Calif. ban on gay-to-straight therapy upheld
California can enforce a new law that prohibits mental health professionals from trying to change a minor's sexual orientation, a federal appeals court panel ruled Thursday. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded unanimously that the law does not violate the free speech rights of patients or professionals or the fundamental rights of parents. The state may prohibit treatment it deems harmful, the court said. The ban on so-called conversion therapy was supposed to have taken effect in January, but legal challenges blocked it. California was the first state in the country to pass such a ban, and New Jersey has since followed.
Outrage roils over judge's comments
The mother of a 14-year-old girl who was raped by her teacher and later committed suicide appeared at a raucous Thursday protest against the judge who sentenced the man to a month in jail and said the victim was "older than her chronological age." She rejected Judge G. Todd Baugh's apology and criticized him for standing by the light sentence. Prosecutors are considering an appeal. The judge's actions have drawn condemnation from across the country. Montana's governor said Baugh's comments "made me angry."
Seoul, South Korea
N. Korea's Kim has 11 executed
A North Korean firing squad executed a former girlfriend of leader Kim Jong Un and 11 other entertainers for allegedly violating laws banning pornography, a South Korean newspaper reported Thursday. Chosun Ilbo, an English-language newspaper of a Seoul media conglomerate, deemed the reported Aug. 20 executions a death blow to expectations that Kim would oversee a transition of his isolated and tyrannized people into a more open era. The dozen performers were shot to death while their families and former band members were forced to watch.
Egypt: The Muslim Brotherhood ramped up its calls for nationwide protests today against Egypt's military-backed government.
Congo: Fighting from the war in eastern Congo spilled over into Rwanda when 10 shells landed in a Rwandan border town and a nearby village Thursday, killing at least one person, authorities said.
Washington: The Obama administration said Thursday it has released two prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to Algeria, the first transfers from the prison in almost a year.