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Texas Bill Would Name Judges Who Give Minors Permission to Have Abortions

texas teen abortion billIn 38 states, it is illegal for a minor to terminate a pregnancy without one parent's knowledge. (Some of those 38 states go further, and require a parent's permission.) Girls who are afraid or unable to involve their parents can ask a judge for permission instead.

This confidential process, which the Supreme Court helped establish in the late '70s and early '80s, is called judicial bypass.


100,000 'dreamers' could lose 3-year work permits

Dreamers could lose work permitsReynoso is one of more than 100,000 so-called "dreamers" who received three-year work permits under Obama's executive actions on immigration before U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen issued a preliminary injunction temporarily halting the programs in February.

Now Reynoso and the other dreamers are caught a bitter legal dispute over whether the Justice Department intentionally misled the judge by failing to disclose that the government had already started issuing three-year permits to some dreamers.


Why North Carolina's "Religious Freedom" Bill Is Even Worse Than Indiana's

religious freedom bill NCIn 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal law applied only to the federal government, spurring a number of states to enact their own RFRA laws -- a trend that has grown in the wake of debates over gay civil rights and marriage equality.

However, the measure proposed by North Carolina lawmakers differs from the federal law -- and "religious freedom" laws in most other states -- in at least one key respect: It makes it easier for individuals to claim a law or policy is a threat to their religious beliefs, and to sue to opt out of complying.


Mormon leaders decry same-sex marriage and 'counterfeit lifestyles'

Mormon leadersMormon leaders once again used their semiannual conference to outline the faith’s commitment the belief that marriage is an institution exclusive to a man and a woman.

L Tom Perry, a high-ranking church leader, cautioned Mormons Saturday not to be swayed by a world filled with media and entertainment that makes the minority seem like the majority and tries to make mainstream values seem obsolete.


These are the racially charged e-mails that got 3 Ferguson police and court officials fired

Ferguson firingsCity officials in Ferguson, Mo., on Thursday evening released the full, unredacted content of racially charged and religiously insensitive e-mails sent by the city’s former court clerk as well as two former supervisors in the police department.

The e-mails, released to The Washington Post in response to a public-records request, were sent and received by Mary Ann Twitty, who was Ferguson’s court clerk, as well as former Ferguson police captain Rick Henke and former police sergeant William Mudd.


In Kentucky, Rescuers Scramble To Reach People Trapped By Flash Floods

Kentucky floodRescuers in north and central Kentucky were trying to reach people trapped by a sudden flash flood that followed torrential downpours on Thursday and Friday.

In Lee County, about 50 miles southeast of Lexington, authorities were searching for a mother and daughter swept away as rescue workers were trying to reach them, The Associated Press reports. It was one of about 160 rescues prompted by the heavy rainfall, the AP says.


Sarah Thomas to become NFL's first female full-time official

Sara ThomasSarah Thomas never viewed herself as a pioneer even now that she is poised to break the gender barrier as the NFL's first permanent woman official.

Thomas, who worked preseason games and the New Orleans Saints minicamp this past spring as a line judge, will become the league's first full-time female official during the 2015 season, a person familiar with her ground-breaking hiring told USA TODAY Sports.


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