Deal may extend former detainees' travel ban
The Obama administration is closing in on an agreement with Qatar to extend travel bans for five senior Taliban leaders released last year from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. A last-minute deal being negotiated with Qatar would see the restrictions that expire Monday extended for another six months, officials said.
Governor blocks marriage exemption
Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed a bill to exempt magistrates from performing marriages, saying "we are a nation of laws" despite his personal opposition to gay marriage. The official veto message came one day after the House voted 67-43 to pass a bill would have allowed magistrates and register of deeds employees to opt out of performing weddings if they have a religious objection.
Fracking moratorium to become law
A bill to prohibit hydraulic fracturing for more than two years will become law Saturday without Gov. Larry Hogan's signature. The legislation will bar the state from issuing permits for the controversial drilling practice until October 2017. It requires Maryland's Department of the Environment to adopt regulations for the practice by October 2016. As a candidate last year, Hogan, a Republican, expressed strong support for hydraulic fracturing.
Bevin wins gubernatorial nomination
Matt Bevin has accepted the Republican nomination for governor, setting up an election with Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway. State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer conceded after a recanvassing of the May 19 primary results confirmed that Bevin won by 83 votes. The election is Nov. 3.
Hanging inquiry ends with no charges
There is no evidence that the death of Otis Byrd, whose body was found hanging from a tree in Mississippi, was a homicide, federal officials announced. The investigation ended without charges, officials said. The death had raised fears of a racial lynching.
Country has world's lowest birthrate
Germany now has the world's lowest birthrate — and its economy is poised to suffer as a result. Germany recorded about 8.3 births per 1,000 citizens in the five years through 2013, less than Japan's 8.4 and Britain's 12.7. While other western nations are also experiencing declining birthrates, nowhere has the change been as dramatic as in the country that is Europe's economic powerhouse. The tally there has shrunk by half in the past 50 years.