the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a challenge some Oklahoma inmates brought against use of midazolam hydrochloride as the first of three drugs used in lethal injections. Florida uses essentially the same formula, the court said in a 5-2 ruling.


How New York City's Municipal ID Program Protects Immigrants From A Tea Party White House

NYC ID proggramThe bill that created New York City’s popular municipal ID program has a clause protecting undocumented New Yorkers from a conservative White House in 2017, The New York Post reported this week.

New York City officially started issuing municipal ID cards last month in order to provide the city’s 500,000 undocumented immigrants, as well as others, access to multiple city services.


Federal judge stalls Obama's executive action on immigration

Immigration order haltedThe White House promised an appeal Tuesday after a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration and gave a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit aiming to permanently stop the orders.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen's decision late Monday puts on hold Obama's orders that could spare from deportation as many as five million people who are in the U.S. illegally.


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