National news roundup: Pennsylvania will not appeal gay-marriage ruling

May 21
CALIFORNIA
PENNSYLVANIA
Same-sex marriage
to stay legal in state

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) said Wednesday that he will not appeal a court ruling that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, allowing a growing number of couples to proceed with their wedding plans.

The decision means that gay marriage will remain legal in Pennsylvania, without the threat that a higher court will reinstate the ban. Corbett, a Roman Catholic, opposes same-sex marriage.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III struck down a 1996 state law banning recognition of gay marriage, calling it unconstitutional. One widow, 11 couples and one couple’s teenage daughters had sued.

— Associated Press

HEALTH
Bacteria coexist in
placentas, study finds

Surprising new research shows a small but diverse community of bacteria lives in the placentas of healthy pregnant women, overturning the idea that fetuses grow in a pretty sterile environment.

These are mostly varieties of “good germs” that live in everybody. But Wednesday’s study also hints that the makeup of this microbial colony plays a role in premature birth.

“It allows us to think about the biology of pregnancy in different ways than we have before, that pregnancy and early life aren’t supposed to be these totally sterile events,” said lead researcher Kjersti Aagaard of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She reported her findings in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

— Associated Press

FLORIDA
A citizen at last, after
papers are corrected

Army veteran Mario Hernandez, 58, was sworn in as a citizen on Wednesday, after decades of believing that he had been naturalized when he enlisted during the Vietnam War era.

Immigration officials apologized to Cuban-born Hernandez after admitting the agency made a mistake in March when it rejected a naturalization application he had filed to correct his status.

Hernandez, who came to the United States with his family when he was 9 years old, believed for almost 40 years that the military took care of his naturalization paperwork when he enlisted in 1975.

— Reuters

Seventy-one held in New York crackdown on child porn: Two police officers, a Little League coach and a mother were among 71 people arrested across the New York City area in the largest-ever roundup of people who share child pornography online, federal and local law enforcement said Wednesday.

— Associated Press

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