Wisconsin Abortion Ban Upheld

MADISON, Wis. -- A Wisconsin law that bars a type of late-term abortion is constitutional, a federal judge ruled yesterday.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and six physicians had sued the state shortly after the law was enacted more than a year ago, saying it was unconstitutionally vague, with language so broad that it could outlaw other types of abortions.

U.S. District Judge John Shabaz said the law, aimed at what critics call "partial-birth" abortions, is not vague and does not place an undue burden on women. He ruled that the state has a valid interest in banning the procedure, which he found "is never medically necessary to preserve the health of the woman."

Opponents of the law said they would appeal.

Racial Slurs Lead to Murder Charge

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A white woman who allegedly knocked an elderly black neighbor to the ground and mooned her for not responding to her "good afternoon" was charged with murder Thursday because the victim had a heart attack and died.

Joelle O'Neill, 41, got angry at Julia Osmun, 65, on Sept. 16, and they exchanged racial slurs, authorities said. Minutes later, Osmun, who had a history of heart problems, began breathing heavily and was taken to the hospital. She died later that day.


CHICAGO -- The Windy City will get another chance to prove it can run its public housing program, seized by the federal government four years ago because of mismanagement. City officials said it will take several months to complete the transition and fine-tune plans to run the Chicago Housing Authority, which was turned over to the city Thursday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Margaret Hardridge, the operator of a day-care center where two 6-year-old twin girls say they were gang-raped, was charged with trying to cover up the alleged assaults, prosecutors said. Five youths, one 11 and four 13, also have been charged in the incident.

LINCOLN, Neb. -- State lawmakers ended their session without challenging GOP Gov. Mike Johanns's veto of a moratorium on executions. Instead, they voted unanimously Thursday to override his veto of a separate bill to study whether the death penalty is applied fairly.

WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- Eighth-grader Angela Pham, 14, was suspended for the rest of the school year for rubbing poison ivy on her science teacher's chair. Teacher Tom Northrup did not develop a rash, but school officials said Pham violated a policy against the use of a weapon, which is defined by the school district as a dangerous object or chemical.