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TEXAS: 2nd session on abortions

State troopers lined the halls of the Capitol in Austin and 5,000 protesters rallied outside against proposed abortion legislation as lawmakers convened Monday for a second special session. The House and Senate each met for less than an hour and recessed for the week. That was long enough to schedule new committee hearings for the proposed restrictions on abortions. Less than a week earlier, Democrats scored a rare victory in the GOP-dominated legislature by running out the clock on the first special session.


FLORIDA: Green card for gay mate

A Bulgarian graduate student and his American husband are the first gay couple in the nation to have their application for immigration benefits approved after the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriages, their lawyer said. Traian Popov, on a student visa, will be able to apply for a green card, and eventually U.S. citizenship. His marriage to Julian Marsh, performed in New York, still won't be recognized in Florida where they live. Marsh and Popov were notified Friday afternoon that their green card petition was approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


KENTUCKY: Challenger for McConnell

Declaring that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has "lost touch" with Kentucky voters, State Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, 34, announced Monday she would seek to unseat him in 2014, ending Democrats' long search for a competitive challenger to the deep-pocketed, five-term Republican. Grimes began seriously considering the race after actress Ashley Judd opted out in March. McConnell, 71, is the longest-serving U.S. senator in Kentucky history.

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