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Apr 18, 2013

FBI arrests Mississippi man in ricin letter case

By David Ingram and Deborah Charles

(Reuters) – Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges on Thursday against a Mississippi man, who worked as an Elvis impersonator, for threatening to harm President Barack Obama by sending him a letter that initially tested positive for the deadly poison ricin.

Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, was believed to have sent three letters, all with identical wording and type-written on yellow paper, to Obama, Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland of Lee County, Mississippi.

Apr 18, 2013

U.S. charges Mississippi man with ricin threat on Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors on Thursday filed criminal charges against Paul Kevin Curtis, the Mississippi man arrested a day earlier in the FBI’s investigation of letters believed to have contained the deadly poison ricin.

A criminal complaint filed in District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi charges Curtis with threatening to harm President Barack Obama and making other threats through the Postal Service.

Apr 9, 2013

FBI asked to probe recording of Senator McConnell’s campaign strategy session

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign said on Tuesday it has asked the FBI to investigate how a campaign strategy meeting was recorded in which ways to attack a potential rival, actress Ashley Judd, were reportedly discussed.

The magazine, Mother Jones, said it had obtained a recording of the meeting and that McConnell and his aides discussed criticizing Judd “for her past struggles with depression and her religious views.”

Apr 5, 2013

White House fights Catholic Church subpoena on birth control

WASHINGTON, April 5 (Reuters) – The Obama administration has
gone to court to try to block a subpoena from the Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of New York seeking White House documents about the
government’s requirement of insurance coverage for birth
control.

The subpoena requesting documents from President Barack
Obama and his senior advisers would be burdensome to fulfill,
the administration said in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District
Court for the District of Columbia.

Mar 27, 2013

Supreme Court reconvenes for second gay marriage case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For the second day running, the Supreme Court convened on Wednesday to tackle the issue of gay marriage, this time to hear arguments over a law that denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

Almost two hours of oral argument will be heard by the court on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The nine justices heard arguments on Tuesday on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage.

Mar 26, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court wary of broad gay marriage ruling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court justices signalled a reluctance on Tuesday to rule broadly on the fundamental right to marriage for gays and lesbians, suggesting a potentially anti-climactic outcome in the first of two related cases before the high court.

As sign-waving demonstrators massed outside, the court completed an hour and 20 minutes of oral argument on whether to let stand a California ban on same-sex marriage, without indicating a clear path forward by the end of the session.

Mar 26, 2013

U.S. justices wary of broad ruling endorsing gay marriage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court justices signaled on Tuesday that they are reluctant to embrace a broad ruling finding a fundamental right to marriage for gays and lesbians across the United States.

As sign-waving demonstrators massed outside, the court completed more than an hour of oral argument on whether to let stand a California ban on same-sex marriage without indicating a clear path forward.

Mar 26, 2013

Supreme court raises doubts on California marriage case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday on the delicate and divisive issue of gay marriage, Chief Justice John Roberts expressed doubt that California opponents of gay marriage had a right to be heard in federal court.

U.S. citizens in general do not have a right to sue to enforce laws they favor. Roberts pressed lawyer Charles Cooper, who represents gay marriage opponents, on why his clients are any different as they seek to enforce California’s gay marriage ban, known as Proposition 8.

Mar 22, 2013

Civil rights complaints lead to new Mississippi school policies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Mississippi school district agreed on Friday to change how it disciplines students after civil rights lawyers found its black students were more likely to be suspended than whites, even when accused of similar code violations.

The agreement shows the Justice Department taking an aggressive approach to discipline in local schools when it believes civil rights are in jeopardy.

Mar 22, 2013

Medical device maker Cytori loses approval fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An appeals court ruled on Friday that the Food and Drug Administration acted correctly when it denied fast-track approval of two stem cell-related medical devices made by Cytori Therapeutics Inc.

The FDA had reasonable evidence to find that the devices were not substantially equivalent to devices already on the market, according to the unanimous ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.