Justice appeals morning-after case
The Obama administration on Wednesday appealed a federal judge’s order to lift all age limits on who can buy morning-after birth control pills without a prescription.
The decision came a day after the Food and Drug Administration had lowered the age that people can buy the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill without a prescription to 15 — younger than the current limit of 17 — and decided that the pill could be sold on drugstore shelves near the condoms, instead of locked behind pharmacy counters.
With the appeal, the government is making clear that it’s willing to ease access to emergency contraception only a certain amount — not nearly as broadly as doctors’ groups and contraception advocates have urged.
Obama in Mexico
President Barack Obama is seeking to refocus economic relations between the U.S. and Mexico, even as fresh questions about security cooperation threaten to cast a shadow over the president’s visit to the southern neighbor.
Obama also will use his three-day trip, which begins today and includes a stop in Costa Rica, to highlight the immigration overhaul moving through Capitol Hill, both for an audience in Latin America and for those back home in the U.S.
The president is scheduled to arrive this afternoon in Mexico City for meetings with President Enrique Pena Nieto.
A Southern California wildfire fueled by strong winds was raging through 21/2 square miles of Riverside County on Wednesday as wind-fanned fires scorched parts of wine country north of San Francisco.
The fast-moving wildfire about 90 miles east of Los Angeles broke out just after noon and was moving westward through largely undeveloped foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, but it was dangerously close to subdivisions to the south, in Banning.
Cuba to stay on list
A State Department spokesman said Wednesday that Washington has no plans to remove Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism that also includes Iran, Syria and Sudan.
That is sure to ruffle feathers in Havana, which vehemently denies any links to terrorism. Cuba’s government contends its inclusion on the list is a political vendetta by a U.S. government that has kept an economic embargo on the Communist-run island for 51 years.
Petraeus takes USC teaching post
David Petraeus’ next tough assignment will be in the trenches of academia.
The University of Southern California announced today that the retired general and former CIA director is joining the faculty to teach classes and mentor ROTC members.
Petraeus, who has a doctorate from Princeton University, says in a statement that USC is “a great university that prizes academic excellence.”
SEOUL, South Korea
North Korea says an American detained for nearly six months has been sentenced to 15 years of “compulsory labor” for crimes against the state.
Pyongyang state media said today that the trial took place Tuesday but provided no other new details in announcing Kenneth Bae’s sentencing.
Bae was tried in the Supreme Court on charges of plotting to overthrow the government. He could have faced the death penalty.