Merrit Kennedy

Simone Veil, a Holocaust survivor and women's rights advocate who was instrumental in legalizing abortion in France, has died at age 89.

Veil was among France's most popular politicians and was revered across the political spectrum. In 1979, she became the first directly elected president of the European Parliament.

U.S.-backed forces have surrounded the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the Islamic State group's so-called capital, dealing a symbolic blow to the extremist group as it continues to lose territory.

However, human rights advocates are sounding the alarm about civilians still inside the besieged city, which ISIS seized in 2014.

U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said Wednesday that "up to 100,000 civilians are effectively trapped as the air and ground offensive intensifies."

Three civil society groups in France have filed a lawsuit against French banking giant BNP Paribas, accusing it of complicity in the 1994 Rwandan genocide that killed more than 800,000 people.

A federal appeals court paved the way on Wednesday for Ohio to resume executions by lifting a lower court's decision to halt the state's lethal injection process.

It was a contentious decision that split the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges in an 8-6 vote.

In the case brought by death row inmates, the judges focused on the effects of the sedative midazolam, one of the three lethal injection drugs used by Ohio.

A grand jury indicted three Chicago police officers on felony charges on Tuesday, accusing them of conspiring to cover up the facts of a fatal police shooting in October 2014 of a black teenager in order to shield their fellow officer.

Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white, shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, according to prosecutors.

The U.S. State Department has issued highly public criticism of China in its latest annual report on the global state of human trafficking.

China is among the worst offenders of human trafficking, according to the Trafficking In Persons report. It's now lumped in with "Tier 3" offenders such as Syria, Iran, Russia and North Korea — the worst designation.

The Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case on whether the owner of a Colorado cake shop can refuse to provide service to same-sex couples due to his religious beliefs about marriage.

Jack Phillips, who along with his wife owns Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver, has argued that a state law compelling him to produce wedding cakes for gay couples, which runs counter to his religious beliefs, violates his right to free speech under the First Amendment.

A judge has declared a mistrial in the murder and manslaughter case against former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing over his fatal shooting of black motorist Sam DuBose.

This is the second time the case has ended in a mistrial — the jury was deadlocked in the first trial, which ended last November.

Less than a week after a judge declared a mistrial in the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby, the comedian's representatives say he intends to host a series of town halls about sexual assault and the legal system.

Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt told the TV show Good Day Alabama that the town halls could start as soon as next month and noted that the issues were particularly important for young athletes.

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that the confession of Brendan Dassey, whose case was part of the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, was involuntary. Dassey was found guilty of helping his uncle kill a young woman in 2005, and has been held in a Wisconsin prison.

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