Human rights and civil liberties
NEW YORK, N.Y. - The man who police say hurled homophobic slurs at a gay man on a Manhattan street before firing a single fatal shot to his head appeared in court Sunday to face a charge of murder as a hate crime.
Elliot Morales, who appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court, is also charged with criminal possession of a weapon and menacing, according to the complaint filed Sunday by the Manhattan district attorney's office.
PHILADELPHIA - A Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of killing live babies may be in court for the final time before serving out the last chapter of his life in prison.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell has decided not to appeal the first-degree murder conviction handed down Monday for killing three babies born alive at his clinic. Instead, the 72-year-old physician will accept several terms of life without parole and avoid a potential death sentence.
DHAKA, Bangladesh - Thousands of mourners gathered Tuesday at the wreckage of a Bangladeshi garment factory building to offer prayers for the souls of the 1,127 people who died in the structure's collapse last month, the worst tragedy in the history of the global garment industry.
The Islamic prayer service was held a day after the army ended a nearly three-week, painstaking search for bodies among the rubble and turned control of the site over to the civilian government for cleanup.
PHILADELPHIA - An abortion doctor was convicted Monday of first-degree murder and could face execution in the deaths of three babies who were delivered alive and then killed with scissors at his grimy, "house of horrors" clinic.
HONG KONG - Hong Kong's top court granted a transgender woman the right to marry her boyfriend Monday in a watershed ruling that falls short of allowing same-sex marriage.
The surprise decision only covers the right of a transgender person who was born male to marry a man, and for one who was born female to marry a woman.
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court has sustained Monsanto Co.'s claim that an Indiana farmer violated the company's patents on soybean seeds that are resistant to its weed-killer.
The justices, in a unanimous vote Monday, rejected the farmer's argument that cheap soybeans he bought from a grain elevator are not covered by the Monsanto patents, even though most of them also were genetically modified to resist the company's Roundup herbicide.
Justice Elena Kagan says a farmer who buys patented seeds must have the patent holder's permission.
LONDON - Britain's spy agencies will face a criminal investigation into claims that intelligence shared with Moammar Gadhafi's regime led to the torture or rendition of two Libyan men and their families, authorities announced Thursday.
DAMASCUS, Syria - Syrian President Bashar Assad joined thousands of his supporters Wednesday in an extremely rare public appearance, telling a pro-regime rally in the capital that the "conspiracy" against his country will fail.
Dressed more casually than usual in a jacket but no tie, the president told the cheering crowd that he wanted to draw strength from them. Security guards surrounded him as supporters waved his portrait and raised Syrian flags.