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Bill to Let Church Create Police Force Advances in Alabama

Birmingham congregation says it needs more protection

(Newser) - A bill designed to allow a church to have its own police force is moving forward. Alabama's Senate judiciary panel has passed a measure that would let Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham create the force, reports NBC News . The force would coordinate with local police to protect the 4,... More »

Obama Gun-Control Measure Is Reversed

It would have affected about 75K people with mental illnesses

(Newser) - President Trump has undone one of his predecessor's final executive actions, a measure designed to make it harder for the mentally ill to own guns. The issue is a little more complicated than the usual gun-control debate, however: This time, both the NRA and the ACLU opposed the measure.... More »

Turkey Dumps Child Rape Bill

It would have given pardons to men who marry victims

(Newser) - It seems Turkey has taken the hint . Hours before a final vote was to be held Tuesday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim withdrew a proposed law that would pardon men convicted of having sex with minors if they married the girl, reports the BBC . Thousands of people had protested the bill... More »

Bill Would Give $20K to Vets With Infertility, Groin Injuries

Money could help start family, or be 'used at the veteran's discretion'

(Newser) - Veterans unable to have children because of a service-related injury would receive $20,000 under a bill introduced to the House of Representatives on Monday. Rep. Jeff Miller, who proposed the bill, says the funds would help compensate nearly 1,400 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who suffered... More »

Anesthesia Now Required in Utah Abortions After 20 Weeks

To 'minimize any pain that may be caused to an unborn child'

(Newser) - Women who receive an abortion in Utah after they've reached the 20th week of their pregnancy can expect to do so heavily sedated: On Monday, Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law a bill requiring anesthesia for patients who reach this mark, USA Today reports. The "Protecting Unborn Children"... More »

Bill Would Make Men Wait 24 Hours for Viagra

SC pol wants to make it as tough to get ED meds as it is to get abortion

(Newser) - "I purposely tried to make it as invasive, as intrusive, as hypocritical and unnecessary as possible to make the point." This from South Carolina Rep. Mia McLeod, who pre-filed legislation Thursday designed to drive a point home about women's reproductive rights. To wit: She's attempting to... More »

Law Would Shield Cop IDs for 60 Days After Shooting

Critics of Arizona bill are calling it an attack on transparency

(Newser) - Darren Wilson went into hiding after shooting Michael Brown, and when a Phoenix cop killed an unarmed black man in December, police were afraid protesters would mob his home, NBC News reports. The latter never happened, but Arizona Rep. Steven Smith is sponsoring Senate Bill 1445, which would keep... More »

Bill: No More First-Class Flights for Lawmakers

Taxpayers should only cover coach seats, House sponsors say

(Newser) - If federal lawmakers want to kick back in first-class, they'll have to do it on their own dime—or so hopes a new House bill. "At a time of massive deficits and with a national debt in excess of $17 trillion, members of Congress should not be using... More »

Israel Trying to Ban the Word 'Nazi'

Bill would make everything to do with the word illegal

(Newser) - In response to what it calls rising anti-Semitism abroad, Israel is pushing to ban the word "Nazi" from its lexicon. But it's not stopping there: Uttering any other slur related to the Third Reich would also be a crime, as would using any Holocaust symbol, from swastikas to... More »

Feds Look to Make Facebook, Google Allow Wiretaps

Privacy advocates slam proposal

(Newser) - Feds are working on a proposal to push big online companies to comply with government wiretapping orders. Under the measure, which hasn't yet gained White House approval, the likes of Google and Facebook would be fined increasing amounts if they refused to submit to the orders, the Washington Post... More »

Gun Rights Group Backs Toomey- Manchin Bill

Says legislation offers 'advances for our cause'

(Newser) - The NRA has slammed Sens. Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin's new background-check proposal , but another gun-rights organization is supporting it. Calling itself the country's second-biggest gun-rights advocacy group, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms says the proposal includes "advances for our cause,... More »

France One Step Closer to Gay Marriage

Measure poised to be law by summer

(Newser) - Gay marriage could be legal in France as soon as this summer. France's Senate has passed a bill to allow same-sex marriage as well as adoptions by gay couples, the AP reports. The country has faced widespread protest against gay marriage, already allowed in several other European countries. Today'... More »

Immigration Bill Will Ramp Up Border Security

Senate preps legislation as marchers gather in DC

(Newser) - Today, thousands are gathering in Washington to demand immigration reform—and with a Senate bill set for release as soon as tomorrow, "we are optimistic," an activist tells WCSH . Possible details of the legislation are emerging, and it may set some tough standards in terms of security, notes... More »

Canada Bill Would Ease Quebec's Secession

But don't expect opposition measure to pass

(Newser) - Under a new bill, Quebec could theoretically secede from Canada with a simple majority vote—but the bill isn't going to become law anytime soon, Reuters notes. The opposition New Democratic Party bill would revise standards set by the country's Clarity Act, which says secession would require a... More »

Congress OKs $50B Sandy Aid Bill

Lawmakers win battle against fiscal conservatives

(Newser) - Congress is sending a $50.5 billion emergency relief measure for Superstorm Sandy victims to President Obama for his signature. The Senate today cleared the bill, 62-36. Northeast lawmakers say the money is desperately needed to help recovery efforts from the one of the region's worst storms. The House... More »

Muddled GOP Demands '6% Employment'

Democrats gloat over pair of typos

(Newser) - House Republicans won't stand for any new regulations until the employment rate drops to 6%, thus putting unemployment at 94%. At least that's what a typo in a new bill suggested—they meant unemployment, the Hill reports. Democrats spotted the error, and the bill's sponsors rushed to... More »

Senators Want 'Lunatic' Deleted From Federal Laws

It's an outdated, offensive term, says proposed legislation

(Newser) - Two senators have introduced a bill to erase the word "lunatic" from the federal code because the term is considered outdated and offensive, reports the Los Angeles Times . "Federal law should reflect the 21st century understanding of mental illness and disease," says Kent Conrad of North Dakota,... More »

GOP Bill Clears Path for Obama's Impeachment

Republican Rep. Walter Jones says president violated war powers

(Newser) - Calls for President Obama's impeachment have come down the pike before, most recently from Grover Norquist . This time a Republican representative—North Carolina's Walter Jones—has introduced a House resolution that would authorize Obama's impeachment for using the military without official permission from Congress, RawStory reports. Jones,... More »

Wyoming Bill Prepares for Doomsday

Lawmakers plan for nationwide economic meltdown

(Newser) - Wyoming lawmakers are ready for anything—even the apocalypse. House legislators advanced a bill Friday to prepare for a possible nationwide economic or political meltdown, the Casper Star-Tribune reports. The legislation would create a task force to consider steps such as issuing a state currency, drafting a statewide army, and... More »

Byrd: Rename Health Bill for Kennedy

(Newser) - Senator Robert Byrd wants his colleagues to honor Ted Kennedy by renaming health care legislation in his honor, Politico reports. “As a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling,” said Byrd, 92, himself in poor health. "My heart and... More »

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