BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota lawmakers moved Friday to outlaw abortion in the state by passing a resolution defining life as starting at conception.
The measure, which has to be approved by voters, is one of a series of anti-abortion resolutions the Republican-controlled legislature has passed this year despite critics’ insistence that they violate the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion until a fetus is considered viable, around 22 to 24 weeks.
The North Dakota House approved the measure 57-35 Friday, sending it to voters, likely in November 2014. The Senate approved it last month.
Efforts to pass similar measures in other states have failed, but anti-abortion legislation has had strong momentum in North Dakota this year, with lawmakers introducing a slew of measures aimed at closing the state’s sole abortion clinic in Fargo and challenging Roe v. Wade.
Marine in Virginia kills 2, then self
A Marine who worked at a rigorous school that tests Marines who want to become officers fatally shot two colleagues before killing himself in a barracks dorm room.
The three Marines – two men and a woman – were part of the staff at the officer candidates school on the sprawling Marine Corps Base Quantico in northern Virginia.
Their relationship and whether they knew one another was not clear, though military officials described the shootings as isolated. They did not release a motive or the identities of those slain.
Girl, 11, gives birth; man accused of rape
A Houston man has been accused of repeatedly raping an 11-year-old neighbor who became pregnant and gave birth this week.
Deandrea Devon Davis-Williams, 21, was arrested late Tuesday and charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child. Court documents show the attacks occurred almost daily over more than seven months beginning about last June 1.
The girl delivered a healthy child Thursday, Harris County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Sara Marie Kinney said Friday.
School acts to end race-based penalties
The U.S. Justice Department said Friday that it has reached a deal with a Mississippi school district to end discriminatory disciplinary practices in which black students face harsher punishment than whites for similar misbehavior.
The agreement comes after a lengthy federal investigation that found that black public school students in Meridian are five times more likely than whites to be suspended from classes and often got longer suspensions for comparable misbehavior.
Love, not espionage, alleged as motive
An attorney for a defense contractor accused of giving military secrets to his Chinese girlfriend said Friday there was no evidence of that classified information was given to any foreign country.
Actually, Benjamin Bishop, 59, was in love with the 27-year-old woman, said his attorney, Birney Bervar.
He says he was in love with her and she led me to believe she was in love with him. It’s not an espionage case, it’s a case about love, Bervar said after a detention hearing for Bishop in Honolulu.
An FBI affidavit alleges Bishop gave his girlfriend classified information about war plans, nuclear weapons, missile defenses and other topics through emails and telephone calls.
IRS rebuked over ‘Star Trek’ parody
Nobody’s going to win an Emmy for a parody of the TV show Star Trek filmed by Internal Revenue Service employees at an agency studio.
Instead, the IRS got a rebuke from Congress for wasting taxpayer dollars.
The agency says the video, along with a training video that parodied the TV show Gilligan’s Island, cost about $60,000.
The agency said it has tightened controls over the use of its production equipment to ensure that all IRS videos are handled in a judicious manner that makes wise use of taxpayer funds while ensuring a tone and theme appropriate for the nation’s tax system.