Abortion doctor gets life in prison
A Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of killing three babies born alive at his rogue clinic dodged a possible death sentence Tuesday in a hasty post-verdict deal with prosecutors.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, waived his right to appeal in exchange for a sentence of life without parole. Gosnell was convicted Monday of first-degree murder in a case that became a flashpoint in the nation’s abortion debate.
Prosecutors had been seeking the death penalty because Gosnell killed more than one person and his victims were especially vulnerable given their age.
US launches drone from aircraft carrier
ABOARD THE USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH
A drone the size of a fighter jet took off from the deck of an American aircraft carrier for the first time Tuesday in a test flight that eventually could open the way for the U.S. to launch unmanned aircraft from just about any place in the world.
The X-47B is the first drone designed to take off and land on a carrier, meaning the U.S. military would not need permission from other countries to use their bases.
“As our access to overseas ports, forward operating locations and airspace is diminished around the world, the value of the aircraft carrier and the air wing becomes more and more important,” Rear Adm. Ted Branch, commander of Naval Air Forces Atlantic, said after the flight off the Virginia coast. “So today is history.”
Governor signs gay-marriage bill
ST. PAUL, Minn.
As a crowd of thousands roared from the lawn of the state Capitol, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill Tuesday that makes gay marriage legal here come Aug. 1.
“What a day for Minnesota,” the Democratic governor declared, as American and rainbow flags flapped in a sweltering hot wind. The Minnesota State Patrol estimated about 6,000 people made up the massive crowd, and many headed to downtown St. Paul afterward for a street party celebrating the bill’s passage.
Dayton’s signature on the bill ended an intense two years for gay-marriage supporters and opponents in this Midwestern state.
Safety board urges reduced DUI limit
States should cut their threshold for drunken driving by nearly half — from .08 blood alcohol level to .05 — matching a standard that has substantially reduced highway deaths in other countries, a federal safety board recommended Tuesday. That’s about one drink for a woman weighing less than 120 pounds and two for a 160-pound man.
More than 100 countries have adopted the .05 alcohol content standard or lower, according to a report by the staff of the National Transportation Safety Board. In Europe, the share of traffic deaths attributable to drunken driving was reduced by more than half within 10 years after the standard was dropped, the report said.
Teacher removes explosive from Colorado school
A teacher removed a suspicious package left inside a northern Colorado school that was later determined to be an active explosive, authorities said Tuesday.
However, police in Lafayette were cautious about calling the teacher a hero.
“That would not be a recommended protocol for the safety of the person carrying it,” police Cmdr. Gene McCausey said. “Whether it was a smart thing to do or the teacher’s a hero, that would be left up to the reader.”
The name of the teacher was not released.