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Cali_Democrat

Obama Administration Issues Executive Order to Protect Transgender Rights in Public Employment

(Mediaite) President Barack Obama issued an executive order Thursday to prohibit transgender discrimination in public employment, another unilateral move by the administration in the wake of the 2014 midterms.

According to the new order, the Justice Department will now interpret the Civil Rights Act as covering transgender employees in workplace discrimination disputes, allowing the DOJ to bring suits against public employers for firing employees on the basis of gender identity.

KamaAina

Indiana church that booted gay choir director to close due to falling attendance

(LGBTQ Nation) A Methodist church in Indiana that suffered a massive walk-out after forcing its gay choir director to resign, will close its doors for good at the end of 2014.

David Mantor, pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Ind., says the decision to close the church resulted from falling attendance, membership and financing problems, reports The Herald Bulletin.

babylonsister

Marco Rubio’s fury over the Cuba shift shows why Obama made the right move

(WaPo) Rubio’s emotional — and at times inaccurate — response to the policy change shows why Obama’s move to normalize ties to Cuba after more than half a century is both good policy and good politics. It’s good policy because it jettisons a vestigial policy that has stopped serving a useful purpose, and because it is a gutsy move by Obama that demonstrates strong leadership and will help revive him from lame-duck status. It’s good politics because it will reveal that the Cuban American old guard, whose position Rubio represents, no longer speaks for most Cuban Americans.

inanna

Jimmy Carter Calls US-Cuba Diplomacy 'Courageous'

(AP) Former President Jimmy Carter says he is "proud and grateful" for the president's efforts to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba. Carter calls the shift in policy "courageous."

Carter rejects accusations that President Barack Obama is appeasing Cuba's communist leaders.

He said Thursday on MSNBC that the best way to bring democracy to Cubans is to let Americans "go there and trade and invest." Carter says that will show Cubans that Americans are "not the enemy."

mfcorey1

Not much chance of Congress stopping Cuba policy

(AP) Opponents of President Barack Obama's sudden move to re-establish ties with Cuba have little chance of scuttling his effort in Congress.

His initiative faces some strong resistance among lawmakers and opened fissures in both parties. Criticism came mostly from Republicans, who say the new policy rewards Cuba's decades-long policies of repression, human rights abuses and aggression, but some prominent Democrats voiced opposition, too.

Katashi_itto

Texas GOP congressman who owns ‘blow-me.org’ website accused of sexual harassment

(Raw Story) According to Mediaite, Rep. Blake Farenthold was accused of harassing a female staffer in a lawsuit filed last Friday. On Monday, it emerged that Farenthold is the owner of the URL “www.blow-me.org,” a currently inactive web address.

Freshman congressman and Tea Party favorite Farenthold was accused of sexual misconduct and of creating a hostile work environment in a lawsuit filed by former staffer Lauren Greene.

babylonsister

Obama's Had a Helluva Good Month Since the Midterms

(Mother Jones) So how have things been going for our bored, exhausted, and disengaged president? He's been acting pretty enthusiastic, energized, and absorbed with his job, I'd say. Let us count the things he's done since the November 4th midterm elections...

babylonsister

Obama Applauds LeBron James For Wearing 'I Can't Breathe' T-Shirt

(HuffPo) The president singled out the Cleveland Cavalier for wearing Garner's final words, "I can't breathe," on a t-shirt during warm-ups before playing the Brooklyn Nets on Dec. 9.

"I think LeBron did the right thing," Obama told People. "We forget the role that Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, and Bill Russell played in raising consciousness. I'd like to see more athletes do that -- not just around the issue, but around a range of issues."

ellenrr

New York Public Defenders Walk Out Of Court Protesting Eric Garner’s Death

(Buzzfeed) Over 100 Legal Aid Lawyers in NYC staged a walkout and die-in outside Brooklyn Criminal Court to protest what they say is a broken criminal justice system.

The protest, organized by the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (ALAA), saw hundreds of lawyers walk out of court as part of the #ThisStopsToday 11 days of action movement for Garner.

