AP News


Pressure mounts over Arizona bill opposed by gays PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by BOB CHRISTIE, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 07:18

PHOENIX (AP) — Republican Gov. Jan Brewer faced intensifying pressure Monday from CEOs, politicians in Washington and state lawmakers in her own party to veto a bill that would allow business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to deny service to gays and lesbians.

Senate Bill 1062 has set off a political firestorm since the Arizona Legislature passed it last week, with critics denouncing the measure as blatantly discriminatory and embarrassing to the state.

The chorus of opposition has grown each day, and on Monday, three state senators who voted in favor of the bill changed course and said they oppose it. U.S. Sen. John McCain asked Brewer to veto the measure, as did Apple Inc. and the CEO of American Airlines Group Inc.

State Sens. Bob Worsley, Adam Driggs and Steve Pierce sent their letter urging a veto just days after they joined the entire 17-member Senate GOP caucus in voting for the bill.

"I think laws are (already) on the books that we need, and have now seen the ramifications of my vote," Worsley told The Associated Press. "I feel very bad, and it was a mistake."

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Passenger charged with punching flight attendant PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 07:17

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man who allegedly punched a flight attendant on a Los Angeles-bound jetliner has been charged with interfering with a flight crew.

The FBI says 53-year-old Edgar Nonga of Lakewood was charged with the federal offense on Monday. His bail was set at $10,000.

Prosecutors say Nonga got drunk during a Philippine Airlines flight from Manila to LA over the weekend and got angry when he was refused more drinks.

Prosecutors say Nonga swore at crew members and twice punched a flight attendant — including once in the face. The crew, with help from at least five passengers, restrained him and he was arrested Sunday morning when the plane landed.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

His attorney, David Sutton, declined to immediately comment.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
WW2 Medal of Honor recipient Walter Ehlers dies PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 07:16

LOS ANGELES (AP) — During the historic D-Day invasion of World War II, Walter D. Ehlers accomplished some of the most awe-inspiring acts of bravery imaginable, earning a Medal of Honor for knocking out two German machine-gun nests and saving countless Allied soldiers' lives.

The 23-year-old staff sergeant charged through enemy gunfire to kill seven enemy soldiers, chase away several others, put a halt to mortar fire and carry a wounded comrade to safety, even after he been shot in the back.

Yet for years, Ehlers rarely talked about those accomplishments; not until word got around that it was his Medal of Honor heroics that were getting him invited to every presidential inauguration since Dwight D. Eisenhower's.

Ehlers died Thursday at a Long Beach hospital of kidney failure, his wife, Dorothy, told The Associated Press on Monday. He was 92, and his passing leaves only seven surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipients.

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Foes of California transgender rights law fail to force vote PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by LISA LEFF, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 07:12

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Opponents of a new California law that provides transgender students certain rights in public schools have failed to gather enough voter signatures to place a referendum to repeal the law on the November ballot.

At least 504,760 signatures were required to force a public vote on the statute approved by the California Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year. The law's opponents submitted 619,387, but county election officers determined that just 487,484 of them were valid, according to a final count posted on the secretary of state's website Monday.

The law took effect Jan. 1. It guarantees students in grades K-12 the right to use the school restrooms and to participate in the sex-segregated activities that correspond with their expressed genders instead of their school records.

The coalition of religious conservative groups behind the repeal effort said it violates the privacy of youngsters who may be uncomfortable sharing facilities with classmates of the opposite biological sex. The law's supporters said it is needed to provide statewide consistency and to improve the school experiences of young people who decide to live by a gender different from the one they had at birth.

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Polio-like disease appears in dozen California children PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer   
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 07:11

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — An extremely rare, polio-like disease has appeared in more than a dozen California children within the past year, and each of them suffered paralysis to one or more arms or legs, Stanford University researchers say. But public health officials haven't identified any common causes connecting the cases.

The illness is still being investigated and appears to be very unusual, but Dr. Keith Van Haren at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University warned Monday that any child showing a sudden onset of weakness in their limbs or symptoms of paralysis should be immediately seen by a doctor.

"The disease resembles but is not the same as polio," he said. "But this is serious. Most of the children we've seen so far have not recovered use of their arm or their leg."

But doctors are not sure if it's a virus or something else, he said. Van Haren said he has studied five cases from Monterey up through the San Francisco Bay Area, including two that were identified as the disease enterovirus-68, which is from the same family as the polio viruses. He said there have been about 20 cases statewide.

"We want to temper the concern, because at the moment, it does not appear to represent a major epidemic but only a very rare phenomenon," he said, noting similar outbreaks in Asia and Australia.

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