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California enacts ban on Confederate flag

Confederate flagCalifornia Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation on Thursday prohibiting state agencies from selling or displaying items bearing the Confederate flag.

State Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, introduced the bill, AB 2444, after his mother saw replica Confederate money sold at the Capitol gift shop in Sacramento. The money featured a picture of the flag.


Rejected by their families, gay teens in the South flock to Atlanta

Gay teens flock to AtlantaNationally, about 40 percent of homeless youth identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, according to a survey by UCLA's Williams Institute.

Religious families are more likely to kick out gay children, making the Bible Belt a particularly tough place to be young and LGBT. In what activists say is a crisis of gay homeless youth in America, some call Atlanta "ground zero."


Teacher originally sentenced to 31 days for rape gets 10 years

Stacey Dean RamboldStacey Dean Rambold, the Montana teacher originally given 31 days in jail for sex with a student, was re-sentenced Friday to 10 years behind bars.

The student, Cherice Moralez, who was 14 at the time Rambold seduced her in 2007, took her own life in 2010, while he was awaiting trial. The original lenient sentence last year provoked a national outcry and brought an unusual amount of attention to Billings.


Ford to recall about 850,000 cars to fix airbag deployment glitch

Ford recallFord Motor Co (F.N) said it will recall about 850,000 cars in the United States to fix a software glitch that could lead to a short circuit, delaying the deployment of airbags in the event of a crash.

The affected cars are 2013-2014 models Ford C-MAX, Fusion, Escape and Lincoln MKZ vehicles and could have a defect related to the restraints control module, Ford said.


Told of prison cover-up, Gov. Rick Scott’s inspector failed to act

Florida prison scandalGov. Rick Scott’s chief troubleshooter was warned by letter nearly two years ago about the possible cover-up of two suspicious prison deaths, but did nothing other than forward the letter to the very people accused of hiding the deaths, documents obtained by the Miami Herald show.

An anonymous letter addressed to “Gov. Scott” and stamped as received by the governor’s chief inspector general on Oct. 25, 2012, included strikingly accurate details about the gruesome deaths of Randall Jordan-Aparo at Franklin Correctional Institution in 2010 and Darren Rainey at Dade Correctional in 2012.


Pennsylvania state officials allegedly sent sexually explicit photos, videos from state email accounts

Pemmsylvania officials sent sexually explicit emailsTop Pennsylvania state officials sent sexually explicit photos, videos and messages to each other from their work email accounts, it's claimed.

Top environmental regulator E. Christopher Abruzzo, Gov. Tom Corbett's former spokesman Kevin Harley and State Police Comissioner Frank Noonan are among those implicated in the alleged scandal.

Noonan’s agency is heading up the manhunt for Pennsylvania cop killer Eric Frein, and the 42-year vet and former FBI agent has been the lead spokesman in the case.


Los Angeles hotel workers win $15.37 minimum wage after city council vote

speaker at LA city councilWorkers at big hotels in Los Angeles have won one of the highest minimum wages in the United States after a campaign by unions and civil rights groups.

The city council voted on Wednesday night to establish a minimum hourly wage of $15.37 for employees of hotels with more than 125 rooms, a decision expected to boost campaigns for better wages in other industries and cities.


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