In this July 15, 2013 file photo, two signs that read “Who Lobbied For This?” and “We Need Healthcare Options, Not Obstacles” are held by attendees of a rally in front of Dallas city hall where a group of nearly 200 gathered to protest the approval of sweeping new restrictions on abortion in Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File) by Christopher Sherman and Chris TomlinsonAssociated Press Writers HARLINGEN, Texas (AP) — In a Texas abortion clinic, about a dozen women waited Friday to see the doctor, already aware that they would not be able to end their pregnancies there. A day after a federal appeals court allowed most of the state’s new abortion restrictions to take effect during a legal challenge, about a third of Texas’ clinics were barred from performing the procedure. Thursday’s ruling made Texas the fourth and largest state to enforce a provision requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges in a nearby hospital. In places such as the Rio Grande Valley and rural West Texas, the mandate put hundreds of miles between many women and abortion providers.
Pictured in Courier file photo is Chief Judge Gary Lancaster who died suddenly April 24, 2013 at his home in Stanton Heights. He was 63. As part of its continuing efforts to promote diversity, the Black Political Empowerment Project has initiated a campaign to have an African-American appointed to the US District Court for Western Pennsylvania. The court has been without a Black judge since Chief Judge Gary Lancaster suffered a fatal heart attack in April. When he was appointed to the court in 2009, Lancaster was the only African-American serving on any U.S. District Court. In a letter dated Oct. 14, Tim Stevens, B-PEP president, began soliciting support from a variety of sources requesting President Obama make a new appointment, among those contacted are U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey–who will ultimately make recommendations to the president, US Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa.; Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl; Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Peduto; and both Allegheny Democratic Party Chair Nancy Mills and Republican Party Chair Jim Roddey.
In this May 1, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Federal Housing Finance Authority director Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., waves during the announcement of his nomination in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) by Alan Fram Associated Press WriterWASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked President Barack Obama’s picks for a powerful federal court and a housing regulatory agency, prompting Democrats to threaten curtailing the GOP’s ability to derail nominations. “Something has to change, and I hope we can make the changes necessary through cooperation,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said after the votes.
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, right, laughs as he visits a classroom at Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn borough of New York, Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, to highlight the importance of education in providing skills for American workers in a global economy. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) by Josh LedermanAssociated Press Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Regrouping with Democrats after a bitter budget fight, President Barack Obama on Friday cast the recent spending-and-debt standoff with Congress as “a symptom of a larger challenge” but one offering Democrats the chance to show voters the virtues of their vision for government ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.
Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of CGI listens at left as Andy Slavitt, representing QSSI’s parent company, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with contractors that built the federal government’s health care websites. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Stephen OhlemacherAssociated Press Writers WASHINGTON (AP) — The leading contractors on the Obama administration’s troubled health insurance website told Congress Thursday that the government failed to thoroughly test the complicated system before it went live.