In brief: Racial minorities constitute majority of babies, census figures show


WASHINGTON – Census figures show that minorities for the first time now make up a majority of babies in the U.S. It’s part of a sweeping race change and growing age divide between mostly white, older Americans and predominantly minority younger people that could reshape government policies.

Preliminary census estimates also show that the share of African-American households headed by women – made up of mostly single mothers – now exceeds African-American households with married couples, a sign of challenges for black youths without fathers at home.

Demographers say the numbers provide the clearest confirmation yet of a changing social order in which racial and ethnic minorities will become the U.S. majority by midcentury.

The findings are based on the latest government data and offer a preview of final 2010 census results.

Tornado death toll climbs to 156

JOPLIN, Mo. – The death toll from the May 22 tornado that struck Joplin, Mo., has risen to 156.

The city’s public information office says it was notified Wednesday of the death of Grace M. Sanders, who was injured in the tornado. No other information about the victim or the death was released.

Candidate Huntsman files paperwork

COLUMBIA, S.C. – GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman has filed his paperwork to run in South Carolina’s first-in-the-South primary.

Huntsman appeared with his wife and five of their seven children to file the documents and pay a $35,000 filing fee at state Republican Party headquarters in Columbia.

The former Utah governor announced his candidacy Tuesday in New Jersey.

Jury selection begins in officers’ trial

NEW ORLEANS – The first day of jury selection ended Wednesday without anyone seated to hear the case of five current or former New Orleans police officers charged in the deadly shootings of unarmed people on a bridge in Hurricane Katrina’s chaotic aftermath.

For more than five hours, U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt and attorneys questioned prospective jurors individually behind closed doors. The jury pool is set to return today for more questioning.

Five former officers already have pleaded guilty to participating in a cover-up to make it appear that police were justified in the shootings.

Four others – Sgts. Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius, Officer Anthony Villavaso and former officer Robert Faulcon – were indicted last year on charges stemming from the shootings. Two police investigators – retired Sgts. Arthur Kaufman and Gerard Dugue – were charged in the alleged cover-up.

Dugue will be tried separately. The trial for the other five indicted officers is expected to last up to eight weeks.


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