By Harriet McLeod CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - South Carolina lawmakers took a step on Monday toward removing the Confederate battle flag that flies at the state house in Columbia, long denounced as a symbol of slavery by critics. A bill to banish the flag from a Civil War memorial on the capitol grounds to a museum passed a crucial second reading in the state Senate by an overwhelming vote of 37-3 after an emotional debate. Numerous elected officials, including Republican Governor Nikki Haley, called for the flag's removal after the June 17 killings of nine African-American churchgoers during Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston. Photos of the white man charged in the shootings showed him posing with the flag on a website that also carried a racist manifesto.
CHICAGO (AP) — A 7-year-old boy who was one of seven people shot to death in Chicago over the holiday weekend was the son of a gang leader with a lengthy arrest record, and police say the man's refusal to cooperate with detectives highlights the city's ongoing challenge to curb gang-related violence.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bill Cosby admitted in 2005 that he got quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with, and that he gave the sedative to at least one woman and "other people," according to documents obtained Monday by The Associated Press.