"Lawmakers have expressed fears that the Defense Department is using a new disorder diagnosis to remove accusers in sexual assault cases from the military.
"Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., has accused the Pentagon of diagnosing troops who report that they were sexually assaulted with adjustment disorder and having them discharged. Speier told The Washington Times that the practice is a new tactic for the military, which previously diagnosed service members tied to sexual assault cases with personality disorder.
"'It’s like a "Whac-A-Mole,"' Speier told the paper. 'Every time we shut them down on something, they'll find a way around it.'"
"State Senate Democrats on Wednesday offered a $165-million package of proposals aimed at reducing the number of mentally ill people locked up in prisons and jails in California.
"The proposals, offered just days after a disturbed student killed six people in Isla Vista, Calif., also would provide $12 million in additional funds to train law enforcement officers to recognize and handle people who may be a threat to themselves and others."
"Comcast offered Internet Essentials shortly before its last big acquisition, when it bought NBC Universal in 2011. To ease federal approvals of the transaction, the company promised that it would offer low-priced Internet connections and computers to low-income families. But the Federal Communications Commission, which approved the merger, didn’t set any participation requirements, or metrics to define success.
"Now the cable and broadband giant, wants to buy Time Warner Cable, and again in an attempt to show regulators the deal is in the public interest, is offering to extend the program indefinitely and offer it to all Time Warner’s customers too. The deal, if approved, will give Comcast control of about 40 percent of U.S. Internet users.
"The program makes for good public relations, but its real impact on the persistent problem of low-broadband adoption rates among the poor is negligible and is a weak substitute for a national strategy, advocates say."
"The US House of Representatives has approved a bill to introduce sanctions against Venezuelan officials involved in human rights abuses.
"The legislation calls for a travel ban on some members of the Venezuelan government and for their assets in US banks to be frozen.
"The US Foreign Relations Committee advanced a similar bill last week.
"At least 42 people have been killed since protests against President Nicolas Maduro began in February.
"The White House opposes sanctions against Mr Maduro's government.
"It says such measures could undermine efforts to find a political solution to the crisis."
|Monica Almeida/New York Times|
"Just days after a 22-year-old killed six college students and himself near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, state lawmakers are championing legislation that would permit law enforcement officials and private individuals to seek a restraining order from a judge that would keep people with a potential propensity for violence from buying or owning a gun. The process would be similar to the one currently used for restraining orders in cases of domestic violence."
|Buda Mendez/Getty Images|
"The city where England begin their World Cup campaign in Brazil has declared a state of emergency over a flooding risk, while unsafe food has been found in team hotels as preparations descend into chaos less than a month before the event.
"Brazil has been affected by a number of setbacks in the run-up to the World Cup, with stadium buildings falling behind schedule, leading to the deaths of several people in the rush to complete them and preparations described the poorest for almost 40 years.
"Officials declared a state of emergency for Manaus, a host city, on Tuesday because of a flood risk, as the waters of an Amazon River tributary began to swell."
|Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times|
"The state of Jefferson -- a grouping of Northern California counties that would separate from California -- has been gaining steam since late last year, when the secession movement was revived by residents who complain of overregulation, lack of representation and a culture clash with urban areas.
"Before a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the mid-1960s, each California county — with a few exceptions for the tiniest — had its own state senator. But as both legislative houses adopted a system based on population and a rural exodus accelerated, the far north was left feeling voiceless."