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Cali_Democrat

Obama Administration Issues Executive Order to Protect Transgender Rights in Public Employment

(Mediaite) President Barack Obama issued an executive order Thursday to prohibit transgender discrimination in public employment, another unilateral move by the administration in the wake of the 2014 midterms.

According to the new order, the Justice Department will now interpret the Civil Rights Act as covering transgender employees in workplace discrimination disputes, allowing the DOJ to bring suits against public employers for firing employees on the basis of gender identity.

KamaAina

Indiana church that booted gay choir director to close due to falling attendance

(LGBTQ Nation) A Methodist church in Indiana that suffered a massive walk-out after forcing its gay choir director to resign, will close its doors for good at the end of 2014.

David Mantor, pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Ind., says the decision to close the church resulted from falling attendance, membership and financing problems, reports The Herald Bulletin.

babylonsister

Marco Rubio’s fury over the Cuba shift shows why Obama made the right move

(WaPo) Rubio’s emotional — and at times inaccurate — response to the policy change shows why Obama’s move to normalize ties to Cuba after more than half a century is both good policy and good politics. It’s good policy because it jettisons a vestigial policy that has stopped serving a useful purpose, and because it is a gutsy move by Obama that demonstrates strong leadership and will help revive him from lame-duck status. It’s good politics because it will reveal that the Cuban American old guard, whose position Rubio represents, no longer speaks for most Cuban Americans.

inanna

Jimmy Carter Calls US-Cuba Diplomacy 'Courageous'

(AP) Former President Jimmy Carter says he is "proud and grateful" for the president's efforts to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba. Carter calls the shift in policy "courageous."

Carter rejects accusations that President Barack Obama is appeasing Cuba's communist leaders.

He said Thursday on MSNBC that the best way to bring democracy to Cubans is to let Americans "go there and trade and invest." Carter says that will show Cubans that Americans are "not the enemy."

mfcorey1

Not much chance of Congress stopping Cuba policy

(AP) Opponents of President Barack Obama's sudden move to re-establish ties with Cuba have little chance of scuttling his effort in Congress.

His initiative faces some strong resistance among lawmakers and opened fissures in both parties. Criticism came mostly from Republicans, who say the new policy rewards Cuba's decades-long policies of repression, human rights abuses and aggression, but some prominent Democrats voiced opposition, too.

Katashi_itto

Texas GOP congressman who owns ‘blow-me.org’ website accused of sexual harassment

(Raw Story) According to Mediaite, Rep. Blake Farenthold was accused of harassing a female staffer in a lawsuit filed last Friday. On Monday, it emerged that Farenthold is the owner of the URL “www.blow-me.org,” a currently inactive web address.

Freshman congressman and Tea Party favorite Farenthold was accused of sexual misconduct and of creating a hostile work environment in a lawsuit filed by former staffer Lauren Greene.

babylonsister

Obama's Had a Helluva Good Month Since the Midterms

(Mother Jones) So how have things been going for our bored, exhausted, and disengaged president? He's been acting pretty enthusiastic, energized, and absorbed with his job, I'd say. Let us count the things he's done since the November 4th midterm elections...

babylonsister

Obama Applauds LeBron James For Wearing 'I Can't Breathe' T-Shirt

(HuffPo) The president singled out the Cleveland Cavalier for wearing Garner's final words, "I can't breathe," on a t-shirt during warm-ups before playing the Brooklyn Nets on Dec. 9.

"I think LeBron did the right thing," Obama told People. "We forget the role that Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, and Bill Russell played in raising consciousness. I'd like to see more athletes do that -- not just around the issue, but around a range of issues."

ellenrr

New York Public Defenders Walk Out Of Court Protesting Eric Garner’s Death

(Buzzfeed) Over 100 Legal Aid Lawyers in NYC staged a walkout and die-in outside Brooklyn Criminal Court to protest what they say is a broken criminal justice system.

The protest, organized by the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (ALAA), saw hundreds of lawyers walk out of court as part of the #ThisStopsToday 11 days of action movement for Garner.

