By Edith Honan NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two people at the heart of a traffic scandal dogging New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joked weeks earlier about causing traffic problems in front of the home of a rabbi, documents released on Thursday show. Christie's former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly and David Wildstein, an ally to the governor at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, lost their jobs over their involvement in the "Bridgegate" scandal last September that is threatening Christie's White House aspirations. Documents released by Wildstein to a state legislative committee probing the incident, in which lanes were shut near the busy George Washington Bridge, causing a huge traffic jam, reveal that on August 19 he and Kelly discussed another traffic scheme. "Flights to Tel Aviv all mysteriously delayed," Wildstein wrote in reply.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The founder of a Bible-themed museum who recently debated evolution with TV's "Science Guy" Bill Nye said Thursday that the widely watched event helped to boost enthusiasm among followers who invested in a project to build a 510-foot Noah's Ark.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal grand juries have indicted six current and former San Francisco police officers, charging three with stealing money, drugs, electronics and gift cards seized during investigations, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
LORETTO, Ky. (AP) — The producers of Maker's Mark bourbon announced a distillery expansion Thursday to pump up production and keep pace with growing demand for the Kentucky whiskey, known by its distinctive bottles sealed in red wax.
By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Thursday launched a very personal appeal to help improve opportunities for boys from minority groups who, he said, resembled him as a youth and faced statistical challenges that their white peers did not. Noting that he grew up without a father and made poor choices including drug use, Obama said that helping black and Hispanic boys succeed was a moral and an economic imperative for the United States. This is as important as any issue that I work on," Obama said at a White House ceremony with 20 young men "of color" standing on risers behind him. The program, which will involve increasing mentorship opportunities and efforts aimed at reducing violence among minority boys, is an example of an issue that Obama is pushing on his own while conflicts with Congress prevent him from advancing more ambitious legislative priorities.
A U.S. judge ordered Kentucky on Thursday to recognize the legal same-sex marriages of residents who wed elsewhere, the latest in a string of court victories for gay rights advocates. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II said the Kentucky laws that deny the marriages of same-sex couples "violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and they are void and unenforceable." The decision makes official a ruling he made on February 12 to strike down the laws. Seventeen U.S. states and the District of Columbia recognize gay marriage, and the trend has gained pace since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that legally married same-sex couples nationwide are eligible for federal benefits. "After many years of representing gay and lesbian clients, it (the ruling) moves Kentucky in the direction of many other states.