At a Glance . . .

Judge halts order for speaker to testify

LANSING (AP) — A judge has granted Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter’s request to halt an order that he testify in the criminal case of two former lawmakers who were forced from office.

Ingham County Circuit Judge James Jamo stayed District Judge Hugh Clark Jr.’s ruling this week and ordered additional briefs. It’s unclear when oral arguments will be heard.

The probable cause hearing for former Republican Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat began this week. Cotter’s top aide and other House employees were scheduled to testify.

Courser, who resigned in September, and Gamrat, who was expelled, face felony misconduct in office charges related to an attempted cover-up of their extramarital affair.


Obama signs bill  striking offensive terms from laws

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal laws will no longer include outdated and offensive terms used to describe minority groups.

President Barack Obama has signed a bill striking the several terms, including “Negro” and “Oriental,” the White House said. Those terms will be replaced with “African American” and “Asian American.”

The bill removing the terms passed the House in February and the Senate this month. No one in either chamber objected.

The language targeted by the bill had appeared in laws dating to the 1970s that attempted to define minorities.

In the Department of Energy Organization Act the phrases “a Negro, Puerto Rican, American Indian, Eskimo, Oriental, or Aleut or is a Spanish speaking individual of Spanish descent” will be replaced with “Asian American, Native Hawaiian, a Pacific Islander, African American, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Native American, or an Alaska Native.”


Justices say no constitutional right to speedy sentencing

WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous Supreme Court has ruled that a delay in imposing a prison sentence does not violate the Constitution’s right to a speedy trial.

The justices recently upheld the sentencing of Montana defendant Brandon Betterman, who waited in jail for 14 months before being sentenced on a bail-jumping charge.

The court was being asked for the first time to extend the right to a speedy trial that is part of the Sixth Amendment to the sentencing phase of a case. But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said for the court that “the right does not extend post-conviction.”


Eiffel Tower to be turned into a Euro 2016 rental apartment

PARIS (AP) — Four lucky competition winners are set to be the first people in history to use the Eiffel Tower as a vacation home next month.

Rental company HomeAway is taking over part of the first floor of the iconic landmark for the duration of the UEFA Euro 2016 soccer tournament in Paris, and transforming it into living quarters.

Brian Sharples, HomeAway CEO, called the move “unprecedented” and said it was “guaranteed to provide the most epic vacation memories of a lifetime.”


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