In the intensifying debate over religious liberty, President Barack Obama faces pressure from opposite flanks as he prepares to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender people in hiring.
Cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and Spider-man have been adored by generations of children, but their costumed counterparts who roam New York City's Times Square are more a public nuisance, New York City lawmakers said on Wednesday. Indeed, tighter restrictions are likely ahead for the people who don the oversized costumes and pose for pictures with tourists for a fee, City Council members said at a meeting of the Times Square Alliance. The unlicensed workers, who are under scrutiny in the wake of unsavory incidents with tourists, can be very aggressive, said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. City lawmakers have said that dressing up in a costume in Times Square could be protected under the constitutional right to freedom of speech.
By Kathy Finn NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced on Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison for corruption during the critical years of rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005. Nagin, 58, stirred national controversy with his erratic behavior after Katrina breached floodwalls and inundated New Orleans in 2005, killing at least 1,500 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless. Citing Nagin's devotion to family and commitment to helping New Orleans, U.S. District Judge Helen Ginger Berrigan said a shorter prison term than that recommended under federal sentencing guidelines was warranted. Berrigan also ordered Nagin, who prosecutors say accepted bribes valued at over $500,000, to pay about $84,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
By Daniel Wallis DENVER (Reuters) - A Colorado judge on Wednesday delayed the planned trial in October of accused movie theater gunman James Holmes to allow more time to conduct a second sanity review. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Holmes, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to killing 12 people and wounding 70 others in 2012. "The Court has little choice but to grant the examiner's request," Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos Samour said in an order.