AFL-CIO widens rolls
LOS ANGELES -- The AFL-CIO approved a resolution Monday at the federation's quadrennial convention that would expand membership for workers who aren't covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in an address that unions are facing a crisis as membership has fallen to just 11.3 percent of the work force and state legislatures have curbed union bargaining rights. He is pushing the federation to strengthen ties with like-minded groups including the Sierra Club, NAACP and the National Organization for Women.
The resolution calls for expanding ties to the growing number of non-union worker advocacy groups, such as those seeking wage hikes for fast food workers.
Gateses win Lasker Award
NEW YORK -- Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, three developers of implants that help the deaf hear, and two brain scientists have won Lasker Awards for their advances in medical research and public service.
The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced the winners of the $250,000 awards Monday in a statement. The prizes will be presented in New York City on Sept. 20.
The clinical research prize was given to Graeme Clark, Ingeborg Hochmair and Blake Wilson for development of the modern cochlear implant, a device that enabled hearing in the deaf and for the first time restored one of the five senses in a person through medicine. Richard Scheller and Thomas Sudhof won the basic science prize for research that discovered how brain cells communicate with each other using neurotransmitters.
Zimmerman threat alleged
LAKE MARY, Fla. -- The sobbing wife of George Zimmerman called 911 Monday to report that her estranged husband was threatening her with a gun and had punched her father in the nose, but hours later she decided not to press charges against the man acquitted of all charges for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.
Shellie Zimmerman, who has filed for divorce, initially told a 911 dispatcher that her husband had his hand on his gun as he sat in his car outside the home she was at with her father. She said she was scared because she wasn't sure what Mr. Zimmerman was capable of doing. But hours later she changed her story and said she never saw a firearm, said Lake Mary police Chief Steve Bracknell.
Fatal DUI confession
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A harsh sentence for an Ohio driver who made an online video confessing that he caused a fatal wrong-way crash after a night of heavy drinking would send the wrong message to people trying to take responsibility for a crime, his attorneys said Monday.
In a 3 1/2-minute video posted last week, Matthew Cordle admitted he killed a suburban Columbus man July 22 and said he "made a mistake" when he decided to drive that night.
Mr. Cordle, 22, was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide Monday and booked into Franklin County Jail.
Girl, 3, dies of starvation
PHILADELPHIA -- A severely disabled 3-year-old girl who weighed just 11 pounds when she died Monday was starved to death, police said as they held the girl's parents for questioning.
Nathalyz Rivera's father found her unresponsive inside the family's bug-infested home around midnight, but called her mother instead of 911, Capt. James Clark said. The girl was driven to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.
-- Compiled from news services