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Former Houston mayor Bob Lanier has died

1 min ago - Bob Lanier, a 6-foot-4 cowboy boot-wearing, sports-crazy political sharpshooter who rose from modest beginnings in blue-collar Baytown to become one of Houston's biggest developers and most influential mayors, died Saturday. He was 89. In January 19 ... (Houston Chronicle)

President Obama: No justification for murder of NYC police

1 hr ago - President Barack Obama says he unconditionally condemns the murder of two police officers shot in broad daylight on Saturday in New York. Obama says there's no justification for the slayings. He says police offers risk their own safety to serve and ... (ABC News)

Kurds advance against IS group in Syria, Iraq

1 hr ago - By BASSEM MROUE BEIRUT (AP) — Kurdish fighters advanced on the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and Syria on Saturday, pushing into the contested, refugee-packed Sinjar mountains and gaining ground in the embattled Syrian border town of Kobani ... (AP-Excite)

White House 'pleased' Sony is looking for ways to distribute movie after cyberattack

2 hrs ago - The White House on Saturday said it was “pleased” that Sony is looking at ways to distribute the movie “The Interview,” after company executives cancelled cinema showings in the wake of a massive and damaging cyberattack. "We are pleased to hear tha ... (Faux News)

N.J. police union blames 'hatred aimed at officers' after 2 NYPD cops killed

2 hrs ago - By Brian Amaral The head of the state Policemen's Benevolent Association says the unchecked climate of "hatred" against police officers contributed to the shooting deaths of two New York cops Saturday. "The attack on these officers is nothing less ... (NJ.com)

Protesters: 'It's not the time' for more Cuba ties

3 hrs ago - By CHRISTINE ARMARIO and RACHEL LA CORTE MIAMI (AP) — Cuban opposition leaders from the island joined Cuban American politicians and activists on Saturday, pledging to oppose President Barack Obama's plan to normalize relations with the communist na ... (AP-Excite)

Prosecutor: No charges in church disturbance death

4 hrs ago - Prosecutor: No charges in church disturbance death | December 20, 2014 | Updated: December 20, 2014 3:26pm INDIAN LAKE, N.Y. (AP) — Churchgoers won't face any charges in the death of an armed man they restrained after he caused a violent disturba ... (Associated Press)

U.N.'s Ban Ki-moon hails Obama for 'courageous' Cuba move

5 hrs ago - U.N.'s Ban Ki-moon hails Obama for 'courageous' Cuba move By Tribune wire reports December 20, 2014, 7:19 PM U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday for what he called courage and vision in renewing ties ... (Reuters)

Republicans to Back 'The Interview' if it Gets to Theaters

5 hrs ago - Republicans to Back 'The Interview' if it Gets to Theaters World | Associated Press | Updated: December 21, 2014 06:05 IST Washington: The Republican Party is calling on supporters to buy a ticket to the "The Interview" if theater owners reverse t ... (Associated Press)

Obama approves U.S. World War One memorial in Washington

5 hrs ago - (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has approved the creation of a national memorial to commemorate World War One in which more than 116,000 Americans died, the memorial's commission said on Saturday. The site will complete the quartet of national me ... (Reuters)

Sharpton 'outraged' at fatal NYPD police shootings

5 hrs ago - The Rev. Al Sharpton said Saturday he is "outraged" at the shooting deaths of two New York City police officers. ... (USA Today)

Ferguson prosecutor says he knew some witnesses were ‘clearly not telling the truth.’ They testified

5 hrs ago - Ferguson prosecutor says he knew some witnesses were ‘clearly not telling the truth.’ They testified anyway. By Peter Holley December 20 at 7:00 PM St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Bob McColluch knowingly placed witnesses who were not telling t ... (Washington Post)

Hacker posts nuclear plant blueprints

5 hrs ago - The design blueprints of nuclear reactors and other parts of the nation’s two largest nuclear power plant complexes were leaked, raising alarm about lax protection of sensitive information that could be used by terrorists. Blueprints of Korea’s nucl ... (Korea Joon Gang Daily)

New Mexico dairy shuts down after undercover activist videotape

6 hrs ago - New Mexico dairy shuts down after undercover activist videotape Animal activist videotapes dairy cows being whipped with chains and wire. Dairy shuts down as a result December 20, 2014, 3:50 PM Strapped with a surveillance camera, the animal righ ... (Los Angeles)

Protesters shut down part of Mall of America in Minnesota

6 hrs ago - Hundreds of protesters against police violence shut down part of the Mall of America in Minnesota on Saturday, during the final weekend before Christmas as shoppers scrambled to buy gifts at one of the nation's largest shopping centers, a community g ... (Reuters)

Protesters: 'It's not the time' for more Cuba ties

6 hrs ago - MIAMI - Waving U.S. and Cuban flags and chanting "Obama, traitor," anti-Castro protesters gathered Saturday in a Little Havana park in a show of opposition to the president's plan to normalize relations with the communist nation. Cuban-American exil ... (Local ABC affiliate (Arizona))

