National News

Supreme Court Rules Against Union Fees For Some Home Care Workers

Updated at 10:48 a.m. ET

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that some public employees cannot be required to contribute to unions.

In a 5-4 ruling split along ideological lines, the court recognized a category of "partial public employees" who cannot be required to contribute union bargaining fees. The court said the current practice, which permits automatic deductions, violates the First Amendment rights of those nonmembers who disagree with the union's positions.

Customers enter a Hobby Lobby store in Antioch, Calif., this past spring. The Supreme Court is ruling on the crafts store chain's resistance to portions of the Affordable Care Act. The store's owners cite their religious freedom.

Some Companies Can Refuse To Cover Contraception, Supreme Court Says

The Supreme Court has ruled that family owned and other closely held companies may refuse to provide insurance coverage for some methods of birth control despite the Affordable Care Act mandate for no-cost prescription contraception in most health plans.

Owners of companies such as the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores had objected on the grounds of religious freedom.

The ruling affirms a Hobby Lobby victory in a lower court and gives new standing to similar claims by other companies.

Update at 11:05 a.m. ET: Quotes From The Opinions

Emergency Slide Deploys Inside U.S. Jetliner, Forcing A Landing

A United Airlines flight was disrupted last night after an inflatable emergency slide deployed, popping open in the aircraft's cabin. While the jet's emergency's door remained closed, pilots of the Boeing 737 quickly made an emergency landing in Wichita, Kansas.

The flight's passengers included former University of Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez, who tweeted his view from inside the cabin, along with the message, "Thankful to be safe."

Two American Men Will Likely Face Trial In North Korea

Two Americans who entered North Korea this spring could be headed for trial there, as they're accused of "hostile acts against the country," according to state media. A trial date for the two, who were traveling separately, hasn't been announced.

From Shanghai, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports:

Displaced Iraqi citizens receive meals to break their Ramadan fast from a Kurdish charity group. Iraq's central government has launched its first major operation against the ISIS insurgent group.

ISIS Declares Caliphate As Iraq Fights To Retake Tikrit

Extremist Sunni group ISIS has announced a plan to rule the territory it has carved out of Iraq and Syria in recent months, in a declaration that touches on public services, salaries and compensation for damages from the violence.

The plan was unveiled as Iraq's central Shiite government tries to retake the city of Tikrit, in its first major operation against the insurgents.

Scotland's offshore oil platforms in the North Sea generate significant wealth for the nation — especially for the Shetland Islands, where oil tanker traffic boosts the local economy.

In Shetland, Oil Shapes Debate Over Scottish Independence

In September, Scotland will vote on whether to break away from the United Kingdom and declare independence.

So far, the debate has been largely about money: One poll says most voters would switch their vote if it meant an extra 500 pounds, or around $800 dollars.

North Sea oil and gas are central to this economic debate — nowhere more so than in the remote Shetland Islands, many miles from the Scottish mainland, where tankers carrying North Sea oil come ashore. The oil has transformed both the local and national economy.

This aerial photo shows Yarnell, Ariz., days after a fire claimed the lives of 19 members of an elite firefighting crew.

Dad Of Fallen Arizona Hotshot Hopes To Make Better Fire Shelters

Firefighter Travis Turbyfill was killed one year ago by a wildfire after he and fellow members of the elite Granite Mountain Hotshots deployed to a fire shelter in an Arizona box canyon. A fierce wind blew the Yarnell Hill Fire over the crew, killing 19.

If you've noticed that kids seem to be better at figuring out these things, you're not alone.

Preschoolers Outsmart College Students In Figuring Out Gadgets

Ever wonder why children can so easily figure out how to work the TV remote? Or why they "totally get" apps on your smartphone faster than you? It turns out that young children may be more open-minded than adults when it comes to solving problems.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have found that 4- and 5-year-olds are smarter than college students when it comes to figuring out how toys and gadgets work.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell holds a rifle on stage at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference earlier this year.

Meet The Newest American Running Mate: The Rifle

This political primary season has seen an unprecedented use of guns to get votes. Republican hopefuls across the country are appearing in political ads firing guns and holding political events around firearms.

Online Psychotherapy Gains Fans And Raises Privacy Concerns

Lauren Kay has never met her therapist in person. The 24-year-old entrepreneur found it difficult to take time off work for appointments.

So she started seeing a psychotherapist online.

"It's definitely been different," she says. Kay, who lives in New York, found her counselor through an online therapy service called Pretty Padded Room. When it's time for an appointment, all she has to do is log in to the website, click a link and start video chatting.

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