In brief: Hobby Lobby to defy mandate
After losing a last-minute appeal to the Supreme Court, craft chain Hobby Lobby will defy a federal health care mandate requiring employers to provide its workers with insurance that covers emergency contraceptives.
The Oklahoma City-based chain, which is owned by a conservative Christian family also with holdings in the religious bookseller Mardel Inc., had appealed to the Supreme Court to block a part of the federal health care law ordering companies to offer insurance that covers contraceptive drugs including the morning-after pill.
After the court refused to block the mandate, a lawyer for Hobby Lobby said the Green family will defy the law and refuse to provide health coverage for contraception they considered to be “abortion-inducing.”
Hobby Lobby and Mardel could be fined as much as $1.3 million a day starting today.
At the time of their lawsuit, the Green family said certain types of contraception such as the morning-after pill and the week-after pill violated their religious beliefs against abortion.
Father claims shooter’s remains
HARTFORD, Conn. – The body of the man who massacred 26 people at a Connecticut elementary school was claimed by his father, a family spokesman said Monday, but the public may never know what happened with the remains.
“I know it’s very sensitive for the family. They have many, many concerns, and it’s a very sad time for them,” said Kingston, N.H., Police Chief Donald Briggs, a family acquaintance who helped the Lanzas coordinate services for Lanza’s slain mother.
Lanza shot and killed his mother, Nancy, inside their Newtown home on Dec. 14 before killing 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He committed suicide as police arrived.
Panel weighs in on Benghazi confusion
WASHINGTON – The FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies – but not the White House – made major changes in talking points that led to the Obama administration’s confusing explanations of the attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, a Senate report concluded Monday.
The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee report said the White House was only responsible for a minor change. Some Republicans had questioned whether the presidential staff rewrote the talking points for political reasons.
The committee, headed by independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, also said the director of national intelligence has been stonewalling the panel in holding back a promised timeline of the talking point changes.
U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Sept. 11 attack.
Suspect in subway death has record
NEW YORK – The family of a woman accused of shoving a man to his death in front of a subway train called police several times in the past five years because she had not been taking prescribed medication and was difficult to deal with, authorities said Monday.
Erika Menendez, 31, was being held without bail on a murder charge in the death of Sunando Sen. She told police she pushed the 46-year-old India native because she thought he was Muslim, and she hates them, according to prosecutors. The victim was Hindu, not Muslim.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly would not say what medication she was taking or whether she had a psychiatric history. Authorities were called to her home five times since 2005 on reports of an emotionally disturbed person.
Menendez had been arrested several times. She pleaded guilty to assaulting a man in 2003, and drug possession.