By Wayne Hester BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Reuters) - More and more voices across the U.S. South called for banishing the banner of the pro-slavery Confederacy on Wednesday in a fast-growing movement that adds new emotion and tensions to a year of soul-searching over race in America. From Alabama to Mississippi, Louisiana to Tennessee and beyond the South, politicians distanced themselves from Confederate flags and monuments memorializing southern heroes of the 1861-65 War Between the States. Alabama's governor ordered the Confederate flag and three other flags of the Confederacy removed from the grounds of the state's Capitol in Montgomery, a historically significant city in America's civil rights movement where Martin Luther King Jr. led protests in the 1950s.
CHICAGO (AP) — A former Chicago Little League team announced a lawsuit Wednesday against the sport's governing body, accusing it of improperly stripping the young athletes of the national title that made them hometown heroes and nationally known and refusing to provide the information used to make the stunning decision.
The body of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the state senator and pastor gunned down with eight others at a historic black church in Charleston, was taken on Wednesday to the South Carolina capitol to lie in state inside the rotunda. Pinckney's casket arrived on a horse-drawn carriage, passing by the hotly disputed Confederate battle flag flying on the State House grounds in Columbia. Governor Nikki Haley and other politicians came onto the State House steps to pay their respects to the 41-year-old Democrat, who had been widely admired for the way he blended politics with his faith.
By Katie Reilly NEW YORK (Reuters) - More than 65,000 students in New York City's poorest-performing public schools will have their vision screened and, if needed, get a free pair of eyeglasses, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday. The new city partnership with Warby Parker, a New York-based company known for its online sales of fashion-conscious eyewear, aims to remove poor eyesight as a barrier to education, the Democratic mayor said in a news release. It expands vision screenings beyond the usual elementary school years to include middle and high school students in all 130 Community Schools, which are among the city's lowest-achieving schools, the mayor said.
By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - A Chicago-area Little League team stripped of its championship title last year over allegations of cheating has filed a legal action against the sport's governing body, questioning the fairness of the decision. The Jackie Robinson West team, whose victory last summer led to a celebration parade in Chicago, was stripped of the U.S. title in February for violating a rule that prohibits the use of players who live outside the team's boundaries. At a news conference on Wednesday, Victor Henderson, an attorney for Jackie Robinson West, told reporters the team wants to be sure the rules are applied equally to everyone.
HONOLULU (AP) — Scientists hoping to build a telescope that will allow them to see 13 billion light years away, offering a look into the early years of the universe, are facing opposition from Native Hawaiian groups who say the construction site is on sacred land.