Barack Obama calls for end to gay 'conversion' therapies

US President Barack Obama is calling for an end to so-called conversion therapies that seek to change sexual or gender orientation of young homosexuals or transgenders. The call is in response to a petition on the White House website that was launched after the death of 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn, a transgender youth who committed suicide in December. In a note posted online before her death, Alcorn wrote about being forced

Wall St. ticks up on M&A but energy weighs as crude drops

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday on merger activity in the healthcare sector even as energy stocks sold off after a large buildup in crude stockpiles sent oil futures reeling. Traders are keeping an eye out for the release of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s March policy meeting, in which the Fed downgraded its economic growth and inflation projections while leaving the door open to raising rates in the

Alaska Airlines refunds fares for California cancer patient removed from flight

(Reuters) – A Northern California cancer patient whose removal from an Alaska Airlines flight caused outrage online said on Wednesday that the carrier refunded her family’s airfare, which will be donated to research. In a video posted on her Facebook page, Elizabeth Sedway said she was asked to leave the flight from Lihue Airport in Kauai, Hawaii, to San Jose on Monday after an Alaska Airlines employee said she would