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Elizabeth Smart kidnapper sentenced to life in prison

LOS ANGELES — A self-styled prophet who kidnapped a teenager and held her captive for nine months was jailed for life Wednesday, closing a chapter on one of most notorious cases in recent US criminal history. Elizabeth Smart, who was 14 when she was taken from the bedroom of her…

Labor Department prohibits discrimination based on gender identity

The U.S. Department of Labor is taking steps to become a “model workplace” for gay, lesbian and transgender employees. In a statement Thursday, the department said it would begin prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and pregnancy. The new policies protect employees and applicants “regardless of race, color, religion, sex…

Charlie Sheen seeks $100 million for TV sacking

LOS ANGELES – Charlie Sheen filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking $100 million from Warner Brothers and the producers of “Two and a Half Men” for sacking him from the hit TV show. Lawyers for the troubled star claim Sheen’s contract was breached by his dismissal this week in the wake…

Punishment phase for Rangel set for Thursday

Hearing on punishment for Rep. Charles Rangel set for Thursday unless he waives proceeding It took House investigators 2 1/2 years and a jury of congressional peers two days to conclude Rep. Charles Rangel of New York violated House rules. A decision on his punishment will be much quicker. Possible…

Fired NPR analyst Juan Williams was disciplined for making ‘inappropriate’ sexual comments to female staffers

Sexually-themed comments about female Washington Post staff apparently went on for years Juan Williams, the NPR contributor who was fired Thursday after making anti-Muslim comments on Fox News, apologized for “wrong” and “inappropriate” comments about women staffers after a 1991 investigation by The Washington Post, Raw Story has found. The…

House investigation hits Rangel with 13 ethics violations

House investigators accused veteran New York Rep. Charles Rangel of 13 violations of congressional ethics standards on Thursday, throwing a cloud over his four-decade political career and raising worries for fellow Democrats about the fall elections. The allegations — which include failure to report rental income from vacation property in…

‘No racial profiling’ in Henry Gates arrest, watchdog group says

An investigation into last summer’s arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates has found “no evidence” of racial profiling in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police department. But the study suggests that police forces may be using “disorderly conduct” charges as a way of muzzling free speech. Gates, who is black, was…

Pittsburgh’s Big Ben faces ban: report

UPDATE: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has confirmed reports that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be suspended for four to six games for violating the NFL’s code of conduct. The Associated Press reports: Goodell made the announcement a week after prosecutors decided not to charge Roethlisberger after a 20-year-old college…

Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to ‘eradicate’ their beliefs

A Christian group in Michigan has filed a lawsuit alleging that a package of hate crimes laws named after murder victim Matthew Shepard is an affront to their religious freedom. Far from the intended purpose of severely punishing criminals who commit unspeakable acts against a persecuted minority group, the religious…

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