Latest Human rights and civil liberties News

Smollett reactions epitomize polarized state of US politics

Feb. 21, 2019 6:02 PM EST

Democratic politicians and celebrities called it a shocking instance of Trump-era racism and hate. Republicans now depict it as yet another example of liberals and mainstream media rushing to judgment while disparaging the president's supporters as bigots. The case of "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett encapsulates...

Prosecutor: Actor gave detailed instructions for fake attack

Feb. 21, 2019 5:49 PM EST

CHICAGO (AP) — "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett gave detailed instructions to two brothers who helped him stage a racist, anti-gay attack on himself, including giving them specific slurs to yell, telling them to shout "MAGA country" and pointing out a surveillance camera that he thought would record the...

Judge imposes gag order on Trump confidant Stone after post

Feb. 21, 2019 5:45 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge issued a broad gag order forbidding Roger Stone to discuss his criminal case with anyone and gave him a stinging reprimand Thursday over the longtime Trump confidant's posting of a photo of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs of a gun. She promised to throw him...

Opposition mounts against Texas governor's election chief

Feb. 21, 2019 5:30 PM EST

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Opposition intensified Thursday against Texas' new election chief as a key lawmaker said he won't back Gov. Greg Abbott's nominee, who called into question the U.S. citizenship of 95,000 voters using faulty data. A Senate committee punted on advancing Secretary of State David Whitley's...

Montana House passes bills to restrict local gun control

Feb. 21, 2019 5:28 PM EST

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana House on Thursday passed two bills seeking to prohibit local governments from passing strict gun ordinances. Republican Rep. Matt Regier said his bills are a response to Missoula city ordinances that require background checks for private gun sales and ban weapons in certain...

Protest at West Virginia University over campus carry bill

Feb. 21, 2019 5:26 PM EST

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A protest has been held at West Virginia University over legislation that would allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry weapons on college campuses. Dozens of people gathered at WVU in Morgantown on Thursday to listen to concerns from students and other speakers about...

The Latest: Colorado 'red flag' gun bill gets 1st hearing

Feb. 21, 2019 5:21 PM EST

DENVER (AP) — The Latest on a Colorado "red flag" bill being heard Thursday (all times local): 3:25 p.m. Two Colorado sheriffs have urged lawmakers to enact a "red flag" gun bill. The bill would allow law enforcement or family to seek a court order to have guns seized if they believe the owner is a threat...

The Latest: House passes bills to restrict local gun control

Feb. 21, 2019 5:16 PM EST

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on bills to restrict local gun control (all times local): 3:15 p.m. The Montana House has passed two bills seeking to prohibit local governments from passing stricter gun ordinances. Republican Rep. Matt Regier says his bills are in response to Missoula city ordinances that...

The Latest: Smollett quiet after posting bond, leaving jail

Feb. 21, 2019 5:05 PM EST

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the attack reported by Jussie Smollett (all times local): 4 p.m. "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has been released from jail after posting bond. Smollett walked out of the Cook County jail in Chicago on Thursday about two hours after a hearing in which the judge set his bond at...

Iowa appeals judge's ruling on undercover ag workers law

Feb. 21, 2019 5:00 PM EST

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state of Iowa is appealing a federal judge's ruling last month that found unconstitutional a 2012 law that made it illegal to get a job at a livestock farm to conduct animal cruelty undercover investigations. The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller...