Latest Laws News

FILE - In this March 19, 2020 file photo, an ambulance drives by a homeless encampment in Oakland, Calif. City officials in Oakland, growing weary of a ballooning homeless population, approved a contentious new policy that will prohibit homeless people from setting up tents in parks or near homes, businesses, schools and some churches. (AP Photo/Ben Margot,File)

Oakland approves rules to restrict homeless encampments

Oct. 21, 2020 9:22 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — City officials in Oakland approved a contentious new policy that will prohibit homeless people from setting up tents in parks or near homes, businesses, schools and some churches in the city that has seen a recent spike in the homeless population. The Oakland City Council unanimously...

Ruling that cleared way to drive people to vote is blocked

Oct. 21, 2020 6:16 PM EDT

DETROIT (AP) — A federal appeals court suspended a decision that would allow groups to offer free or reduced price rides to polling places in Michigan. The court issued a stay Wednesday to allow the Republican-controlled Legislature to appeal the ruling by a federal judge in Flint. Since 1895, Michigan has...

Pope Francis, center, makes the sign of the cross during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Francis becomes 1st pope to endorse same-sex civil unions

Oct. 21, 2020 5:36 PM EDT

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis became the first pontiff to endorse same-sex civil unions in comments for a documentary that premiered Wednesday, sparking cheers from gay Catholics and demands for clarification from conservatives, given the Vatican’s official teaching on the issue. The papal thumbs-up came...

Editorial Roundup: Tennessee

Oct. 21, 2020 12:27 PM EDT

Recent editorials from Tennessee newspapers: ___ Oct. 16 Johnson City Press on expanding early voting options: Now that early voting clearly is the choice of thousands of voters in Northeast Tennessee, it’s time for local election commissions to alter their strategies. On Oct. 14, the first day of early...

FILE-In this Thursday, April 3, 1997 file photo, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Ga., is is seen. A mining company said Tuesday it plans to dig for minerals without a federal permit at the edge of the vast wildlife refuge in the Okefenokee Swamp, a big step for a once-embattled project that's now benefitting from the Trump administration's rollback of environmental rules. (Stuart Tannehill/Florida Times-Union via AP, File)

Trump environmental rollback spurs mining near Okefenokee

Oct. 21, 2020 10:49 AM EDT

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A mining company said Tuesday that it plans to dig for minerals without a federal permit at the edge of the vast wildlife refuge in the Okefenokee Swamp, a big step for a once-embattled project that's now benefiting from the Trump administration's rollback of environmental rules. For...

FILE - In this May 27, 2020 file photo, a worker processes mail-in ballots at the Bucks County Board of Elections office prior to the primary election in Doylestown, Pa. The Supreme Court’s action in a Pennsylvania voting case has heightened fears among Democrats about Amy Coney Barrett joining the high court in time to decide a post-election dispute and with it, the winner of the White House.  (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Democrats: Justices' 4-4 tie in election case ominous sign

Oct. 21, 2020 5:49 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — With Amy Coney Barrett expected to join the Supreme Court as early as next week, the court's action in a Pennsylvania voting case has heightened fears among Democrats about the court being asked to decide a post-election dispute and with it, the winner of the White House. The justices...

FILE - In this July 28, 2020, file photo, federal officers deploy tear gas and crowd control munitions at demonstrators during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse in Portland, Ore. Night after night in Portland, tear gas and other crowd control devices enveloped protesters and bystanders in aerosolized compounds that then settled on the ground and wound up washed into storm drains. Test samples from those storm drains have turned up heavy metals and chemicals at much higher levels than samples collected from control sites elsewhere. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Environmental groups sue over Portland tear gas use

Oct. 20, 2020 7:41 PM EDT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Night after night in Portland, tear gas and other crowd control devices have enveloped protesters and bystanders in airborne chemicals that settle on the ground, later to be washed into storm drains. Amid allegations that human health and the environment are suffering the...

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, in Janesville, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's falsehoods on virus, taxes and Bidens

Oct. 20, 2020 6:40 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Back fully campaigning after COVID-19 sidelined him, President Donald Trump returned to familiar form, spreading a litany of falsehoods. Over the weekend, he asserted yet again the virus was “rounding the corner” when it isn't, misrepresented Democratic rival Joe Biden's...

Mississippi expands curbside voting, sets absentee 'cure'

Oct. 20, 2020 2:29 PM EDT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi is expanding access to curbside voting for people with symptoms of COVID-19 and setting a new process to let voters correct, or “cure,” minor discrepancies with signatures on absentee ballots. The changes are being made after voting-rights groups sued the...

Seattle settles head tax open meetings suit for $35K

Oct. 20, 2020 11:33 AM EDT

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle has agreed to pay $35,000 to settle an activist’s lawsuit alleging the City Council broke Washington’s open public-meetings law in its abrupt repeal of a head tax on big businesses two years ago. In exchange, open government activist Arthur West has agreed to drop his...