MOBILE, Ala. (Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday ordered an Alabama official to comply with her earlier ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex matrimony by beginning to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade's order sought to clarify that Mobile County Probate Court Judge Don Davis should follow her directive, and not a contravening order from Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore that has led to many state judges to refrain from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. (Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Sandra Maler)
By Richard Weizel MILFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - A Connecticut panel charged with finding ways to reduce school violence after the 2012 Sandy Hook School massacre issued a final draft of recommendations on Thursday that includes calls for tougher gun control, improved school design and better mental health care for troubled students. The report will end a more than two-year process that began after former student Adam Lanza, 20, killed 26 children and educators at the elementary school in one of the most horrific school shootings in U.S. history. The 16-member Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, appointed by Governor Dannel Malloy after the Dec 14, 2012, massacre, is expected to approve the draft on Friday and send it to the governor for his signature. The report follows interviews by the commission with dozens of legal, education and mental health experts, Newtown officials and school administrators, as well as families of victims.
By Richard Weizel MILFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - A Venezuelan national who made dozens of threatening phone calls to residents of Newtown, Connecticut, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook School massacre there was sentenced on Thursday to a year in prison, followed by deportation. Wilfrido Cardenas Hoffman, 31, had pleaded guilty in December to making more than 90 calls to residents in which he claimed to be Adam Lanza, the man who killed 20 children and 6 staff at the school in 2012 in one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history. Deirdre Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, said the calls "compounded the collective suffering of all of the citizens of Newtown and needlessly stressed law enforcement resources at a critical time." Cardenas Hoffman's lawyer argued he had suffered mental health issues before the calls. U.S. District Judge Michael Shea on Thursday credited Cardenas Hoffman with time served since his arrest at an airport in Miami in June, but said he will have to serve at least three more months of imprisonment.
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana homeowner was sentenced Thursday to 70 years in prison, with no parole for at least 20 years, in the shotgun killing of a German exchange student who was trespassing in his garage.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — The fathers of the three Muslim students shot in their Chapel Hill, North Carolina apartment spoke with The Associated Press before their funeral on Thursday, calling on Americans to understand that they died in a hate crime.
By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The 29 ports on the U.S. West Coast were effectively closed to cargo freighters for the second time in less than a week on Thursday under a partial shutdown imposed by shipping lines and terminal operators in an escalating labor dispute with the dockworkers' union. The loading and unloading of cargo vessels was halted for 24 hours as of Thursday morning, and the companies said those operations will be suspended - as they were last weekend - again this coming Saturday, Sunday and Monday, unless a contract settlement with the union is reached.