Voter-ID law is reinstated for election

A federal appeals court on Tuesday reinstated Texas’s voter-identification law for the November election, which the Justice Department had condemned as the state’s latest means of suppressing minority voter turnout.

The ruling by the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit temporarily blocks last week’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in Corpus Christi, who said the law was unconstitutional and similar to a poll tax designed to dissuade minorities from voting.

The 5th Circuit did not rule on the merits of the law; instead, it determined it was too late to change the rules for the upcoming election. Early voting starts Oct. 20.

The law remains under appeal. For now, the ruling is a key victory for Republican-backed photo-ID measures that have swept across the United States in recent years. The Texas law, considered the toughest of its kind in the nation, requires an estimated 13.6 million registered voters to have one of seven kinds of photo identification to cast a ballot.

— Associated Press

Faster test created to detect enterovirus 68

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created a faster test for detecting a strain of enterovirus behind an outbreak of respiratory illnesses affecting hundreds of children in recent months, the agency announced Tuesday.

The CDC said the new test for enterovirus 68 produces a result within a few days, rather than the several weeks needed under the current test.

The faster test will help the CDC track where and when the outbreak of the virus is ending. The CDC expects the rate of new infections to decline as the weather turns colder, and it is seeing evidence of this at some hospitals.

There is no known treatment for the virus beyond managing symptoms.

The virus strain has infected at least 691 people in 46 states and the District of Columbia since mid-August, most of them children, according to CDC data.

— Reuters

Judge blocks campaign law

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked enforcement of a Wisconsin election law that is at the center of an investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign and more than two dozen conservative groups.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa granted the request to block the law from the Milwaukee-based group Citizens for Responsible Government Advocates while the conservative group’s underlying lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality goes forward.

The ruling allows candidates to coordinate and work closely with independent groups that don’t explicitly tell people how to vote. Those groups frequently run television ads attacking or praising candidates, without saying whom to vote for.

The group, which backs Walker (R), argued that immediate action was needed because it wants to work with candidates before the Nov. 4 election to create a Web site but fears such coordination could be found to be illegal.

— Associated Press

Former mayor sentenced to four years in prison: Former Charlotte, N.C. mayor Patrick Cannon (D) was sentenced Tuesday to nearly four years in prison after admitting to using public positions in the state’s largest city for personal financial gain, including taking at least $50,000 in bribes. Cannon, 47, who was elected mayor in November, pleaded guilty in June to a corruption charge.

Antiabortion group to display images near Liberty Bell: An antiabortion group has received a permit to project images of bloody, aborted fetuses on a 10- by 12-foot screen next to the Liberty Bell on Philadelphia’s historic Independence Mall. Ohio-based Created Equal said it will show the images on a continuous loop from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. A public affairs officer for the Independence National Historical Park said the agency doesn’t consider content when it permits assemblies or activities. The group’s national director, Mark Harrington, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that warning signs will be posted so parents can keep their children away from the images.

Teens charged in ‘ice bucket challenge’ prank: Five Ohio teenagers were charged Tuesday with dumping a bucket containing urine, tobacco and spit over the head of a boy with autism who thought he was participating in the ALS “ice bucket challenge,” a county prosecutor said. The five unidentified high school students face disorderly-conduct charges, and three of them were charged with assault in juvenile court for the Aug. 18 incident, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty said. The group doused the 14-year-old boy with the fouled water in Bay Village, a suburb west of Cleveland, and posted a video of the incident on Instagram, police said.

— From news services