National briefs: Justices decline abortion case

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WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court decided Monday not to hear a case about an Oklahoma abortion law after all, dismissing as "improvidently granted" a case it had agreed to hear in June.

The move followed an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling last week that the law, enacted in 2011, violated the Constitution by effectively banning all medicinal, nonsurgical abortions.

The ruling came in response to questions from the U.S. Supreme Court seeking clarification of the scope of the law.

Help for disabled travelers

WASHINGTON -- Disabled travelers should find it easier to access airline websites under a new set of rules the government issued Monday.

Airline website pages that have core travel information and services must be accessible to the disabled within two years, the Department of Transportation said, and all pages on airline websites must within three years be readily available to people with disabilities.

The new rules require airline ticket agents to disclose -- and offer -- Web-based discount fares to customers unable to use their sites due to a disability. Airlines already are required to provide equivalent service for consumers who are unable to use inaccessible websites.

Airlines and airports will also have to make accessible to the disabled automated kiosks providing boarding passes and baggage tags, as they purchase new equipment. If no new kiosks are installed, 25 percent of the kiosks currently at each airport location must be accessible within 10 years.

Bariatric surgery benefits

PHILADELPHIA -- Women who undergo weight loss surgery have healthier hormone levels and report marked improvement in sexual function as they shed unwanted pounds, researchers said.

The first study to track sexual satisfaction following bariatric surgery found the area often ignored by doctors can cause unanticipated changes for couples, said David Sarwer, the lead researcher and a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine.

Improvements in sexual health, and perhaps fertility, may be an added benefit of weight-loss surgery for women, the researchers said.

Also in the nation ...

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Monday temporarily halted plans by companies in New Mexico and Missouri to begin slaughtering horses, continuing on-again, off-again efforts to resume domestic equine slaughter two years after Congress lifted a ban on the practice. ... Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, 57, announced Monday that he is running for his old job, setting in motion what could become one of America's biggest campaign battles of 2014: incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott vs. Mr. Crist, his predecessor and a former Republican who lost the confidence and trust of the GOP in 2010 and has re-emerged as a Democrat.


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