Legal Aid at Work, File
A lesbian veteran who was expelled from the Air Force in 1955 finally received her "honorable discharge," more than 60 years later, NBC News reported.
Helen Grace James received a FedEx delivery on Wednesday notifying her of her status upgrade to "honorable." The 90-year-old vet said she is "still trying to process it. It was both joy and shock. It was really true."
James entered the military in 1952 as a radio operator in New York and was investigated by the military after she was suspected of being gay. After being arrested, James signed a document and was discharged as "undesirable," with no severance pay, insurance or other benefits.
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Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
Reinforcing its strong connection with social conservatives, the Trump administration announced Thursday a new federal office to protect medical providers refusing to participate in abortion, assisted suicide or other procedures on moral or religious grounds.
Leading Democrats and LGBT groups immediately denounced the move, saying "conscience protections" could become a license to discriminate, particularly against gay and transgender people.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Amazon announced Thursday the 20 locations it will consider for its new $5 billion facility, a project estimated to add 50,000 jobs and deliver a billion-dollar boost to the winning locale’s regional economy.
Most of the short-list finalists, narrowed down from an applicant pool of 238, were thought to be major contenders from the start, according to CNBC, though a few dark horse cities made the cut.
The company has said it will choose the location for the project, called HQ2, sometime this year. CNBC has been compiling and analyzing data on the top 20 competitors, looking at how the city or region stacks up against Amazon’s list of criteria.
No one outside of Amazon knows for certain how the company will score things, but CNBC’s data offers some insight into which finalists have the best chances.
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STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images, File
A group of prominent friends, including a key Zimbabwean opposition leader and a Texas-based investor and philanthropist, was heading to a ranch in the U.S. state of New Mexico when their helicopter crashed and burned in a remote area, killing five people aboard.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images, File
Lawmakers would be required to pay for sexual harassment settlements themselves under a new bipartisan legislation introduced Thursday, part of an effort to overhaul Capitol Hill's decades-old secretive system, NBC News reported.
The legislation, known as the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act, would give victims more rights and resources when they file a sexual harassment complaint, simplify the process and provide more public transparency.
The most consequential proposal would prohibit lawmakers from using taxpayer funds to settle claims. The accused must reimburse the U.S. Treasury within 90 days of a settlement, and if they do not their wages will be garnished.
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AP/Maricopa County Sheriff
A serial killing suspect shot and killed nine people, including his own mother, and used a victim's gun in some of the slayings that unfolded in a three-week span late last year, authorities said Thursday.
Shell casings, DNA, stolen jewelry and a cellphone taken from a victim were among the pieces of evidence that investigators used to tie Cleophus Cooksey Jr., 35, to the killings, according to court documents.
Getty Images, File
A Chinese space station that hasn't hosted any astronauts since 2013 is expected to plunge to Earth in late March. The Tiangong-1 station will mostly burn up during reentry and experts say that while it's hard to predict where any fragments might land, the risk to humans on the ground is small, NBC News reported. An Aerospace analysis found that “the risk that an individual will be hit and injured by a piece of debris is estimated to be less than one in a one trillion.” “It’s much more common to be hit by lightning,” said Dr. William Ailor, principal engineer for the Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies at Aerospace.
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Southerners shoveled, scraped and plowed their way Thursday out of a snowy deep freeze that caused a standstill across much of a region accustomed to mild winters.
At least 15 people died, including a baby in a car that slid off an icy street outside New Orleans, and a 6-year-old boy who sledded onto a roadway in Virginia.
Authorities across the South urged drivers to stay off treacherous roads. Louisiana highways remained closed much of the day and New Orleans residents were avoiding showers to restore pressure to a system plagued by frozen pipes.
Less than three months after President Donald Trump declared the U.S. opioid crisis a public health emergency, the nation's governors are calling on his administration and Congress to provide more money and coordination for the fight against the drugs, which are killing more than 90 Americans a day.
The list of more than two dozen recommendations made Thursday by the National Governors Association is the first coordinated, bipartisan response from the nation's governors since Trump's October declaration.
Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver
Two teenagers struggling in rough surf off the coast of New South Wales, Australia, Thursday were able to swim to shore after a new rescue drone dropped a life raft from the sky.
Officials deployed the Lifesaver drone after beachgoers noticed the pair was caught in 9-ft. swells, according to a statement from Westpac Little Ripper, which made the drone. The device located the boys within 35 seconds and dropped a flotation device, which they used to swim back to the beach.
Westpac Little Ripper is calling it "the world-first drone rescue."
Video of the incident shows the boys wading in the rough tide as the drone drops a bright yellow raft in between them.
Getty Images/Drew Angerer
A major hacking operation tied to Lebanon's main intelligence agency has been exposed after careless spies left hundreds of gigabytes of intercepted data exposed to the open internet, according to a report published Thursday.
Mobile security firm Lookout, Inc. and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, said the haul, which includes nearly half a million intercepted text messages, had simply been left online by hackers linked to Lebanon's General Directorate of General Security.
Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for The Moth, File
The #MeToo movement has been embraced by legions of women as a vital step toward countering widespread sexual abuse and misconduct. This week, more so than at any point in the movement's brief history, there's visceral discussion about its potential for causing harm.
The catalyst was the publication by Babe.net of an account by a woman identified only as "Grace" detailing her 2017 encounter with comedian Aziz Ansari. The article intimated that Ansari deserved inclusion in the ranks of abusive perpetrators, yet many readers — women and men — concluded the encounter amounted to an all-too-common instance of bad sex during a date gone awry.
Ansari has said he apologized immediately after the woman told him about her discomfort during an encounter he believed to be consensual.
Simon Edelman, Dept. of Energy via AP
A former photographer at the Department of Energy says he lost his job in retaliation for making public photos of a meeting between Secretary Rick Perry and a coal baron peddling a wish list of policy initiatives that would directly benefit his company.
Simon Edelman has filed a federal whistleblower complaint alleging he was terminated from the agency after he provided the photos to two media outlets that published them in December. Edelman was at the March 29, 2017, meeting snapping shots as Robert "Bob" Murray handed Perry a four-page "action plan" to revive the nation's struggling coal industry. Murray is chairman and CEO of Ohio-based Murray Energy, one of the nation's largest coal producers.
Also attending the meeting were Perry's chief of staff and Andrew Wheeler, a coal company lobbyist later nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as the second-highest ranking official at the Environmental Protection Agency.
The parents of a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student found stabbed and buried in a California park want to turn their tragedy into a movement in the hopes that others feel inspired to do good.
"I don’t know why were tasked with this, with losing our child, but I told Jeanne that I want to make the best of this,” Gideon Bernstein, Blaze's father, said in a "Today" show interview Thursday.
Getty Images/David Ryder
Amazon listed the following cities and areas in a press release: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County in Maryland, Nashville, Newark, New York City, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto in Canada and Washington, D.C.
According to a press release, Amazon said in the coming months, it would work with each city "to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community."
Amazon said they expect to come to a decision this year.