Top drill sergeant gets her job back

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The first female boss at the Army's prestigious drill sergeant school is being reinstated after she was suspended in November for reasons the Army has never explained, her attorney and the Army said Friday.

Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa King, who is black, filed a military legal complaint over the suspension, arguing it was a result of racism and sexism from soldiers who resented her promotion and the national attention it attracted.

"To the Army leadership, I have devoted my life to train American soldiers. My removal was without justification," King said Friday. Her attorney, James Smith, said she would return to her job as commandant of the drill sergeant school at Fort Jackson, the nation's largest military training installation.

The decision to reinstate her was made by Maj. Gen. Bradley May, the deputy commandant of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. - AP

Court: Texas can't withhold funding

AUSTIN, Texas - A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Texas cannot ban Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds, at least until a lower court has a chance to hear formal arguments.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit agreed Friday with a lower court that there's sufficient evidence that the state's law preventing Planned Parenthood from participating in the Women's Health Program is unconstitutional. The program provides health care and contraception to 130,000 poor women.

District Court Judge Lee Yeakel had issued an injunction keeping Texas from enforcing the law on Tuesday, but Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott appealed to the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.

On Friday, the court said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott hadn't shown that Texas would be irreparably harmed by holding off on enforcing the new law until a trial can be held in Austin.

- AP

Gay unions move ahead in Colo.

DENVER - Gay couples came one step closer Friday to having civil unions in Colorado after another Republican-led House committee approved legislation that appears to have enough support to get to the governor's desk.

The finance committee approved the measure with a 7-6 vote after the bill passed the House judiciary committee late Thursday. The bill now goes before the appropriations committee.

The state Senate has already approved the bill and it could reach Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper by Wednesday. He is firmly in support. - AP

Elsewhere:

A homeless man fatally shot a secretary and critically wounded a priest in the office of a church in Ellicott City, Md., after he was turned away from the food bank because of his increasingly aggressive behavior, police said Friday. After the shooting Thursday, Douglas F. Jones killed himself with a handgun in the woods near St. Peter's Episcopal Church.