WASHINGTON (AP) — As the Supreme Court sees it, companies -- and not just individuals -- can hold religious beliefs. And those companies may not have to follow the requirement in the new health care law that employers provide coverage for contraceptives for women. But the ruling only applies to corporations that are under the control of just a few people -- and it only applies to the contraceptive mandate. Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the ruling in today's 5-to-4 decision, says the government has a couple of options. It could pay for the pregnancy prevention itself -- or it could have insurance companies or a third-party administrator pay for the birth control.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court won't be hearing an appeal from Google. The company wanted to challenge a ruling that found it had pried into people's online lives through their Wi-Fi systems, as part of its effort to collect information for its Street View mapping project. A federal appeals court found that Google employees had violated the federal wiretap laws as they rolled through residential streets with care cameras to shoot photos for Street View -- and also picked up signals from Wi-Fi systems.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president has spoken with his counterparts from Russia, Germany and France to see how best to resolve the deadly conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the east. Today's phone call came as a shaky, unilateral cease-fire that started 10 days ago had just hours remaining. French officials said the talks touched on establishing a full cease-fire by both sides and on international monitoring of the border between Russia and Ukraine. The leaders also discussed freeing prisoners and holding substantial talks with Ukraine's separatist rebels.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A judge in South Africa has been told that Oscar Pistorius wasn't suffering from a mental illness when he shot and killed his girlfriend last year -- and that he was able to understand the wrongfulness of what he had done. That conclusion came from a panel of mental health experts, who had conducted an evaluation of Pistorius during the past month. His murder trial was in recess during that time, but it resumed today.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge is dismissing a defamation lawsuit filed by George Zimmerman against NBC and three reporters. In the lawsuit, Zimmerman said NBC's editing of a story on his shooting of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin made it sound as if Zimmerman had voluntarily told a 911 operator that Martin was black. He was actually responding to a dispatcher's question about the teen's race. Zimmerman said the broadcast made him seem like a racist. But in dismissing his suit, the judge said Zimmerman had failed to show the network acted with malice.