- - Thursday, September 20, 2012


BIRMINGHAM — The Mexican government is reviewing a labor union’s complaint that Alabama’s crackdown on illegal immigrants violates an international trade agreement.

An official with Mexico’s labor department confirms the review in a letter released Thursday by the Service Employees International Union, which filed the complaint. The union and a Mexican lawyers group filed a complaint in April contending Alabama’s law targeting illegal immigrants violates protections guaranteed to migrant workers under a side deal to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Mexican government says it has asked the U.S. to begin talks allowed under the trade deal.


‘Innocence of Muslims’ star loses bid to have YouTube pull film

LOS ANGELES — An actress who appeared in a film that sparked riots in the Middle East lost her legal challenge Thursday to have the 14-minute trailer taken down from YouTube.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin rejected the request from Cindy Lee Garcia because she wasn’t able to produce any agreement she had with the makers of “Innocence of Muslims,” and the man behind the film hadn’t been served with a copy of her lawsuit.

Miss Garcia’s lawsuit aimed to have the video removed from YouTube’s site that has been linked to Muslim protests that continue to rage across the Middle East and killed at least 30 people in seven countries, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

Miss Garcia’s attorney, Cris Armenta, told reporters Thursday that her client plans to return to court in three weeks with more evidence to bolster her case.


Doctors group recommends IUDs, implants for teen girls

CHICAGO — Teenage girls may prefer the pill, the patch or even wishful thinking, but their doctors should be recommending IUDs or hormonal implants — long-lasting and more effective birth control that you don’t have to remember to use every time, the nation’s leading gynecologists group said Thursday.

The IUD and implants are safe and nearly 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, and should be “first-line recommendations,” the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said in updating its guidance for teens.

The organization’s previous guidelines, issued in 2007, also encouraged the use of IUDs and implants among teenagers. The new guidelines go further in saying physicians should discuss the two types of birth control with sexually active teens at every doctor visit.

Both types of contraception are more invasive and expensive than the pill, requiring a doctor to put them in place.


Minister fights after-dark ban on Bourbon Street preaching

NEW ORLEANS — A street preacher sued Thursday to block a city ordinance that restricts religious or political speech on Bourbon Street after dark.

In his federal lawsuit, New Orleans pastor Paul Gros claimed the city’s “aggressive solicitation” ordinance sets unconstitutional limits on free speech.

Mr. Gros said he was preaching on Bourbon Street with his wife, another pastor and a friend on the night of May 15 when police ordered him to stop.

“They told him if he didn’t stop he would be arrested,” said one of his attorneys, Nate Kellum.

The City Council adopted the ordinance in October 2011. A violation is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.


Scientists locate gene in cats that sets tabby’s coloration

NEW YORK — How does a tabby cat earn its stripes? With the right DNA.

Scientists say they’ve found the gene that sets the common tabby pattern — stripes or blotches.

It’s one of several genes that collaborate to create the distinctive design of a cat’s coat, and it’s the first of the pattern genes to be identified.

Cats with narrow stripes, the so-called “mackerel” pattern, have a working copy of the gene. But if a mutation turns the gene off, the cat ends up with the blotchy “classic” pattern, researchers reported online Thursday in the journal Science.

It’s called “classic” because “cat lovers really like the blotched pattern,” said one of the authors, Greg Barsh. He works at both Stanford University and the HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology in Huntsville, Ala.

The research team, which included scientists from the National Cancer Institute, examined DNA from wild cats in California to identify the gene.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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