In the Nation
Fla. A&M band to stay suspended
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida A&M University's famed marching band is being suspended for at least one more school year as officials try to cleanse the hazing culture that led to the death of a drum major, the school's president said Monday.
FAMU president James Ammons said the Marching 100 should stay off the field at least until a new band director is hired and new rules for the band have been adopted.
Eleven band members face felony charges in the November hazing death of Robert Champion; two others face misdemeanor counts. The band has been banned from performing since soon after he died, and band director Julian White recently retired after it was revealed that 101 band members were not students when Champion died.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that band member Aaron Golson, one of 11 charged in Champion's beating, will admit that he hazed a female clarinetist weeks earlier, his lawyer said Monday. Golson, 19, will enter a plea to a misdemeanor hazing offense Thursday in Circuit Court in Tallahassee, the lawyer said.
Top baby names: Sophia and Jacob
WASHINGTON - Reality TV is giving birth to some of the most popular baby names. No, not Snooki. But Mason, as in Kourtney Kardashian's son, jumped 10 spots to become the second most popular name for newborn boys in 2011.
Sophia is the new top name for girls, while Jacob is No. 1 for boys for the 13th straight year, according to the list released Monday by the Social Security Administration.
Kardashian, the reality-TV star, gave birth to Mason in late 2009 after a heavily publicized pregnancy. In 2010, Mason jumped from No. 34 to No. 12. Last year, 19,396 baby boys were named Mason, a rise of nearly 4,600, by far the biggest jump for any name.
Rounding out the top five for boys: William, Jayden, and Noah. Michael came in sixth, the lowest ranking since 1948. Isabella, which had been the top girl's name for two years, dropped to second place in 2011. Emma, Olivia, and Ava rounded out the top five.
The Social Security Administration provides lists of baby names dating to 1880 on its website. - AP
R.I. to recognize gay marriages
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Rhode Island's governor Monday declared that the state would recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, giving gay couples the same rights as heterosexual ones when it comes to health insurance and other benefits.
The order signed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee directs state agencies to recognize marriages performed out of state as legal and treat same-sex married couples the same as heterosexual ones.
Some gay couples married outside Rhode Island - where civil unions are allowed, but gay marriage is illegal - have not been afforded certain rights because state law is not clear on the subject.
Six states - all in the Northeast except for Iowa - and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage. Thirty states have adopted a ban on it.