Last updated: July 04. 2013 12:34AM - 555 Views

King to relinquish crownBelgian Queen Paola adjusts the tie of King Albert II moments before he addresses the nation on television Wednesday at the Royal Palace in Brussels. King Albert unexpectedly announced that he will step down later this month in favor of his son, Crown Prince Philippe. The move had been rumored for weeks and will end nearly two decades of steady reign over a fractious kingdom.
King to relinquish crownBelgian Queen Paola adjusts the tie of King Albert II moments before he addresses the nation on television Wednesday at the Royal Palace in Brussels. King Albert unexpectedly announced that he will step down later this month in favor of his son, Crown Prince Philippe. The move had been rumored for weeks and will end nearly two decades of steady reign over a fractious kingdom.
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TALAHASSEE, Fla.


Investigator tabbed for deadly Ariz. wildfire


The Florida State Forester will lead the investigation into the deaths of 19 firefighters who died in Arizona this week.


Jim Karels was named as the lead investigator Wednesday charged with reviewing the Yarnell Hill Fire that killed members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Violent wind gusts on Sunday turned what was believed to be a relatively manageable lightning-ignited forest fire into a death trap that left no escape for the team.


Mike Dudley, Acting Director of Cooperative Forestry of the U.S. Forest Service, will be the secondary team lead.


TRENTON, N.J.


Judge asked to rule for gay marriage


Six couples and their children have asked a New Jersey judge to force the state to recognize gay marriage.


The motion for summary judgment was filed in a state court Wednesday. Lawyers for the couples announced last week that they would be making the motion.


They had sued two years ago, saying that the civil unions allowed in the state do not give couples the full rights and benefits that married couples get, as required by a 2006 state Supreme Court ruling.


But the group says it’s more urgent now after last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that invalidates a federal ban on same-sex marriage.


The couples say that the state is now what is keeping them from equality and say no trial is needed to prove it.


MADISON, Wis.


Homicide convictions of couple upheld


A mother and father who prayed instead of seeking medical help as their daughter died in front of them were properly convicted of homicide, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.


Eleven-year-old Madeline Kara Neumann died of undiagnosed diabetes on Easter Sunday in March 2008 at her parents’ home in the central Wisconsin village of Weston. Prosecutors said her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, ignored obvious symptoms of severe illness as their daughter became too weak to speak, eat, drink or walk, choosing to pray rather than take her to a doctor.


Doctors testified that the child, known as Kara, would have had a good chance of survival if she had received medical care, including insulin and fluids, before she stopped breathing.


LONDON


UK tries to boost military reserves


British army reservists will get military pensions and other benefits as part of a government bid to boost reserve numbers, the U.K. defense secretary said Wednesday.


The proposals unveiled by Philip Hammond — which include rebranding the Territorial Army as the Army Reserve — come as Britain cuts its regular army from 100,000 to just over 80,000 soldiers and increases its fully trained army reservists to 30,000 from around 19,000 by 2018.


Hammond told lawmakers Wednesday that the government will invest about$2.7 billion during the next 10 years in the reserves.

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