DEMOCRATS BLOCK SPENDING BILL AS SHUTDOWN LOOMS
WASHINGTON Senate Democrats have blocked a quick vote on a short-term spending bill less than 30 hours before the deadline to avoid a government shutdown.
Republicans had sought approval late Thursday, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seeking an agreement.
But Democratic leader Chuck Schumer objected. He insists on a final deal on the overall spending bill without provisions on abortion, the environment and financial regulations that the Democrats oppose.
The House is scheduled to vote on the one-week extension on Friday morning. The deadline to have a spending bill to avoid a shutdown is midnight Friday.
GARRETT GOES NO. 1 TO BROWNS
No surprise at the top of the NFL draft: Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett was the first choice by the Cleveland Browns.
Coming off a 1-15 season, the Browns need help everywhere. They began filling holes Thursday night by grabbing Garrett, a junior and All-American with dynamic passing rushing skills, probably the best of any player in this draft. While Garrett was bothered by some injuries last season, at times he was unblockable in the tough SEC.
Garrett is the first Aggie selected No. 1 overall. The draft continues Friday and Saturday in Philadelphia.
BERKELEY PROTESTS PEACEFUL AS HUNDREDS RALLY OVER COULTER
BERKELEY, Calif. Hundreds of people waving American flags and chanting "USA" gathered peacefully Thursday for a rally at a park in Berkeley home of the free speech movement to protest a canceled appearance by conservative commentator Ann Coulter.
Police in riot gear had prepared for possible violence between supporters and opponents of Coulter, but there were no major confrontations as the raucous rally wrapped up in the late afternoon.
Still, Berkeley student Joseph Pagadara, 19, said he had been worried about violence and added that the university is caught in the middle of the country's political divide.
"Both sides are so intolerant of each other. We are a divided country. We need to listen to each other but we're each caught in our own bubbles," he said.
COURT: COMPANIES CAN PAY WOMEN LESS BASED ON PAST SALARIES
SAN FRANCISCO Employers can legally pay women less than men for the same work based on differences in the workers' previous salaries, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.
The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower-court ruling that said pay differences based exclusively on prior salaries were discriminatory under the federal Equal Pay Act.
That's because women's earlier salaries are likely to be lower than men's because of gender bias, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Seng said in a 2015 decision.
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit cited a 1982 ruling by the court that said employers could use previous salary information as long as they applied it reasonably and had a business policy that justified it.
2ND WAFFLE HOUSE CO-FOUNDER DIES WEEKS AFTER PARTNER'S DEATH
ATLANTA Thomas Francis Forkner Sr., who jumped from selling real estate to the restaurant business when he co-founded Waffle House in the 1950s, has died less than two months after the death of his business partner who recruited him to help launch the famous Southern diner chain.
Waffle House said in a statement that Forkner died Wednesday at age 98. He grew up in DeKalb County just outside Atlanta, the company said, and returned there to sell real estate after serving as an Army intelligence officer during World War II.
Forkner sold a house to his neighbor, Joe Rogers Sr., who worked for the Toddle House restaurant chain. Rogers persuaded Forkner to join him in starting a restaurant of their own. They opened the first 24-hour Waffle House in the Atlanta suburb of Avondale Estates on Labor Day in 1955.