Judge: School district can bar student from wearing Mexican and American flag sash at graduation
DENVER (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a Colorado school district can bar a high school student from wearing a Mexican and American flag sash at her graduation after the student sued. The judge ruled Friday that wearing a sash during a graduation ceremony falls under school-sponsored speech, not the student’s private speech, and can be restricted It's the latest legal dispute over rights to graduation attire at commencement ceremonies this year. Many focus on Indigenous regalia, which is explicitly protected in Colorado. Attorneys for the Colorado student argue that the school district decision violates her free speech rights. A final ruling is still to come.
New York City outlaws discrimination on the basis of weight, height
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams has signed legislation that will ban discrimination based on body size by adding weight and height to the list of protected categories such as race, sex and religion. Exemptions under the ordinance include cases in which an individual’s height or weight could prevent them from performing essential functions of the job. Some business leaders have said they are concerned that that compliance with the new ordinance could become an onerous burden. Several other U.S. cities have banned discrimination based on weight or on physical appearance, including San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Madison, Wisconsin.
Videos, 911 calls capture frantic response to deadly New Mexico rampage
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in New Mexico have released hours of officer body and dash camera videos and 911 recordings showing the chaos that unfolded when a gunman opened fire on a busy street in Farmington on May 15, killing three before police shot him dead. The minutes that followed were a scramble as authorities searched the neighborhood for a possible second shooter, while other officers huddled to figure out how far the crime scene stretched and which vehicles had been hit by gunfire. Police say a bullet broke through the windshield of a woman believed to be the first victim as she was driving down the street. Eventually an officer shouted, “Subject down. Cease fire, cease fire!”
Another deceased Jesuit priest accused of sex abuse in Bolivia as pedophilia scandal grows
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — A Spanish Jesuit priest who died in 2012 has been accused of sexually abusing a minor in Bolivia three decades ago, the latest in a string of pedophilia cases that have shaken the Catholic Church in the Andean country. Jorge Vila Despujol, who died in Barcelona in 2012, was formally accused in court Thursday by a person who alleges to have been a victim of “indecent touch” when they were 13 years old, the Jesuit Society in Bolivia said in a statement. The name of the alleged victim is being kept confidential. The abuse allegedly occurred when the victim was at an educational institution in the central region of Cochabamba, although no further details were given.
Guatemala arrests former anti-corruption prosecutor
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemalan police arrested the country’s prosecutor for crimes against migrants Friday, accusing him of alleged abuse of authority. Stuardo Campos was formerly an anti-corruption prosecutor in the country during the administration of former President Jimmy Morales. It was not immediately clear whether the accusations pertain to his current position or the former. The complaint against Campos was made by the far-right Foundation Against Terrorism, a group that started out defending military officers accused of war crimes, but has also targeted members of the justice system who worked corruption cases.
Oregon, awash in treatment funds after decriminalizing drugs, now must follow the money
Funding for drug treatment centers in Oregon, financed by the state’s pioneering drug decriminalization policy, stands these days at over a quarter-billion dollars. Officials are calling for closer monitoring of where the money goes. That need for oversight was demonstrated this week when state officials terminated a $1.5 million grant agreement with a drug recovery nonprofit in Klamath Falls. The nonprofit is accused of failing to submit completed expenditure and data reports and buying a building for more than double the authorized amount. A bill to provide more oversight staff has been delayed as Republican lawmakers maintain their three-week walkout.
X marks the spot: Yellen tells Congress US could run out of money to pay all its bills by June 5
WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has told Congress that the U.S. could default on its debt obligations by June 5 if lawmakers do not act in time to raise the federal debt ceiling. That's four days later than previously estimated. Yellen’s letter Friday to legislators comes as Congress breaks for the three-day Memorial Day weekend, and as tensions build over whether a deal between the White House and Republicans in Congress will be struck in time. The so-called “X-date” arrives when the government no longer has enough of a financial cushion to pay all its bills, having exhausted the “extraordinary measures” it has been employing since January to stretch existing funds.
Céline Dion cancels European concerts 'until I’m really ready to be back on stage'
Céline Dion has canceled all her scheduled tour dates through April 2024 as she continues treatment for a rare neurological disorder. A total of 42 European dates have been canceled, including stops in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Austria, England, Scotland and Ireland. Earlier this year, Dion said stiff person syndrome was causing spasms that affect her ability to walk and sing. Stiff person syndrome causes rigid muscles and painful muscle spasms, which can be triggered by such things as loud noises or light touch.
Mother of man who killed Gabby Petito said in letter she would help son 'dispose of a body'
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — An undated letter from the mother of the man who killed Gabby Petito to her son will be allowed as possible evidence in a lawsuit Petito’s parents have filed against the parents of her killer. A judge in Florida sided with the Petito family in admitting the letter Wednesday. The letter from Roberta Laundrie to her son, Brian Laundrie, says she would “dispose of a body” for him because she loved him so. Roberta Laundrie says she wrote the letter a few months before her son killed Petito. The Petito family says the letter suggests she knew of the killing before Petito's body was found.
2 more Oath Keepers sentenced to prison terms for Jan. 6 Capitol attack
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Army veterans who stormed the U.S. Capitol in a military-style formation with fellow Oath Keepers members have been sentenced to prison terms for their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta on Friday sentenced Jessica Watkins, of Woodstock, Ohio, to eight years and six months behind bars and sentenced Kenneth Harrelson, of Titusville, Florida, to four years in prison. On Thursday, Mehta sentenced Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes to 18 years in prison for his seditious conspiracy conviction. A jury acquitted Watkins and Harrelson of seditious conspiracy but convicted them of obstructing Congress' certification of President Joe Biden's 2020 electoral victory.
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