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Governor okays new rights for gay couples

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published April 22, 2007


OLYMPIA, WASH. - WASHINGTON STATE GOV. CHRIS GREGOIRE SIGNED INTO LAW SATURDAY A MEASURE TO CREATE DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS, GIVING GAY AND LESBIAN COUPLES SOME OF THE SAME RIGHTS THAT COME WITH MARRIAGE. THE LAW CREATES A DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY AND PROVIDES ENHANCED RIGHTS FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES, INCLUDING HOSPITAL VISITATION RIGHTS, THE ABILITY TO AUTHORIZE AUTOPSIES AND ORGAN DONATIONS, AND INHERITANCE RIGHTS WHEN THERE IS NO WILL. UNMARRIED, HETEROSEXUAL SENIOR COUPLES WILL ALSO BE ELIGIBLE TO REGISTER IF ONE PARTNER IS AT LEAST 62. LAWMAKERS SAID THAT PROVISION WAS INCLUDED TO HELP SENIORS WHO ARE AT RISK OF LOSING PENSION RIGHTS AND SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS IF THEY REMARRY.

 

Police say gunman feared his firing

HOUSTON - The gunman in an apparent murder-suicide at the Johnson Space Center targeted a NASA worker he feared could get him fired, police said Saturday. William Phillips, 60, had received a poor job review a month before authorities said he smuggled a revolver into the space center Friday, shot David Beverly, 62, and barricaded himself with a hostage before killing himself in a building that houses communications and tracking systems for the space shuttle. The hostage escaped.

 

University to halt loan commissions

PITTSBURGH - Duquesne University, one of 60 schools targeted by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for allegedly accepting commissions from private loan providers, said Friday it would stop the practice. Duquesne denied any wrongdoing and said the $28,500 received from several lenders listed on its Web site was reinvested into need-based student aid. Drexel University in Philadelphia, which also got money from one of the lenders, said Friday it would fight a threatened lawsuit by Cuomo.

 

Man is charged after trip to Iran

PHOENIX - A former engineer at the nation's largest nuclear power plant has been charged with taking computer access codes and software to Iran and using it to download details of plant control rooms and reactors, authorities said. Mohammad Alavi, who worked at the triple-reactor Palo Verde power plant west of Phoenix, was arrested April 9 at Los Angeles International Airport when he arrived on a flight from Iran, authorities said. Alavi, 49, is a U.S. citizen and denies any wrongdoing, his attorney said. He is charged with a single count of violating a trade embargo that prohibits Americans from exporting goods and services to Iran.

Elsewhere

Hickman, Ky.: Officials released a prisoner from a state facility after receiving a phony fax saying a court had ordered that the man be freed, and didn't catch the mistake for nearly two weeks. Timothy Rouse, 19, who was released April 6, is charged with beating an elderly western Kentucky man. Police arrested him at his mother's home Thursday evening.

Omaha, Neb.: A possible tornado ripped up farmsteads in western Nebraska Friday and injured several people as thunderstorms rippled across the Plains.

Reno, Nev.: Republicans agreed Saturday to hold their presidential caucus Jan. 19, the same day state Democrats vote for their candidates.