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The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday and is the second such federal challenge filed by female service members this year.

The latest demands the lifting of the military’s so-called combat-exclusionary policy that applies to all women.

The lawsuit alleges the ban on a single gender violates constitutional equal-protection rights and unfairly blocks women from promotions and other advancements open to men in combat.

Further, the lawsuit alleges that women are already serving unofficially in combat units.

Two of the four women who filed the lawsuit have received Purple Heart medals for injuries sustained in Afghanistan. The women are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union.

ILLINOIS

Man gets life term for killing wife, children

JOLIET — A suburban Chicago man was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for killing his wife and three school-age children as they sat buckled into the family’s SUV — allegedly so he could start a new life subsisting in the Canadian wilderness.

The sentencing of Christopher Vaughn, 37, came two months after jurors found him guilty of killing his wife, Kimberly, 34, and their children on June 14, 2007. Each child was shot once in the chest and head.

The judge sentenced Vaughn to four consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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