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Study finds ship noise disrupting humpback whale feeding

CONCORD, N.H. — One of the biggest threats to humpback whales spending their summers in New England is being hit by a passing ship.

But a collision isn’t all they have to fear. A study published Wednesday found that low-frequency noise from passing freighters and cargo ships near the coast could be disrupting their ability to feed.

Fire chief: Man saved from blaze by son’s cackling chickens

CREEKSIDE, Pa. — A Pennsylvania fire chief says some cackling chickens turned out to be cock-a-doodle-do-gooders.

Creekside Fire Chief Pete Yacovone says David Wells escaped from his burning Indiana County home at around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday after his son was awakened by his chickens. The chief says the chickens might have been startled by the fire.

Supreme Court ruling imperils abortion laws in many states

NEW YORK — By striking down tough abortion restrictions in Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court has emboldened abortion-rights activists nationwide and imperiled a range of anti-abortion laws in numerous states.

Many anti-abortion leaders were openly disappointed, bracing for the demise of restrictions that they had worked vigorously to enact over the past few years.

As NOW turns 50, feminists hail gains but ‘battle goes on’

NEW YORK — Fifty years ago, when a small group of activists founded the National Organization for Women, the immediate issue that motivated them was sex discrimination in employment. They were irate that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was refusing to ban “Help Wanted Male” and “Help Wanted Female” job advertising.

California foster parents continue fight for Indian girl

The scene was wrenching: A sobbing 6-year-old girl, clutching a stuffed bear as her foster father carries her away from the only home she has known for most of her life.

But Lexi’s story didn’t end in March when she was removed from a Santa Clarita home near Los Angeles. Her story isn’t one of simple emotions but rather complex issues of ethnicity, government and history.

Mesh opening allowed leopard to escape Utah zoo enclosure

SALT LAKE CITY — A rare leopard at a Salt Lake City zoo escaped to a nearby high beam by squeezing through a small opening in the steel-grade mesh on top of her enclosure, officials said.

Hogle Zoo spokeswoman Erica Hansen said Wednesday that a security team investigating the escape found a trail of leopard hair around the 6-inch-by-6-inch opening built into the enclosure’s mesh.