San Antonio, Texas
Gay rights measure passes in San Antonio
City leaders on Thursday approved anti-bias protections for gay and transgender residents, despite the disapproval of top Texas Republicans and religious conservatives who packed a City Council hearing. The 8-3 council vote was a victory for gay rights advocates and Democratic Mayor Julian Castro, who has called the ordinance overdue in the nation's seventh-largest city. San Antonio joins nearly 180 other U.S. cities that have nondiscrimination ordinances that prohibit bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Lawsuit filed in Navy sex case
Attorneys for a midshipman at the center of a sexual assault case against three ex-Navy football players asked in a federal lawsuit Thursday that the Naval Academy's superintendent not be involved in deciding whether the men will be court-martialed. The lawsuit seeks a court order directing Vice Adm. Michael Miller to recuse himself, said attorney Susan Burke. As head of the school, Miller is likely to be biased and he did nothing to prevent lengthy and abusive testimony in a military court hearing on the accusations, the suit says.
La Push, Wash.
Park Service looks to redefine itself
The National Park Service is scrambling to rethink and redefine itself to the growing number of Americans who do not use the parks in the way that previous — mostly white — generations did. Only about one in five visitors to a national park site is nonwhite, according to a report commissioned by the Park Service, and only about one in 10 is Hispanic. One way the service has been fighting to break through is with a program called American Latino Expeditions.
Student use of e-cigarettes soars
The share of middle and high school students who use e-cigarettes doubled in 2012 from the previous year, federal data show. The rise is prompting concerns among health officials that the new devices could be creating as many health problems as they are solving. One in 10 high school students said they had tried an e-cigarette last year, according to a national survey, up from one in 20 in 2011. In total, 1.8 million middle and high school students said they had tried e-cigarettes in 2012.
Man killed by model helicopter
A young man operating a remote-control helicopter in a park Thursday was struck in the head by it and killed. Roman Pirozek Jr., 19, was pronounced dead at a Brooklyn park, and police said initial reports suggested he was killed by the helicopter's blade.
Garden Grove, Calif.
Schuller being treated for cancer
The Rev. Robert H. Schuller, Crystal Cathedral founder and former televangelist, has been diagnosed with cancer, according to a family statement posted online. Carol Schuller Milner told the Associated Press that Schuller, 86, has a fist-sized tumor in his esophagus that has spread to his lymph nodes. Schuller's oncologists said the tumor was either at or near stage 4 — the most serious cancer classification — but it has yet to reach his vital organs and he has been strong enough for treatment.