Virginia

Panel calls for Virginia to purge dozens of old racist laws

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The laws are still on the books in Virginia: Blacks and whites must sit in separate rail cars. They cannot use the same playgrounds, schools or mental hospitals. They can’t marry each other either.

The measures have not been enforced for decades, but they remain in the state’s official legal record. A state commission on Thursday recommended that dozens of such discriminatory statutes finally be repealed, in some cases more than a century after they were adopted.

In Virginia, Bloomberg blasts Trump for Navy leader’s ouster

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — New presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg traveled to the city that hosts the world’s largest Navy base on Monday and blasted President Donald Trump over the recent ouster of the nation’s Navy secretary.

For the first stop of his Democratic campaign, Bloomberg went to Norfolk, where he criticized Trump over the firing of Richard Spencer. The civilian leader of the Navy said he could not in good conscience follow an order by the president to allow a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes to retire without losing his SEAL status.

Ex-CIA officer gets 19 years in China spy conspiracy

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A former CIA case agent was sentenced to 19 years in prison Friday for an espionage conspiracy in which prosecutors say he received more than $840,000 from China to divulge the names of human sources and his knowledge of spycraft.

The sentence imposed on Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 55, was significantly longer than the 10-years sought by defense attorneys.

Virginia Democrats’ speaker pick would be first woman in job

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s House of Delegates is expected to soon have its first female speaker in its 400-year history, as the chamber’s incoming Democrats chose a veteran legislator for the post Saturday.

Democratic delegates for the upcoming session picked Del. Eileen Filler-Corn of Fairfax County as their nominee.

Filler-Corn’s election as speaker on the session’s first day in January is anticipated because Democrats on Tuesday won a majority in the state House for the first time in two decades.

Democrats promise swift action after win in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Democrats promised swift action on a host of liberal policy proposals after taking full control of state government for the first time in more than two decades.

Democratic leaders said Virginians should expect a higher minimum wage, new gun restrictions and greater abortion rights after their party flipped control of the state House and Senate in Tuesday’s election. They also promised ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, making Virginia the final state needed for possible passage of the gender equality measure.

Doctor facing life in prison for thousands of opioid doses

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — By the time drug enforcement agents swooped into his small medical office in Martinsville, Virginia, in 2017, Dr. Joel Smithers had prescribed about a half a million doses of highly addictive opioids in two years.

Patients from five states drove hundreds of miles to see him, spending up to 16 hours on the road to get prescriptions for oxycodone and other powerful painkillers.

Liberty's Falwell says he's target of 'attempted coup'

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said Tuesday that he is asking the FBI to investigate what he called a “criminal” smear campaign orchestrated against him by several disgruntled former board members and employees.

Falwell told The Associated Press he has evidence that the group improperly shared emails belonging to the university with reporters in an attempt to discredit him. He said the “attempted coup” was partially motivated by his ardent backing of President Donald Trump.

Appeals court reinstates lawsuit in SC church shooting case

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A lawsuit over a faulty background check that allowed a South Carolina man to buy the gun he used to kill nine people in a racist attack at a Charleston church was reinstated Friday by a federal appeals court.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling from a lower court judge who threw out the claims brought by relatives of people killed by Dylann Roof in the 2015 massacre, and by survivors.

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