Wendi Downard

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US military plan to extend same-sex marriage benefits met with concern

Campaigners for equality in the military have raised concerns about a draft Pentagon plan to extend partner benefits to gay couples, saying it would force service members to get married even if they are stationed in one of the 37 states where same-sex marriage is illegal.<p>A draft memo from Chuck …

Second girl in California says kidnap suspect made her uncomfortable

A teenage girl in California says that the fugitive accused of setting fire to a house and kidnapping another girl made her feel uncomfortable, and that he instructed them not to lock the bedroom door during sleepovers.<p>Cassie Luongo told NBC San Diego that the fugitive, James Lee DiMaggio, seemed …

Los Angeles immigrant community pushes to keep Zapotec language alive

It’s 6 p.m. on a Friday. About a dozen people gather inside a small office space in Los Angeles — in the MacArthur Park neighborhood, where many immigrants live.<p>Sitting around a circle, they recite words in Dizha’ Xhon, also known as the Zapotec language.<p>Aaron Huey Sonnenschein, a linguistics …

Bankrupt Detroit finds $1m cheque in city hall drawer

Finding a $1m uncashed cheque would be a dream come true for anyone, but for the largest US city ever to file for bankruptcy, it could have paid for vital services.<p>The cheque was found in a city hall desk drawer in March, a month after it was received. Four months later the city collapsed into …

Greek spot checks find half of firms cheating on tax

<b>The most recent spot checks by Greek authorities found that almost half of the companies examined were committing some kind of tax offence.</b><p>Out of 1,465 spot checks carried out between 25 July and 5 August, 731 firms were found to be breaking the rules.<p>Greece has been under pressure from the …

Dogs sniff out ovarian cancer in new study

Researchers trying to develop a diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer are hoping dogs' keen sense of smell will lead them down the right path.<p>An early detection device that combines old-fashioned olfactory skills, chemical analysis and modern technology could lead to better survival rates for the …

Obama Opposes Olympics Boycott

"Nobody is more offended than me by some of the anti-gay and lesbian legislation than you've been seeing in Russia," Obama says. He says he would rather see gay athletes win medals at the Sochi Olympics.

US student loan bill signed into law in rare show of bipartisan compromise

President Barack Obama signed into law Friday a measure restoring lower interest rates for student loans, pledging the hard-fought compromise would be just the first step in a broader, concerted fight to rein in the costs of a college education.<p>Encircled by lawmakers from both parties in the oval …

Commission rules Samsung infringed Apple's patents

The International Trade Commission Friday ruled that Samsung had infringed on patents owned by Apple relating to its iPhones.<p>Apple scored another victory in its ongoing legal battle with smartphone competitor Samsung.<p>The International Trade Commission ruled Friday that Samsung had violated two of …

Same-Sex Social Security Payments Begin for Some Married Couples

This article is from the archive of our partner .<p>The Social Security Administration has started payments on some retirement spouse claims for …

Did Tyson Ban Doping Cows With Zilmax To Boost Foreign Sales?

Tyson Foods Inc. announced this week that it would soon suspend purchases of cattle that had been treated with a controversial drug, citing animal welfare concerns.<p>But many in the industry wonder if the real reason is the battle for sales in other countries, where certain drugs that make livestock …

Forced marriages: School holidays prompt warning

<b>Teachers, doctors and airport staff need to be alert to the problem of forced marriages over the school holidays, the government has warned.</b><p>Ministers said there were concerns about teenagers being taken abroad thinking they were going on holiday but being forced into marriage instead.<p>Figures …

Kids And TV: Watching An Extra Hour Can Harm Kindergarten Performance, Study Says

Yet another data point has been added to the ongoing debate over how much TV watching is too much for young children.<p>A study of Canadian children has found that even an extra hour of TV time -- above the daily average of 72 minutes -- could significantly harm a child’s performance in kindergarten, …

Perseid Meteor Shower to Flare

NTSB: Up to six dead in Conn. plane crash

Small plane reportedly carrying former Microsoft VP and son hit two homes near New Haven. Two children in one house are missing and believed dead.<p>A small twin-engine plane attempting to land Friday morning slammed into two homes near New Haven, Conn., killing up to six people, the National …

DEA Passed Secret Data, Tips For Covering Up To IRS

Shh. It turns out that Big Brother is doing a bit more than looking for terrorists.<p>Information uncovered this week indicates that one of the beneficiaries of government surveillance programs is none other than the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS was reportedly the recipient of information …

Florence tomb opened in quest to find 'Mona Lisa'

<b>Scientists in the Italian city of Florence have opened a tomb to extract DNA they hope will identify the model for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.</b><p>The tomb contains the family of Lisa Gherardini, a silk merchant's wife who is believed to have sat for the artist.<p>It is hoped DNA will help to identify …

Associated Press News

Are Seniors Souring on the Republican Party?

The GOP has lost more support among voters over 65 than any other demographic group in recent months, according to a new poll.<p>As bad as things get for Republicans -- with women, with minorities, with youths -- there's always been one group they can count on: the old. But now one Democratic pollster …

Associated Press News

Indian-built Arihant nuclear submarine activated

<b>India has activated the reactor on board the INS Arihant nuclear submarine, the first to be designed and built in India.</b><p>The move means the submarine can now undergo sea trials.<p>Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailed the "giant stride in... our indigenous technological capabilities".<p>Experts say is the …

Jay Leno Ending 'Tonight Show' Run On February 6, 2014 (REPORT)

Jay Leno's last episode as host of "The Tonight Show" will reportedly air on Thursday, February 6, 2014, according to Variety.<p>It has already been reported that Jimmy Fallon will take over the late-night hosting gig on February 24, 2014, when the show moves to New York and Fallon hands over his …

California Silver Fire expected to be fully contained by Monday

Officials in California on Sunday said they have gained the upper hand on a wildfire that has burned across more than 30 square miles over the past four days. They said they expect to have the Silver Fire fully contained by Monday.<p>The Silver Fire was at 19,436cres and 75 percent containment Sunday …

US prepares to charge London bankers in JP Morgan trades case

Two London-based bankers could face US charges over their alleged role in the $6bn (£3.9bn) “London Whale” trading scandal at JP Morgan Chase.<p>The US authorities are reported to be preparing to file criminal fraud charges against Javier Martin-Artajo, a Spanish-born former JP Morgan manager, and …

Investing

Planned Parenthood in fight-or-settle dilemma over anti-abortion lawfare

Whistleblowers are the good guys, right? They cry foul on charlatans and overreaching governments. But what if your urge to disclose is lubricated by the promise of a whopping pile of cash? What if powerful lobby groups are standing by to give you first-rate legal representation? And what if your …

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Lack Of 'Star Wars' News At Disney's D23 Expo Disappoints Fans

Journalists attending Disney's D23 fan expo in Anaheim, Calif. on Saturday had hoped that some news about "Star Wars: Episode VII" would be revealed by the studio's brass, this despite words to the contrary from Disney CEO Bob Iger on Friday.<p>"We're just as excited as you are about 'Star Wars: …

Kidnapping suspect killed by FBI; Hannah Anderson in 'good shape'

CASCADE, Idaho -- The man accused of kidnapping 16-year-old Hannah Anderson was killed in the Idaho wilderness Saturday, but the teen was found safe and "appears to be in pretty good shape," San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said.<p>Gore said the suspect, James Lee DiMaggio, was shot by …