The Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) >> The Episcopal Church has completed its embrace of gay rights, changing church law to allow same-sex religious marriages throughout the denomination, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide. The new policy won overwhelming approval from the top Episcopal legislative body Wednesday, following decades of debate and conflict.   Full Story
 
The Associated Press
GREELEYVILLE, S.C. (AP) >> As investigators probe the cause of a fire that destroyed a rural South Carolina black church rebuilt after the Ku Klux Klan torched it 20 years ago, statistics show church fires are not unusual, and that the vast majority in recent years were not intentionally set. Of the blazes that occurred at houses of worship dozens of times a week across the nation, about 84   Full Story
 
Brittany Bade/WBIR.com via AP
MARYVILLE, TENN. (AP) >> Authorities say at least one train car carrying a flammable and toxic gas has derailed and caught fire in eastern Tennessee, prompting an evacuation within a 1-mile radius. WATE-TV reports the CSX train derailed in Blount County in the Maryville area, south of Knoxville.   Full Story
 
WASHINGTON (AP) >>— The United States and Cuba have agreed to open embassies in each other's capitals, the biggest tangible step in the countries' historic bid to restore ties after more than a half-century of hostilities. President Barack Obama is expected to announce the agreement Wednesday at the White House.   Full Story
 
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) >> Oklahoma and Florida moved quickly to resume lethal injections after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of midazolam, a sedative that has been used in several problematic executions. Attorneys general in both states asked courts Monday to allow executions to proceed, just hours after the high court voted 5-4 in a case from Oklahoma that midazolam can be used in   Full Story
 
ALFRED, MAINE (AP) >> A Maine woman has pleaded guilty to stealing Christmas wreaths and arrangements from grave sites in a Saco cemetery to decorate her own properties during the holidays. Saco police announced that 56-year-old Pamela Golarz, of Old Orchard Beach, was fined $950 after pleading guilty to theft in York County Superior Court.   Full Story
 
Melissa Boughton — The Post and Courier via AP
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) >> The funeral for the victim whose husband offered forgiveness to the suspect in the deadly shootings at a South Carolina church will be held Monday at the church where the attack took place. Myra Thompson, 59, was one of nine people gunned down during Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on June 17.   Full Story
 
Mike Groll — Associated Press
MALONE, N.Y. >> The second of two convicted murderers who staged a brazen escape three weeks ago from a maximum-security prison in northern New York was shot and captured near the Canadian border on Sunday, two days after his fellow inmate was killed in a confrontation with law enforcement officers, a sheriff said.   Full Story
 
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) >>The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court's 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.   Full Story
 
The right of same-sex couples to marry is the biggest of five cases still to be decided by the Supreme Court. The justices gave the Obama administration big victories Thursday, in upholding a key part of the health care overhaul and the use of a potent tool to fight housing discrimination. The justices will take the bench again Friday to hand down more opinions.   Full Story
 
Dborah Cannon/Austin American-Statesman via AP
ST. LOUIS (AP) >> Vandals have targeted monuments dedicated to the leaders and soldiers of the Confederacy, painting the slogan "Black lives matter" on memorials in a half-dozen states where the landmarks stand tall in parks and outside government buildings. The graffiti reflects the racial tension that permeates post-Ferguson America, more than a week after a white man was accused of   Full Story
 
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) >> The Supreme Court has upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans. The justices said in a 6-3 ruling Thursday that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health   Full Story
 
DENVER (AP) >> Attorneys for Colorado theater shooter James Holmes begin presenting their case Thursday by trying to show he was legally insane when he opened fire on a packed movie premiere, killing 12 people and wounding 70. Defense witnesses will offer a less emotional and more clinical assessment of Holmes after two months of often-gruesome testimony from prosecution witnesses,   Full Story
 
The Associated Press
PORT WASHINGTON, WIS. (AP) >> Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on the 1990s TV show "Saved by the Bell," was sentenced Thursday to 4 months in jail for a stabbing in a Wisconsin bar. Judge Paul Malloy also sentenced Diamond to 15 months' probation and ordered him to report to jail Sunday. Diamond was convicted earlier this month on two misdemeanor counts that stemmed from a Christmas Day   Full Story
 
Stephen B. Morton — The Associated Press
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) >> A week of funerals lie ahead for victims of the Charleston church massacre that killed nine people, re-opened old racial wounds and evoked memories of past episodes of violence against black churches. Bells tolled across the city Sunday as thousands linked up on a towering bridge and a historic sanctuary reopened in displays of unity.   Full Story