National briefs: 1 in 5 U.S. spouses are foreign-born

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WASHINGTON -- One in five married households has at least one spouse who was born outside the United States, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.

Immigration trends have contributed to the growing number of foreign-born Americans, and the Census Bureau found 21 percent of married households in the U.S. in 2011 had at least one foreign-born spouse.

In California, Nevada, Hawaii and the District of Columbia, at least 12 percent of the married households included one American-born spouse and another foreign-born person, which the Census Bureau calls "mixed-nativity." The national average is 7.4 percent.

Hawaii had the highest percentage of such households, at 16 percent. Mississippi, South Dakota and West Virginia had the lowest percentages, each at 2 percent.

The report did not include same-sex married couples.

Zimmermans to split

ORLANDO, Fla. -- George Zimmerman's wife is preparing to file for divorce, her defense lawyer confirmed Thursday, less than two months after the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer was acquitted of murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Shellie Zimmerman's attorney, Kelly Sims, told the Orlando Sentinel that he was still preparing a petition but had not yet filed it. The Seminole County Clerk of Courts confirmed that the couple's divorce paperwork had not yet been received.

The news comes a week after Ms. Zimmerman revealed new details about the couple's strained relationship in a TV interview.

Fire blamed on hunter

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A hunter who allowed an illegal fire to escape caused the massive fire burning in and around Yosemite National Park, investigators from the U.S. Forest Service said Thursday.

No arrests have been made in the case and the hunter's name is being withheld "pending further investigation," it said.

The Rim Fire, which is now 80 percent contained, has burned 237,341 acres, including 66,155 acres within Yosemite. It is the largest fire in recorded history in the Sierra Nevada range and the largest fire to burn in the park since records were first kept in 1930.

Prison hunger strike ends

LOS ANGELES -- Inmates at California state prisons have ended a two-month hunger strike, corrections officials and inmate advocates said Thursday.

The strike was organized to protest the state's use of solitary confinement, in which some inmates have been held for years or even decades. It was the third hunger strike in California state prisons since 2011.

Protest organizers voted Wednesday to end the hunger strike just days after two state lawmakers pledged to hold public hearings on the conditions in the state's maximum-security prisons and the use of long-term isolation.

Gay rights measure passes

SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio's leaders Thursday approved anti-bias protections for gay and transgender residents, over the disapproval of top Texas Republicans and religious conservatives who packed a City Council hearing and occasionally shamed supporters for comparing the issue to the civil rights movement.

The 8-3 vote in favor of the ordinance was a victory for gay rights advocates and for Democratic Mayor Julian Castro, a top surrogate of President Barack Obama. Mr. Castro has called the ordinance overdue in the nation's seventh-largest city, where there is a stronger current of traditionalism and conservatism than other major Texas cities that already have similar gay rights protections.

-- Compiled from news services

nation


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