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New Tennessee law aims to curb teaching ‘gateway sexual activity’
Tennessee teachers can no longer condone so-called “gateway sexual activity” such as touching genitals under a new law that critics say is too vague and could hamper discussion about safe sexual behavior.
Gov. Bill Haslam’s office Friday confirmed to Reuters that Haslam had signed the bill, which stirred up controversy nationwide and even was lampooned by comedian Stephen Colbert.
“Kissing and hugging are the last stop before reaching Groin Central Station, so it’s important to ban all the things that lead to the things that lead to sex,” he said on the “Colbert Report” television show.
But proponents say the new law helps define the existing abstinence-only sex-education policy. More…

Navy raises sonar impact on dolphins, whales dramatically
New Navy estimates showing many more dolphins, whales and other marine mammals could be hurt by sonar off Hawaii and Southern California caused alarm among environmentalists on Friday. The Navy, for its part, emphasized those were worst-case estimates and that the numbers cover a much larger testing area than before.
The numbers are in the Navy’s new draft environmental impact statement for exercises planned from 2014-2018. In it, the Navy says that, under its preferred alternative, sonar training and testing might unintentionally harm marine mammals 2.8 million times a year over five years.
“The numbers are staggering and there is absolutely no corresponding mitigation to account for this harm,” Zak Smith, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, told msnbc.com.
That’s up from about 150,000 instances a year in the Navy’s impact statement for 2009-2013, Smith added. More…

Stevie Wonder’s nephew arrested for trying to extort star
It’s safe to say a family member’s attempt to extort money from Stevie Wonder was something out of the blue. The legendary singer’s nephew Alpha Lorenzo Walker and his girlfriend Tamara Eileen Diaz were arrested May 2 and charged with extortion for allegedly threatening to sell “embarrassing information” about Wonder unless he gave them an unspecified amount of cash, E! News has confirmed.
Walker and Diaz reportedly tried to coerce the Grammy-winning musician to pony up $5 million by threatening to sell a story to the tabs.
The duo, who have been in jail since their arrest, pleaded not guilty to the charge, and are scheduled to appear in court May 16.
But this won’t be the first time 38-year-old Walker and Diaz have seen the inside of a courtroom.


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