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Associated Press

Easter on 4/20, pot holy day; pastors reach out

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Social media has been buzzing for weeks with jokes about how, this year, Easter Sunday shares the calendar with the pot-lover's highest holiday: April 20, or 420 in stoner lingo. Pot-smokers have long celebrated on the date by lighting up for reasons not quite clear.

Yet amid the online cracks about worshipping a "higher" power, tutorials on how to make a joint shaped like a cross and photos of Easter baskets piled with pot-filled eggs, a handful of churches nationwide are using the unfortunate coincidence to make much bigger points.



Pope washes feet of elderly, disabled in rite

ROME (AP) -- Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 disabled and elderly people Thursday - women and non-Catholics among them - in a pre-Easter ritual designed to show his willingness to serve others like a "slave."

Francis' decision in 2013 to perform the Holy Thursday ritual on women and Muslim inmates at a juvenile detention center helped define his rule-breaking papacy just two weeks after his election. It riled traditionalist Catholics, who pointed to the Vatican's own regulations that the ritual be performed only on men since Jesus' 12 apostles were men.



Full lunar eclipse with 'blood moon', 1st of year

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Sky-gazers in North and South America were treated to a full lunar eclipse - at least those fortunate enough to have clear skies.

The moon was eclipsed by the Earth's shadow early Tuesday, beginning around 1 a.m. EDT for 5 1/2 hours. The total phase of the eclipse lasted just 78 minutes.

For some, the moon appeared red-orange because of all the sunsets and sunrises shimmering from Earth, thus the name "blood moon."



Hawaii lawmakers pass minimum wage hike

HONOLULU (AP) - Lawmakers have passed a bill that will raise the minimum wage in Hawaii.

The House passed the measure Tuesday. Before it goes to the governor to become law, its details will have to be hammered out in conference with the Senate.

In its current form, the bill raises Hawaii's minimum wage by 50 cents beginning next year and by 75 cents a year until it hits $10 an hour in 2018.



Officials: 4 dead, including gunman, at Fort Hood

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- Two U.S. law enforcement officials tell The Associated Press that four people have been killed in a shooting at Fort Hood.

The officials said the four dead in Wednesday's shooting include the shooter.

One of the officials, citing official internal Justice Department updates, says 14 others were hurt.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information by name.



Surgery gives long-term help for obese diabetics

WASHINGTON (AP) -- New research is boosting hopes that weight-loss surgery can put some patients' diabetes into remission for years and perhaps in some cases, for good.
 



Global warming dials up our risks, UN report says

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) -- Global warming is driving humanity toward a whole new level of many risks, a United Nations scientific panel reports, warning that the wild climate ride has only just begun.



Native Hawaiians Protest Name of STD 'Hula' App

HONOLULU (AP) -- The founder of a sexually transmitted disease information app called "Hula" said he doesn't plan to change the name despite an online petition asking him to do so. But he said he now understands why the term "getting lei'd" is culturally insensitive.
 
Hula CEO and founder Ramin Bastani told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his Los Angeles-based company is working hard to understand concerns raised by some in the Native Hawaiian community.
 



Hawaii lawmakers vow ban on police sex with prostitutes

HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii lawmakers on Friday vowed to restore a line in a bill that would make it illegal for police to have sex with prostitutes.
 
Currently in Hawaii, police working within the scope of duty are exempt from all prostitution laws. A line in House Bill 1926 would have removed that exemption if officers have sex with prostitutes, but it was removed when Honolulu police told lawmakers that exemption was an important part of fighting crime.
 



Ex-Halawa guard pleads guilty in meth smuggling

HONOLULU (AP) - A former prison guard has pleaded guilty to charges related to smuggling methamphetamine into Halawa Correctional Facility.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports James Sanders III said Tuesday in federal court that he distributed meth to a confidential informant and took $5,000 to smuggle items into the prison.

He pleaded guilty to a meth distribution charge and bribery.

He was one of two guards arrested in January for allegedly smuggling drugs into prison.

Sanders faces up to 50 years in prison and more than $5 million in fines when he's sentenced on June 26.



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