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CIA unlikely to punish staff over Senate computer search: NYT

41 min ago - (Reuters) - A panel investigating the CIA's search of a computer network used by U.S. Senate staff will not recommend disciplining the agency officials involved in the incident, according to the New York Times. The review panel is looking into the s ... (Reuters)

U.S. sends four Guantanamo prisoners home to Afghanistan

1 hr ago - (Reuters) - Four Afghans held for over a decade at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been sent home to Afghanistan, the Pentagon said on Saturday, the latest step in a slow-moving push by the Obama administration to close the fac ... (REUTERS)

Sheriff’s Deputy Arrested For Alleged Battery Of Patient At San Francisco General Hospital

2 hrs ago - SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco Sheriff’s Department deputy has been charged with the alleged battery of a patient at San Francisco General Hospital, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office announced Friday evening. Deputy Michael Lewelling, 33 ... (CBS SF)

Sources: Umpires, MLB agree to 5-year labor deal

2 hrs ago - NEW YORK — Several people familiar with the deal say Major League Baseball and its umpires have reached agreement on a five-year labor contract. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because both sides still ... (Fox Sports-AP)

New video shows Janay Rice nuzzling Ray Rice shortly after elevator fight

2 hrs ago - By Faith Karimi, CNN updated 7:30 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014 (CNN) -- A newly released video shows the now-wife of NFL player Ray Rice lovingly nuzzling him shortly after he knocked her out cold at a casino in New Jersey. The video obtained by A ... (CNN)

Ebola death toll in three African countries hits 7,373: WHO

2 hrs ago - GENEVA (Reuters) - The death toll from Ebola in the three worst-affected countries in West Africa has risen to 7,373 among 19,031 cases known to date there, the World Health Organization said on Saturday. The latest data, posted overnight on the WHO ... (Reuters)

Dozens Arrested at Milwaukee Protest Over Death of Dontre Hamilton

2 hrs ago - News /U.S. news 6 hours Dozens Arrested at Milwaukee Protest Over Death of Dontre Hamilton Dozens of protesters were arrested Friday after causing a three-mile traffic jam by blocking a Wisconsin freeway over the fatal shooting of a black man by ... (nbcnews.com)

US drone attack kills at least five Taliban fighters in Pakistan – report

3 hrs ago - A US drone fired two missiles at a militant hideout in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least five Taliban fighters, two security officials said. In a separate operation, the military said Pakistani security forces killed five “terroris ... (Associated Press)

Xi Jinping defends 'one-China' principle during Macau visit

3 hrs ago - 20 December 2014 Last updated at 04:18 ET Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting Macau to mark the 15th anniversary of the former Portuguese colony's return to China. He urged people in the territory to respect the "one-China" principle. Like ... (BBC News)

Russia dismisses new US sanctions as useless

4 hrs ago - By NATALIYA VASILYEVA MOSCOW (AP) — Russia on Saturday dismissed new U.S. sanctions as useless and said it was poised to wait as long as it takes for the U.S. to recognize its historic right to the Crimean peninsula. Following several rounds of san ... (AP-Excite)

Weekly Address: America’s Resurgence is Real

4 hrs ago - In this week’s address, the President reflected on the significant progress made by this country in 2014, and in the nearly six years since he took office. This past year has been the strongest for job growth since the 1990s, contributing to the nea ... (White House)

North Korea promises 'grave consequences' if US refuses joint investigation into Sony hacking

5 hrs ago - North Korea has proposed a joint investigation with the United States on the cyber attack against Sony Pictures and said the FBI’s suggestion that it was behind the attack was ‘slander’. North Korea state media released a statement this morning and ... (Irish Independent)

FairPoint workers rally outside State House

12 hrs ago - By Mike Cronin CONCORD, N.H. —Striking FairPoint workers protested in Concord on Friday as the company struggles to reach an agreement over contract negotiations. Union officials said they have made three contract offers since FairPoint's last prop ... (WMUR)

Some gray wolves to be returned to endangered list

12 hrs ago - TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge on Friday threw out an Obama administration decision to remove gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list — a decision that will ban further wolf hunting and trapping in ... (Associated Press)

Protesters in contempt of court for anti-whaling campaign

13 hrs ago - By PAUL ELIAS SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers were found in contempt of court Friday for continuing their relentless campaign to disrupt the annual whale hunt off the waters of Antarc ... (AP-Excite)

