'Fetal pain' abortion bill is approved
The Kansas state Senate approved a bill Wednesday to place strict limits on abortions after 22 weeks, based on research that fetuses can feel pain at that point of development. The fetal pain provision in House Bill 2218 is based on its proponents' belief that fetuses can experience pain prior to the third trimester of pregnancy, which has traditionally been a cutoff point for abortions except in extreme circumstances. The measure passed the House last month. It is expected that Gov. Sam Brownback will sign it into law.
Thousands protest immigration bills
Thousands of people gathered at the Georgia Capitol on Thursday, waving signs and chanting to protest legislation that targets illegal immigrants. Speakers urged Republican Gov. Nathan Deal to veto the legislation if it reaches his desk. State Reps. Matt Ramsey and Sen. Jack Murphy, both Republicans, have sponsored legislation that would require many employers to use a federal database to check the immigration status of new hires. Legislation also would authorize law-enforcement officers to check the immigration status of suspects who can't produce an accepted form of identification.
High court told to rule on union law
A Wisconsin appeals court said Thursday that the state Supreme Court should decide whether a law that takes away nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers should be allowed to take effect. The 4th District Court of Appeals said it is appropriate for the state's highest court to take the case because it presents significant issues that are likely to end up before the Supreme Court. A county judge issued an order last week preventing Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law, saying Republicans violated the state open meetings law when passing it.
FAA suspends dozing controller
Authorities have suspended a control tower supervisor who was working alone early Wednesday and couldn't be roused to guide two airliners landing at Washington's Reagan National Airport. Pilots on a United Airlines Airbus A320 jet arriving from Chicago and an American Airlines Boeing 737-800 inbound from Miami tried repeatedly to establish contact with the tower from 12:04 to 12:28 a.m., the National Transportation Safety Board said in a report Thursday. The airliners eventually were guided to safe landings at the airport by controllers 40 miles away in suburban Virginia.
Racine, Wis.: Samuel Curtis Johnson III, a billionaire executive whose family has run SC Johnson for five generations, was charged Thursday with having sexual contact with a now 15-year-old girl over the course of several years. Johnson, 55, is the former chairman of Diversey Inc., a cleaning-products company that was spun off from SC Johnson in the late 1990s. SC Johnson makes household products including Pledge, Glade, Windex and Ziploc.
Haiti: Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier was admitted to Canape Vert hospital in Port-au-Prince after having chest pains, his longtime companion, Veronique Roy, and associates said Thursday without giving details about his condition.