MPs in bid to force release of Iraq report: Cross-party move to end 'intolerable' delay amid suspici

7 hrs ago - MPs in bid to force release of Iraq report: Cross-party move to end 'intolerable' delay amid suspicions it is part of plot by Blair's allies A powerful cross-party move to end the ‘intolerable’ delay in the publication of the Chilcot Inquiry report ... (Mail On Sunday)

City Councilman: 2 Police Officers Shot Dead In Brooklyn

9 hrs ago - NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two police officers have been shot dead in Brooklyn, City Councilman Robert Cornegy said at a news conference Saturday afternoon. As 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported, there is a huge police presence at the corner of Myrtle ... (WCBS New York)

Kabul Residents on Heroin Watch as Addiction Grows

10 hrs ago - KABUL, Afghanistan — Each afternoon, spectators line a bridge in west Kabul and gaze down. They have not come to stare at the Kabul River — a dismal trickle of muddy runoff this time of year — but at the figures huddled on its garbage-strewn banks. ... (New York Times)

Australian mother arrested for murder in death of eight children

10 hrs ago - KRISTEN GELINEAU SYDNEY, Australia An Australian woman was arrested in the killings of eight children, seven of whom are believed to be her own, police said Saturday. The children were found dead inside the woman’s home. The 37-year-old woman, who ... (Globe and Mail-AP)

Leaked Emails: Sony Chief Wants Idris Elba As 007 (1st black James Bond)

10 hrs ago - British actor Idris Elba may have to get used to ordering his Martinis shaken, not stirred, after an email leaked in the Sony hack suggested that a top executive wants him to be the next James Bond. In an email dated Jan. 4, 2014 Amy Pascal, chairman ... (The International Business Times)

Emanuel's son robbed near family's North Side home

10 hrs ago - Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 17-year-old son was robbed near the family's home on the North Side on Friday night, according to a Chicago police report. Zach Emanuel was talking on his cellphone on the street in the 4200 block of North Hermitage Avenue in th ... (Chicago Tribune)

CIA unlikely to punish staff over Senate computer search: NYT

14 hrs ago - (Reuters) - A panel investigating the CIA's search of a computer network used by U.S. Senate staff will not recommend disciplining the agency officials involved in the incident, according to the New York Times. The review panel is looking into the s ... (Reuters)

U.S. sends four Guantanamo prisoners home to Afghanistan

15 hrs ago - (Reuters) - Four Afghans held for over a decade at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been sent home to Afghanistan, the Pentagon said on Saturday, the latest step in a slow-moving push by the Obama administration to close the fac ... (REUTERS)

Sheriff’s Deputy Arrested For Alleged Battery Of Patient At San Francisco General Hospital

15 hrs ago - SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco Sheriff’s Department deputy has been charged with the alleged battery of a patient at San Francisco General Hospital, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office announced Friday evening. Deputy Michael Lewelling, 33 ... (CBS SF)

Sources: Umpires, MLB agree to 5-year labor deal

16 hrs ago - NEW YORK — Several people familiar with the deal say Major League Baseball and its umpires have reached agreement on a five-year labor contract. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because both sides still ... (Fox Sports-AP)

New video shows Janay Rice nuzzling Ray Rice shortly after elevator fight

16 hrs ago - By Faith Karimi, CNN updated 7:30 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014 (CNN) -- A newly released video shows the now-wife of NFL player Ray Rice lovingly nuzzling him shortly after he knocked her out cold at a casino in New Jersey. The video obtained by A ... (CNN)

Ebola death toll in three African countries hits 7,373: WHO

16 hrs ago - GENEVA (Reuters) - The death toll from Ebola in the three worst-affected countries in West Africa has risen to 7,373 among 19,031 cases known to date there, the World Health Organization said on Saturday. The latest data, posted overnight on the WHO ... (Reuters)

Dozens Arrested at Milwaukee Protest Over Death of Dontre Hamilton

16 hrs ago - News /U.S. news 6 hours Dozens Arrested at Milwaukee Protest Over Death of Dontre Hamilton Dozens of protesters were arrested Friday after causing a three-mile traffic jam by blocking a Wisconsin freeway over the fatal shooting of a black man by ... (nbcnews.com)

US drone attack kills at least five Taliban fighters in Pakistan – report

16 hrs ago - A US drone fired two missiles at a militant hideout in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least five Taliban fighters, two security officials said. In a separate operation, the military said Pakistani security forces killed five “terroris ... (Associated Press)

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