Obama threatens to veto any measures to weaken consumer protections

14 hrs ago - Dec 19 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday threatened to veto any efforts by a Republican-controlled Congress to weaken measures aimed at protecting consumers from abuses in the financial system. "If they try to water down consumer protecti ... (Reuters)

WHO says 1 million people have been wounded in Syria's civil war

15 hrs ago - December 19, 2014 13:32 One million people have been wounded during Syria's civil war and diseases are spreading as regular supplies of medicine fail to reach patients, the World Health Organization's Syria representative said. A plunge in vaccinat ... (GlobalPost)

WikiLeaks Reveals CIA Admitted Drone Strikes Counterproductive

15 hrs ago - WikiLeaks Reveals CIA Admitted Drone Strikes Counterproductive By TeleSUR 19 December 14 Controversial U.S. drone strikes may be helping rather than hindering the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to a leaked CIA document released by Wikileaks Thu ... (Reader Supported News)

Caramel apple outbreak causes illness, one death in California

16 hrs ago - A multi-state listeria outbreak has infected 28 people as of Dec. 18, four of whom died from the illness, according to a Friday release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There was one reported case of listeria in California, and t ... (Sacramento Bee)

Pentagon anti-bomb force 'improperly retained' information on Americans

16 hrs ago - The Pentagon’s taskforce charged with stopping insurgent bombs has for years inappropriately acted as an intelligence agency, according to a declassified internal report obtained by the Guardian. The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organiza ... (The Guardian)

Sued by Google, a State Attorney General Retreats

16 hrs ago - Attorney General Jim Hood of Mississippi on Friday agreed to call a “time out” in his fight with Google after the Internet giant filed a lawsuit accusing him of conspiring with the movie industry. The move by Mr. Hood, who has been one Google’s most ... (New York Times)

A day after Nativity scene erected, atheist sign posted in State Capitol (NE)

16 hrs ago - By Paul Hammel LINCOLN — In the “that-didn’t-take-long” category, an atheist sign was posted Friday at the first-floor Rotunda of the Nebraska State Capitol, one day after a first-ever Nativity scene was erected there. “Religion is but myth and su ... (Omaha World Herald)

Supreme Court denies stay in Florida gay marriage case; couples can marry after Jan. 5

17 hrs ago - MIAMI — Same-sex weddings may soon begin in Florida after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block them. The court said Friday it wouldn't block the marriages. A federal judge previously declared Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and sai ... (Tampa Bay Times)

Cubans look to future with optimism in wake of historic breakthrough

17 hrs ago - One of Hermania’s Arufat’s fondest memories of her childhood in pre-revolutionary Cuba is of waiting at the ferry port for her mother to arrive back from the United States, bearing – as she always did – a handful of gifts. More than half a century o ... (The Guardian)

Staples says breach affects 1.2M cards

17 hrs ago - Kaja Whitehouse, Staples on Friday said cyber criminals may have compromised 1.2 million customer cards. On Friday, Staples gave an update to a data breach announced in October, saying criminals deployed malware to point-of-sale systems at 115 of i ... (USA Today)

Cops: Woman killed boy, falsely reported abduction (update to yesterdays Amber Alert)

17 hrs ago - BERNE, N.Y. (AP) — A 19-year-old woman strangled a 5-year-old cousin who had been in her parents' care, then discarded his body along a road before calling in a false report that two masked intruders took the boy from their Albany-area home, authorit ... (Omaha World Herald-AP)

Apple on defence after BBC exposé of working conditions in its factories

17 hrs ago - Apple is in the spotlight again over working conditions for the people who make its products, following a BBC investigation that alleges poor treatment of workers in Chinese factories. Undercover filming by the BBC investigative program Panorama sho ... (CBC)

Russell Brand And New Era Estate Score Amazing London Housing Victory

19 hrs ago - Hundreds of residents facing eviction from their London estate have scored a massive victory after investors sold the development to an affordable housing charity. The New Era estate group - backed by Russell Brand - were facing being made homeless ... (Huffington Post)

European leaders warn against too much economic pain on Russia

19 hrs ago - The European Union's unanimous resolve to punish Russia for its aggression in Ukraine appeared to be cracking as French, German, Austrian and Italian leaders voiced concern at an alliance summit of inflicting too much pain on Moscow as its economy tu ... (LAT)

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