By Joan Biskupic DENVER (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court signaled on Thursday it may strike down a Utah ban on same-sex marriages in the highest-level case to date to test whether gay and lesbian couples have a right under the U.S. Constitution to marry. The hearing before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was the first at a regional U.S. appeals court since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last June forced the federal government to extend benefits to same-sex couples married in states that allow gay marriage. To date eight U.S. district court judges have interpreted last June's ruling to favor same-sex marriage. It is likely that Thursday's case or related ones soon to be heard at the appeals court level could reach the ideologically divided Supreme Court by the end of the year.
NEW YORK (AP) — The once high-flying hedge fund SAC Capital was sentenced on criminal fraud charges Thursday under a $1.8 billion deal that prosecutors say included the largest criminal fine ever imposed in an insider trading case.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry says the findings of a federal civil investigation into the city's embattled police department are difficult, but his administration is ready to make changes.
(Reuters) - Indiana must recognize immediately a terminally ill gay woman's marriage to her partner in Massachusetts, a federal judge ruled on Thursday. U.S. District Judge Richard Young entered a temporary restraining order that requires the state to recognize the August 2013 marriage of Amy Sandler and her ailing spouse, Nikole Quasney, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009. Quasney and Sandler, both 37, joined a pending challenge by several same-sex couples to Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage and ban on recognizing legal marriages of gay couples performed in other jurisdictions. They asked Young in late March to enter an emergency order to force Indiana to recognize their marriage and, should Quasney die, require officials to issue a death certificate that lists Sandler as surviving spouse.
By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - Prosecutors in Detroit on Thursday charged a 16-year-old with a hate crime in the severe beating of a motorist who stopped to help a 10-year-old boy he struck accidentally. The 16-year-old was charged as a juvenile with assault with intent to do great bodily harm and ethnic intimidation in connection with the beating of Steven Utash, on April 2, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. Charges of assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to do great bodily were also announced on Thursday against Latrez Cummings, 19, the fourth adult arrested in the case, Worthy said. Bruce Wimbush Jr., 17, Wonzey Safford, 30, and James Davis, 24, face the same adult charges as Cummings in the incident that has drawn national attention.
By Colleen Jenkins WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) - Five people face kidnapping charges in the abduction of a North Carolina prosecutor's father, who was rescued in Atlanta four days after disappearing from his home, U.S. law enforcement officials said on Thursday. Frank Arthur Janssen, 63, was reported missing on Saturday. His daughter, who was not identified by name in court records, is an assistant district attorney at the Wake County District Attorney's office, they said. Two days after Janssen was reported missing, his wife began receiving threatening text messages with demands on behalf of an inmate who had been prosecuted by Janssen's daughter, according to a criminal affidavit by a Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent.
A Republican U.S. congressman from Louisiana who was caught on video kissing a married staffer should resign and is an embarrassment to his state, party and Congress, the state's party chairman said on Thursday. Party chairman Roger Villere urged Representative Vance McAllister to resign in a written statement at about the same time that U.S. House Speaker John Boehner told reporters that McAllister has "got decisions that he has to make." "I expect all members to be held to the highest ethical standards," Boehner said. Boehner said he had spoken privately with McAllister, who is married and took office last November in a special election that saw him promote his Christian values. "Mr. McAllister's extreme hypocrisy is an example of why ordinary people are fed up with politics," Villere said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee asked the U.S. Agency for International Development on Thursday to turn over all records about the Obama administration's secret Cuban twitter program as part of a broader review of the agency's civil-society efforts worldwide.
DENVER (AP) — Judges on a federal appeals court panel appeared sharply divided Thursday in their questions to attorneys at a hearing over whether to uphold a lower court's ruling that struck down Utah's gay marriage ban.
DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit teenager was charged Thursday with assault and a hate crime in the brutal mob beating of a suburban motorist who stopped to help a boy he accidentally struck with his pickup truck.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Federal prosecutors are objecting to a request by a Venezuelan financier to be released from prison while he awaits sentencing in July in a Connecticut-based fraud scheme, saying he's a flight risk.
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that the state must recognize a gay couple's out-of-state marriage before one of the women, who has cancer, dies.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The timeless Disney tune "It's a Small World" that wafts through our memories from past theme park vacations turns 50 this year, and on Thursday, Disney parks worldwide hosted a global sing-along.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The Air Force has launched a new spy satellite.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Eric and Charlotte Kaufman had already struggled for days, pounded by waves, aboard their disabled sailboat by the time skydiving National Guardsmen answered their distress call from hundreds of miles off the Mexican coast, and their vomiting, feverish, 1-year-old daughter could not have withstood much more.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is asking the U.S. Agency for International Development to turn over all records about a Twitter-like program it secretly built in Cuba.
The FBI added a man known as the "Family Annihilator" to its top 10 most wanted list on Thursday, nearly four decades after the brutal murders of his wife, mother and three sons in Maryland. The former U.S. Department of State employee, William Bradford Bishop Jr., has been on the run since 1976 and could be hiding in plain sight, the FBI said. "When Bishop took off in 1976, there was no social media, no 24-hour news cycle," Steve Vogt, special agent in charge of the FBI's Baltimore Division, said in a statement. He was last seen at a Jacksonville, North Carolina, sporting goods store, where he bought a pair of sneakers, the FBI said.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday said institutional reform centered on more training and tools for officers is needed to curb the "patterns of excessive force" that were turned up by a civil investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Ebay and billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn have settled their proxy fight ahead of the company's annual meeting.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A diplomat suspected of killing his wife, mother and three sons in 1976 was added to the FBI's list of "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" on Thursday, bringing new attention to a case that has long frustrated authorities.