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WASHINGTON (AP) — In an assertion of same-sex marriage rights, Attorney General Eric Holder is applying a landmark Supreme Court ruling to the Justice Department.

The attorney general says same-sex spouses cannot be compelled to testify against each other, should be eligible to file for bankruptcy jointly and are entitled to the same rights and privileges as federal inmates in opposite-sex marriages.

The attorney general says that in every federal courthouse and in every proceeding where Justice Department employees stand, they will ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law.

On Monday, the Justice Department will issue a policy memo to its employees instructing them to give lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law.

Saturday, 08 February 2014 13:36
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two lung cancer patients in St. Louis are the first anywhere to get radiation therapy in a new machine that provides real-time clear imaging of their tumors.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the ViewRay machine was developed by a Washington University doctoral graduate, Jim Dempsey. He brought his invention back to Washington University in 2011 for a clinical trial, though the university holds no patents or financial interests in it.

The machine was recently used on two patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. It allows the magnetic resonance imaging and radiation to be produced at the same time, giving doctors a look at the tumor as they deliver the radiation beams, potentially helping them better target the cancerous cells.

Saturday, 08 February 2014 13:34
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are considering an overhaul of the state's criminal laws this year that would include the creation of new felony and misdemeanor classes.

But within the 1,100-page bill is a more substantive change in the state's drug policy.

The Senate measure, endorsed by a committee this week, would reduce the penalties for first-time marijuana possession offenders. Instead of facing a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, offenders would only be subject to a maximum $500 fine. The bill would also reduce the maximum prison sentence for other drug possession charges.

Similar House legislation, however, would leave the penalties the same as current law. Its sponsor says the criminal code overhaul should be separate from changing Missouri's drug policy.

Saturday, 08 February 2014 13:33
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Springfield man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his roommate so he could steal his heroin.

The Springfield News-Leader reports 40-year-old Jarrod Sirois was found guilty in December of first-degree murder in the beating death of 45-year-old Robert Pugh.

Judge Calvin Holden sentenced Sirois on Friday after denying his motion for a new trial.

Sirois told authorities he killed Pugh so he could steal his drugs, with the intention of overdosing on it, July 6, 2012.

Sirois admitted using a metal pipe to hit Pugh in the head three or four times while Pugh was asleep on the couch.

He told police he was only trying to knock Pugh out.

Saturday, 08 February 2014 13:32
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