Human rights and civil liberties

FILE - In this Nov. 25, 2013 file photo, Chief U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo speaks from the bench in Chicago. A question raised nationwide about whether federal agents display racial bias by staging phony stash-house stings overwhelmingly in black neighborhoods is the focus of landmark hearings in Chicago.A rare panel of federal trial judges including Castillo begins two days of hearings Thursday Dec. 14, 2017, on the stings. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green File)
December 15, 2017 - 12:46 am
CHICAGO (AP) — Dueling experts deployed statistics to make their case Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago in a first-of-its-kind hearing to determine if phony drug stash-house stings run by federal agents dating back to the 1990s are racially biased. More than 40 people convicted in such...
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European Council President Donald Tusk arrives for an EU summit at the Europa building in Brussels on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. European Union leaders are gathering in Brussels and are set to move Brexit talks into a new phase as pressure mounts on Prime Minister Theresa May over her plans to take Britain out of the 28-nation bloc. (Francois Lenoir, Pool Photo via AP)
December 14, 2017 - 7:22 pm
BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on the European Union summit (all times local): 12:20 a.m. Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, sought to distance himself from the hard-line anti-migrant views of leaders in his native Poland, saying he would never speak about migrants the way they do. Tusk's...
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Attorney Rebecca Copeland, left, who is representing a divorced lesbian woman who wants to dissolve parental rights, argues in front of the Hawaii Supreme Court, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 in Kaneohe, Hawaii. National gay rights advocates are watching how the case plays out in Hawaii, likely the first such case before a state's highest court, experts say. A woman wants to sever her parental rights to a child her ex-wife gave birth to and is appealing a family court ruling denying that request. (AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher)
December 14, 2017 - 6:39 pm
KANEOHE, Hawaii (AP) — Attorneys for a divorced lesbian couple fighting over child support in a closely watched case agreed Thursday that consent to having a baby together is a crucial issue but disagreed over whether both spouses gave it. A woman wants to sever her parental rights to a child her...
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FILE - In this July 30, 2017, file photo, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks during a news conference near Gold Butte National Monument in Bunkerville, Nev. Newly released records show Zinke spent more than $53,000 on three helicopter trips this summer. Records released by the Interior Department show Zinke spent more than $39,000 on a July helicopter tour above two national monuments in Nevada. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
December 14, 2017 - 2:25 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — More than one-third of employees at the Interior Department say they have been harassed or discriminated against in the past year, the department said Thursday. Results from the department's survey of its 70,000 employees, who answered anonymously, show that 8 percent reported...
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December 14, 2017 - 1:04 pm
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Texas-based developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline and a Florida-based environmental publication are arguing in court over whether something billed as a social movement can be sued. Energy Transfer Partners in August filed a lawsuit against Earth First, Greenpeace and...
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Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, arrives for a House Committee on the Judiciary oversight hearing on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, in Washington. Two Republicans say that Texas GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold won't seek re-election next year. The lawmaker is under pressure from sexual misconduct allegations that surfaced three years ago but have come under renewed focus. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
December 14, 2017 - 1:03 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold announced Thursday that he won't seek re-election next year, adding his name to the list of lawmakers leaving Congress amid sexual harassment allegations that have cost powerful men their jobs in politics, the arts and other industries. In a...
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FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2015, file photo, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith speaks during a news conference for NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game, in Phoenix. Leaders from the NFL and NHL players associations have contributed to unveiling a universal declaration of player rights. Among the 17 articles laid out in the declaration are rights to unionize and collectively bargain, express opinions freely and receive equal pay for equal work. The declaration was made by the World Players Association on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
December 14, 2017 - 1:00 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Leaders from the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball players associations helped unveil a universal declaration of player rights that is designed to establish a new approach to governing sports and protecting athletes. Among the 17 articles laid out in the declaration are...
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This photo provided by the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail shows James Alex Fields Jr., who was charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he rammed his car into a crowd of protesters Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist rally took place. Fields has a preliminary court hearing in Charlottesville on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. (Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail via AP)
December 14, 2017 - 12:23 pm
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The Latest on a hearing for an Ohio man accused of driving into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in August (all times local): 12:20 p.m. The scene outside a Virginia courtroom is quiet ahead of a preliminary hearing for an Ohio man accused of...
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In this Nov. 5, 2016 photo, children participate in the fun run at the annual Vicki Soto 5K race in Stratford, Conn. The race is held by the Soto family to raise money to fund scholarships for students interested in careers in education. First-grade teacher Vicki Soto was one of 26 people killed during a shooting inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newton, Conn. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)
December 14, 2017 - 11:09 am
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Out of a senseless tragedy, they have sought ways to find meaning in advocacy. Many relatives of the 26 children and educators killed five years ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School have dedicated themselves to charity, activism and other efforts to channel their grief and, in...
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Pope Francis, center, arrives for his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
December 14, 2017 - 10:33 am
ROME (AP) — Italy's Senate gave final approval Thursday to a law allowing Italians to write living wills and refuse artificial nutrition and hydration, the latest step in the Roman Catholic nation's long-running and agonizing debate over euthanasia and end-of-life issues. As soon as the 180-71 vote...
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