By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left intact New Jersey's ban on counseling intended to change the sexual orientation of gay children. The court declined to hear a challenge to the law, meaning that a September ruling by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the ban is the final word on the matter. The appeals court said the ban, which Republican Governor Chris Christie signed into law in August 2013, did not violate the free speech or religious rights of counselors offering "gay conversion therapy" to convert homosexual minors into heterosexuals. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder, but various conservative and religious groups have since argued that sexual orientation can be changed.
NEW YORK (AP) — Just before its $45 billion deal with Time Warner Cable collapsed over regulators' fears about a giant cable company's control over the Web, Comcast was racking up more Internet customers.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Saudi Arabia and Paris this week to discuss Middle Eastern issues, a spokeswoman said on Monday. Kerry will be in Riyadh on Wednesday and Thursday to meet with senior Saudi leaders to discuss regional security issues, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition conducting air strikes on Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. After Riyadh, Kerry will go to Paris to meet with foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council nations to discuss security and other regional issues.
By Scott Malone and Ian Simpson BALTIMORE (Reuters) - The mayor of Baltimore on Sunday lifted a night curfew imposed on the city last week to stem a spate of looting and arson that followed the funeral of a young black man who died from injuries suffered while in police custody. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she believed sufficient calm had returned to allow her to end the 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew, which took effect last Tuesday after protests over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray turned violent on Monday. "I believe we have reached that point today." The mayor said the Maryland National Guard would begin withdrawing from the streets over the next week. The surprise announcement on Friday by the city's chief prosecutor that she was bringing criminal charges against the six police officers involved in Gray's arrest has helped to defuse outrage over his death.
Life is starting to return to normal in Baltimore after Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake lifted a city-wide curfew that was in effect for five nights. The curfew followed the riots and looting after the funeral last week of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after he was injured while in police custody. Early Monday, there were no reports of confrontations between protesters and police as there had been on previous nights.