Bid to raise California tobacco tax nears November ballot

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A well-financed campaign whose backers include billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, medical groups and organized labor has collected enough signatures for a ballot measure to raise California's cigarette tax by $2 a pack, officials said.

  • Written by ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press

Supreme Court avoids major ruling in birth control dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court failed to resolve a knotty dispute between faith-based groups and the Obama administration over birth control on Monday, the latest indication of the shorthanded court's struggle to find a majority for important cases taken up before Justice Antonin Scalia's death.

  • Written by MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press

Granting Medal of Valor, Obama says US must listen to police

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama called on the nation Monday to support and listen to its law enforcement officers as he bestowed the Medal of Valor on 13 officers who risked their lives to save others.

  • Written by JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press

Colleges announced for Pell 'dual enrollment' program

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of low-income students in nearly two dozen states will soon be able to get federal grants to take college courses for credit while still in high school, part of a program the Obama administration plans to begin this summer.

  • Written by JENNIFER C. KERR, Associated Press

Schools offer lessons on accommodating transgender students

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — From locker rooms and sex education classes to dress codes and overnight field trips, many U.S. public schools already are balancing the civil rights of transgender students with any concerns that classmates, parents and community members might have.

  • Written by LISA LEFF, Associated Press