Thu, Dec 25, 2014 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED STATES

Obama lawsuit dismissed

A federal judge handed a victory to President Barack Obama late on Tuesday, throwing out a lawsuit over controversial actions he took last month shielding millions of undocumented migrants from deportation. The suit brought by Joseph Arpaio, the conservative sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, challenging the constitutionality of the president’s actions, was dismissed by Judge Beryl Howell. “The plaintiff’s case raises important questions regarding the impact of illegal immigration on this nation, but the questions amount to generalized grievances, which are not proper for the judiciary to address,” Howell’s ruling in the case read.

UNITED STATES

FDA lifts gay blood ban

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday said it would move to ease a lifetime ban on blood donations from homosexual men, allowing them to give after a year of abstaining from sexual activity. The FDA said it made decision after reviewing scientific evidence in recent years regarding its blood donor policy for homosexual males. The agency said it would recommend the policy change next year and that it would be subject to public feedback before it is finalized. A growing number of medical and legal experts have argued that the existing restrictions are outdated and that sophisticated tests for human immunodeficiency virus exist that can make blood donation by gay men a much safer practice.

UNITED STATES

Representative pleads guilty

A representative pleaded guilty to felony tax evasion on Tuesday, the latest stain for a lawmaker dogged by controversy, but who won re-election last month despite an indictment on criminal charges. House of Representatives Republican Michael Grimm, a former FBI agent who represents parts of New York’s Staten Island and Brooklyn, pleaded guilty to filing a false income tax return that underreported wages and sales in 2009. Grimm faces up to 36 months in a federal prison. A judge set sentencing for June 8. The charge is linked to his conduct while owner of a Manhattan health food restaurant before he became a member of the House of Representatives in early 2011.

UNITED STATES

Florida numbers surpass NY

Florida has surpassed New York in population to become the third-most populous state in the union. Figures released Tuesday by the Census Bureau show that Florida has at least 19.9 million residents. The number is likely higher because the census uses the population as of July 1 to create its estimate. New York had 19.7 million residents. Florida added almost 300,000 new residents from last year to this year, or a little more than 800 new residents a day. By contrast, New York grew by only 51,000 over that time period.

HAITI

Quake victim’s idea realized

The parents of a young woman killed in the Haiti earthquake nearly five years ago have made good on her last wish. Nineteen-year-old Britney Gengel texted her parents just a few hours before she was buried alive in the quake. It said: “I want to move here and start an orphanage.” So her parents started a nonprofit called Be Like Brit and opened an orphanage in a town in Haiti. It houses 33 boys and 33 girls — one of each for the number of days she lay in the ruins of her hotel after the quake hit on Jan. 12, 2010. It costs about US$75,000 a month to run the orphanage. It is paid for by donations and volunteer mission trips.

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