Washington, D.C.

Supreme Court to hear union fees case

The Supreme Court will consider next term whether public employees can be compelled to pay fees to unions they do not want to join, a provision that union leaders say is vital to their continued success. The justices will consider a case from a group of California teachers who say paying fees violates their free speech rights when they disagree with the positions the unions take.

 

Illinois

Budget standoff may lead to shutdown

Illinois’ cash-short government moved closer to a shutdown as a partisan budget impasse threatened the delivery of services and paychecks to tens of thousands of employees. With a new budget year beginning Wednesday, the Democratic-controlled legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner remained far apart on how to close a budget hole of at least $6.2 billion.

 

North Carolina

Release of red wolves halted temporarily

Federal officials said that they won’t release any more endangered red wolves in eastern North Carolina while they study the viability of the only wild population of the species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that no more captive-bred wolves will be used to bolster the wild population of between 75 and 100 of the carnivores in several counties.

 

Oklahoma

Court orders removal of religious marker

The state Supreme Court said the Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol must be removed because it indirectly benefits the Jewish and Christian faiths. The court ruled that the Oklahoma Constitution bans using public property to benefit a religion.

 

Syria

ISIL launches fierce, surprise attack

Fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant launched a surprise attack on a Syrian border town recently seized by U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, taking positions in the eastern part of the town and waging fierce gun battles with its defenders. The attack on Tal Abyad resembled another surprise ISIL assault last week on the border town of Kobani, where Kurdish forces backed by U.S.-led airstrikes had driven out the extremists in January.

 

France

Charges are filed in terrorism case

French investigators approved preliminary murder and terrorism charges against a man accused of beheading his boss at a gas factory and suspected of ISIL ties. Yassin Salhi was ordered to remain in custody, Paris prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said. Salhi was arrested after the attack Friday in southeast France, which put the country back on high alert after deadly extremist attacks in January.

 

Yemen

Inmates flee prison

A Yemeni security official said some 1,200 inmates fled a prison after guards deserted their posts amid fierce fighting between Shiite rebels and their opponents. The jailbreak in Taiz came after the city’s main prison was caught in crossfire between southerners fighting for autonomy or outright independence and the rebels, known as Houthis, who are backed by army units loyal to a former president. It was the third major jailbreak in Yemen since a Saudi-led air campaign against the rebels began on March 26.

News services