Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:06 pm
A federal appeals court has sided with the owners of a fruit and vegetable distributor who challenged part of the 2010 health care law requiring employers to provide insurance coverage for birth control. Federal courts have split on the issue, which is the subject of dozens of similar cases.
According to the National Women's Law Center, "a total of 88 lawsuits have been filed" over the issue of contraceptive coverage. Of that number, 63 cases are still pending; the other 25 have been closed.
Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 5:44 pm
Time-travel movies usually have a clear end in sight, some situation that needs fixing. Marty McFly needs his parents to get together; John Connor needs to avoid Terminators long enough to grow up; the guys from Hot Tub Time Machine need to stop messing up the past and get back in their ... hot tub time machine.
Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:12 pm
If the Republican establishment doesn't get its preferred candidate in Tuesday's Alabama special congressional runoff election, it won't be for want of an overwhelming cash advantage.
Bradley Byrne, a former head of the state's community college system, has outraised Tea Party favorite Dean Young $689,000 to $260,000, according to the latest Federal Election Commission filings. And Young's total includes $175,000 the real estate developer and political consultant has lent himself, meaning the actual fundraising ratio is more like 8 to 1.
In the seven months since he was elected, Pope Francis has shaken up the Catholic world and beyond with off-the-cuff homilies, phone calls to ordinary folk and unscripted interviews. His Twitter followers now exceed 10 million. Described by the Vatican as "conversational," the new papal style is drawing praise from large numbers of Catholics and nonbelievers alike.
But it's also making some conservative Catholics deeply uncomfortable.
Pianist Carli Muñoz's musical journey has taken him from Puerto Rico to the studios and clubs of Los Angeles and back to the island of his birth. His musical career has followed a similar trajectory. He left jazz to perform with big names in pop such as The Beach Boys and Rickie Lee Jones, then returned to his first love, filling the role of a jazz-club owner.
Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:58 pm
As any street-savvy third-grader knows, you're not supposed to talk to strangers. It's dangerous, it's rude and in a place like New York City ("You talkin' to me?!") it might get you clocked in the nose.
Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind the Humans of New York blog, has ignored that conventional wisdom — about 5,000 times.
Kenyan Wilson Kipsang won this year's Berlin Marathon in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 23 seconds — an average of 4:42 per mile. It was easily the fastest marathon time ever recorded, an incredible feat for another powerful Kenyan runner.
But perhaps equally remarkable was that his fellow Kenyans also came in second, third, fourth and fifth place in this major international race. On the women's side, Kenyans placed first, second and fourth.
Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 3:14 pm
A German law takes effect today that establishes a third gender option for parents filling out birth certificates for newborn babies. They can choose "indeterminate" if the child shows both male and female characteristics.
The parents will make that choice by leaving the boxes for male and female genders blank. The new law is meant to avoid the need to label an intersex baby as male or female before the child is old enough to decide.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 10:40 am
This week's news that the Food and Drug Administration found that 12 percent of spices imported to the U.S. are contaminated was a little disheartening.
As the FDA reported, all kinds of nasty stuff hitch a ride with spices into the country — from insects to animal excrement to pathogens. The agency looked closely at pepper and sesame seeds, but says this is an issue with lots of other spices, too.
Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 12:16 pm
An already dramatic story took another dramatic turn Friday when Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's lawyer challenged police to release a video that news outlets have said shows the mayor smoking what appears to have been crack cocaine.
There's more fallout over disclosures that the U.S. spied on many of its allies — this time in Indonesia.
The Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned Greg Moriarty, the Australian ambassador to Indonesia, over allegations that Australian diplomatic posts, including the one in Jakarta, were used as part of the U.S. surveillance network.
Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 1:10 pm
Some of the electronic surveillance programs of the National Security Agency have been on "automatic pilot" in recent years and have inappropriately "reached too far," Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday.
Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 11:52 am
"President Obama's top aides secretly considered replacing Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. with Hillary Rodham Clinton on the 2012 ticket, undertaking extensive focus-group sessions and polling in late 2011 when Mr. Obama's re-election outlook appeared uncertain," The New York Times reports.