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Arkansas governor seeks fix of religion bill seen as targeting gays

Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson discusses the findings and recommendations of the National School Shield Program in WashingtonBy Steve Barnes LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) - Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson told lawmakers on Wednesday to revise a bill that rights activists and U.S. businesses said allowed discrimination against gays, and home-state corporate giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc praised his action. The state's Senate took up the challenge late on Wednesday, sending to the House of Representatives legislation that would bring the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into line with federal statutes. Indiana's governor a day earlier said lawmakers should fix a similar RFRA. In a news conference at the Capitol in Little Rock, Hutchinson, who previously said he would sign the bill, said he was sending the act back to the Republican-controlled legislature to be rewritten so it can better balance tolerance for diversity and protections of religious freedom.


Fast, furious, unstoppable: Franchise stays in high gear

This photo provided by Universal Pictures shows, Vin Diesel as Dom Toretto in a scene from "Furious 7." (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Scott Garfield)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Neither Vin Diesel nor producer Neal Moritz wanted a sequel to "The Fast and the Furious." The 2001 film about a group of East Los Angeles street racers and the FBI agent (Paul Walker) who infiltrates their ring just wasn't "that kind of film," according to Moritz.


Questions persist about sexual effects of baldness drug

A review of clinical trials on a popular drug to treat hair loss in men found that none of the studies adequately reported on sexual side effects, researchers sayA review of 34 clinical trials on a popular drug to treat hair loss in men found that none of the studies adequately reported on sexual side effects, researchers said. The findings raise serious questions about whether the drug -- known as finasteride and marketed as Propecia and Proscar, among other names -- is safe, said the report by scientists at Northwestern University, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Dermatology on Wednesday. The drug, approved in 1992, works by interfering with testosterone, and the pharmaceutical giant Merck lists decreased sex drive, impotence and problems with ejaculation among its common side effects.


California governor orders statewide water cutbacks to combat drought

A boat paddle is shown on the bottom of the nearly dry Almaden Reservoir near San JoseBy Sharon Bernstein PHILLIPS, Calif. (Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown, in his most sweeping action to combat a devastating multi-year drought, ordered residents and businesses on Wednesday to cut water use by 25 percent in the first mandatory statewide reduction in California history. The move comes as California's snowpack, which generally provides about a third of the state's water, is at its lowest level on record in a sign the state's drought, now entering its fourth year, is far from over. We're just doing it through the different water districts." Brown said the state would develop rebate plans to help families and businesses remove a planned 50 million square feet (4.6 million square meters) of lawns, and replace old appliances with newer, more water-efficient models. Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the state Water Resources Control Board, said regulators would not hesitate to issue fines of up to $10,000 a day to water districts that do not succeed in implementing the cutbacks.


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