Louisiana becomes first state to allow surgical castration as punishment for child molesters

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana has become the first state where judges can order offenders guilty of certain sex crimes against children to undergo surgical castration under a bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry on Tuesday. While the punishment of surgical castration is used in other countries that are known for harsher … Read more

Parts of Washington state parental rights law criticized as a ‘forced outing’ placed on hold

SEATTLE — A judge has paused parts of a new Washington state parental rights law derided by critics as a “forced outing” measure. King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott on Friday paused portions of the law while a lawsuit brought by civil liberties groups and others is pending, The Seattle Times reported. The law, … Read more

At least 6 heat-related deaths reported in metro Phoenix so far this year as high hits 115 degrees

At least six people have died from heat-related causes this year so far in sizzling metro Phoenix, where the temperatures this week hit 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 Celsius), Arizona’s Maricopa Department of Public Health reported this week PHOENIX — At least six people have died from heat-related causes this year so far in sizzling metro … Read more

Judy Garland’s hometown is raising funds to purchase stolen ‘Wizard of Oz’ ruby slippers

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — The Minnesota hometown of Judy Garland, the actress who wore a pair of ruby slippers in “The Wizard of Oz,” is raising money to purchase the prized footwear after it was stolen from a local museum and then later turned over to an auction company. Grand Rapids, Minnesota, where the late … Read more

Gene therapy may cure rare diseases. But drugmakers have few incentives, leaving families desperate

Robin Alderman faces an agonizing reality: Gene therapy might cure her son Camden’s rare, inherited immune deficiency. But it’s not available to him. In 2022, London-based Orchard Therapeutics stopped investing in an experimental treatment for the condition, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. And there are no gene therapy studies he can join. “We feel like we are the … Read more

New Mexico judge weighs whether to compel testimony from movie armorer in Alec Baldwin trial

SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico judge is scheduled to consider at a Friday hearing whether to compel a movie set armorer to testify at actor Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial for the fatal shooting nearly three years ago of a cinematographer during rehearsal for the Western movie “Rust.” Prosecutors are seeking a court … Read more

Takeaways from AP’s report on access to gene therapies for rare diseases

The promise of gene therapy looms large for families dealing with rare, genetic disorders. Such treatments offer the possibility of one-time cures. But families and researchers worry such therapies will remain out of reach. Collectively, about 350 million people worldwide suffer from rare diseases, most of which are genetic. But each of the 7,000 individual … Read more

UK fans wonder if Taylor Swift will say ‘So long, London’ after Eras Tour

LONDON — Taylor Swift fans enjoy parsing the singer-songwriter’s lyrics for references to her romantic life and insights into her state of her mind. But the pop superstar’s fans in the U.K. didn’t have to listen closely to her latest album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” to get the sense that Swift had soured on the … Read more

Here’s the landscape 2 years after the Supreme Court overturned a national right to abortion

Judges, state lawmakers and voters are deciding the future of abortion in the U.S. two years after the Supreme Court jolted the legal status quo with a ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. The June 24, 2022, ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization sparked legislative action, protest and numerous lawsuits — placing the … Read more

Elliott Gould, Justin Trudeau, Helen Mirren and more mourn Donald Sutherland

Famous fans, colleagues and family pay tribute to actor Donald Sutherland, the star of “M.A.S.H.” “Klute” and “The Hunger Games” who died Thursday at age 88. “Donald was a giant, not only physically but as a talent. He was also enormously kind and generous. … It’s never easy losing the caliber of a human being … Read more