Alex's Feed
Aug 30, 2013

Judge rules U.S. military cannot deny benefits to lesbian veteran and her wife

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The U.S. military cannot deny spousal benefits to a lesbian veteran in a same-sex marriage because doing so does not serve any purpose for the armed forces, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.

The decision, which could set the stage for gay and lesbian veterans and their partners to claim those benefits, follows a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in June that invalidated a key portion of the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that had defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

Aug 25, 2013

Second panda cub at U.S. National Zoo arrives stillborn

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – A giant panda surprised its keepers by giving birth to a stillborn cub at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington on Saturday evening, a day after the animal delivered a live cub, an official said.

The stillborn cub was born with “many abnormalities” and when a staff member retrieved it from the floor of its mother’s den it was “very apparent it had never been alive,” said zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson.

Aug 22, 2013

Dozens injured when tour bus overturns outside Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A tour bus ferrying passengers to a California casino skidded and flipped onto its side on a freeway outside Los Angeles on Thursday, injuring about 50 people who were thrown around inside the vehicle, authorities said.

No one died in the accident, said Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Captain Brian Jordan.

Aug 22, 2013

County clerk in New Mexico begins issuing same-sex marriage licenses

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – A county clerk in southern New Mexico began handing out marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples on Wednesday, in a move the state’s attorney general said he would not seek to stop as courts weigh lawsuits by same-sex couples seeking to wed.

Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins told Reuters in a phone interview that his office by mid-afternoon had issued about 35 same-sex marriage licenses.

Aug 20, 2013

Autopsy finds drugs in journalist who died in Los Angeles crash

LOS ANGELES, Aug 20 (Reuters) – A prominent U.S. journalist
whose reporting led to the ouster of the senior U.S. military
commander in Afghanistan had traces of methamphetamine in his
blood when he was killed in June in a fiery Los Angeles car
crash, autopsy findings showed on Tuesday.

The drugs in Michael Hastings’ system were of an amount
unlikely to have contributed to the crash in which the
Mercedes-Benz he was driving struck a tree and burst into
flames, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office
report.

Aug 1, 2013

Gay California Catholic teacher’s firing sparks online petition

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Catholic teacher’s claim that he was fired after marrying his gay partner soon after same-sex marriage was made legal in California has prompted a Web-based push to see him reinstated.

The petition drive in support of English instructor Ken Bencomo on the website of social advocacy group Change.org has gathered over 9,000 signatures from his former students and people as far away as Spain since it was launched earlier this week.

Jul 31, 2013

Ride-sharing companies may lose ‘bandit cab’ stigma in California

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Commercial ride-sharing services offered by moonlighting motorists but frowned on by licensed taxi drivers and some cities as “bandit” cab operations would gain new legitimacy in California under a plan proposed on Tuesday by state regulators.

The draft rules to govern companies that already operate under such names as Lyft, SideCar and Uber, allowing passengers to electronically hail rides through smartphone applications, were unveiled by the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) as taxi drivers continued to lobby against them.

Jul 31, 2013

Ride-sharing companies may lose ‘bandit cab’ stigma in California

LOS ANGELES, July 30 (Reuters) – Commercial ride-sharing
services offered by moonlighting motorists but frowned on by
licensed taxi drivers and some cities as “bandit” cab operations
would gain new legitimacy in California under a plan proposed on
Tuesday by state regulators.

The draft rules to govern companies that already operate
under such names as Lyft, SideCar and Uber, allowing passengers
to electronically hail rides through smartphone applications,
were unveiled by the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) as
taxi drivers continued to lobby against them.

Jul 23, 2013

California university under investigation over handling of rapes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The U.S. government is investigating the University of Southern California’s handling of reported cases of rape on its campus near downtown Los Angeles, school officials said on Monday.

The sex discrimination probe by the U.S. Department of Education came in response to a complaint by the school’s Student Coalition Against Rape.

Jul 21, 2013

Firefighters have California blaze nearly half contained

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Cooler weather helped firefighters make significant gains on Saturday against a massive wildfire in Southern California, as crews cut containment lines around nearly 50 percent of the blaze.

The so-called Mountain Fire has burned across more than 27,000 acres of dry brush and timber and destroyed seven residences since it broke out on Monday. At least 5,600 residents remain under evacuation orders.