Author: Laurel Wamsley

EU Court Rejects ‘Gay Tests’ For Asylum Seekers

NPR Enlarge this image The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, seen here in 2015, ruled Thursday that psychological tests of sexual orientation may not be used to rule on asylum applications. Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP hide caption toggle caption Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP The European Union’s top court has ruled that psychological tests cannot be used to assess asylum applications from those facing persecution in their home countries due to their sexuality. Such tests amount to “a disproportionate interference in the private life of the asylum seeker,” the European Court of Justice announced on Thursday. Hungarian immigration officials had administered...

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Trump Administration Touts A Smaller U.N. Budget (And Takes Credit For It)

NPR Enlarge this image The U.N. headquarters in New York City is seen here in 2003. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Mario Tama/Getty Images The Trump Administration said Sunday that the United Nations budget has been reduced for the coming year, and framed any cuts as the product of U.S. negotiation. “Among a host of other successes, the United States negotiated a reduction of over $285 million off the 2016-2017 final budget,” the United States Mission to the U.N. said in a press release. “In addition to these significant cost savings, we reduced the UN’s bloated management...

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Coroner Releases Causes Of Death For All 58 Victims Of Las Vegas Shooting – NPR

GOOGLE NEWS Enlarge this image The 58 fatalities in October’s mass shooting in Las Vegas all died of gunshot wounds, the county coroner and medical examiner said Thursday. A makeshift memorial on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip a few days after the shooting has photos of some of those who were killed. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images All 58 of the people killed in the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 died of gunshot wounds, the Clark County County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner has determined. Nearly all of...

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Elderly Couple Stopped In Nebraska With 60 Pounds Of Weed For Christmas Presents’ – NPR

GOOGLE NEWS Enlarge this image Sheriff’s deputies in York County, Neb., arrested an elderly California couple who had approximately 60 pounds of marijuana in their vehicle. York County Sheriff’s Department hide caption toggle caption York County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff’s deputies in York County, Neb., stopped a pickup truck on Tuesday when they noticed it driving over the center line and the driver failing to signal. During the traffic stop, deputies noticed a strong smell of raw marijuana, the sheriff’s department says. Patrick Jiron, 80, and Barbara Jiron, 83, said they were from northern California and were en route to...

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U.S. Lifts Ban On Importing Elephant Trophies From Zimbabwe And Zambia

NPR Enlarge this image The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has lifted a ban on importing sport-hunted trophies of elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it has lifted an Obama-era ban on importing sport-hunted trophies of elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Service said it had found that allowing trophy imports would help the conservation of elephants in those countries, a finding that allows it to authorize the import of the African elephant under the terms of the Endangered Species Act,...

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High Court Says Germany’s Birth Registry Must Allow Third Gender Option

NPR Enlarge this image Germany’s top court has ruled that parliament must legally recognize a third gender from birth. A complaint was brought by a person identified only as Vanja, pictured here in 2014, who is intersex. Peter Steffen/AFP/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Peter Steffen/AFP/Getty Images Germany’s highest court has ruled that the country must provide a third gender option beside male or female in the nation’s birth register – or dispense entirely with information on gender in civil status. “The assignment of gender is of paramount importance for individual identity; it usually plays a key role both...

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Fees To Enter Popular National Parks Would Skyrocket Under Interior Department Plan – NPR

GOOGLE NEWS Enlarge this image Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park is one of 17 popular parks that would see higher peak-season entry fees under a new proposal. Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images The National Park Service has announced a proposal to more than double the peak-season entrance fees at the country’s busiest national parks, including Shenandoah, Yosemite, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon. The park service said Tuesday that it needs the revenue expected from the fees to address its nearly $12 billion backlog of deferred maintenance. But the announcement has been met with worries that higher...

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Meet Jacinda Ardern, 37, New Zealand’s Next Prime Minister

NPR Enlarge this image Jacinda Ardern will be the next prime minister of New Zealand. Ardern, who has led the Labour Party for less than three months, spoke at a press conference Thursday at Parliament in Wellington after a coalition government was formed. Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images Canada has Justin Trudeau. France has Emmanuel Macron. But in terms of youth and charisma, New Zealand’s next prime minister may have them beat. Meet 37-year-old Jacinda Ardern. She’ll be the country’s youngest leader in 150 years, and she’s the youngest-ever head of the Labour Party....

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