• Virginia House OKs electric chair as backup in executions

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A bill that would allow Virginia prison officials to execute inmates in the electric chair if lethal-injection drugs are unavailable sailed through the state’s Republican-dominated House of Delegates on Wednesday.

  • New Mexico official blasts EPA over Colorado mine spill

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The head of the New Mexico Environment Department blasted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday during a legislative committee meeting, saying federal officials are downplaying the long-term effects of the Gold King Mine spill.

  • French prime minister Manuel Valls, center, leaves the France's National Assembly, in Paris, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. French lawmakers voted on a divisive bill aimed at changing the constitution to introduce the possibility of revoking the citizenship of people convicted on terrorism charges in the wake of the Paris attacks.  (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    French lawmakers approve divisive citizenship bill

    PARIS (AP) — French lawmakers have approved a divisive bill aimed at making it possible to revoke the citizenship of people convicted on terrorism charges.

  • Roundhouse operator has been fielding calls for 32 years

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — One caller needed to talk with his lawmaker, but didn’t know who that was.

  • Australia commits to legal growing of medicinal marijuana

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian lawmakers committed on Wednesday to legalize the growing of marijuana for medical use within a part of the world renowned for zero-tolerance and harsh penalties for illegal drugs.

  • Ethics commission plan gains momentum in New Mexico

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has moved closer than ever to creating an independent ethics commission to keep watch over the conduct of public officials in the wake of a campaign finance scandal that led the resignation and jailing of former Secretary of State Dianna Duran.

  • An unidentified man walks past a Confederate monument in Linn Park in downtown Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. A legislative committee is considering a proposal that would make it more difficult for local officials to remove Confederate memorials like the obelisk, which the city park board has voted to take down. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

    Bill would stop removal of Confederate, historic markers

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Confederate monuments first erected after the Civil War to honor Southern soldiers have increasingly been targeted by civil rights activists who say they are offensive to blacks and should be taken down. An Alabama legislator wants to make sure that doesn’t happen without state lawmakers’ approval.

  • Alabama bill could stop removal of Confederate monuments

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — As some southern cities mull taking down the Confederate monuments that dot the Old South, an Alabama legislator wants to stop their ability to do so.

  • Md. legislature overrides veto on felon voting

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland General Assembly on Tuesday overrode Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill with the help of a lawmaker who was allowed to vote twice: once as a member of the House and again as a senator.

  • In this April 13, 2015 photo, Illinois state Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, speaks at a news conference in Benton, Ill. Bryant has proposed a bill that would criminalize posting videos of fights to social media. Her proposal is prompting concerns that it could infringe on people’s freedom of speech rights. (Byron Hetzler/The Southern via AP)

    Illinois bill would criminalize filming fights to put online

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The video posted on Facebook showed a 12-year-old on the ground while another boy tried to stomp him, with classmates standing by, circling the two and recording the fight on their phones.