News in Brief: Three Congressmen Face Possible Ethics Probe, and More

Two Republicans and One Democrat in Congress Face Possible Ethics Probe

Three members of Congress have been recommended for ethics investigations, reports The Wall Street Journal. The Office of Congressional Ethics, the House’s ethics branch, recommended that Republicans Tom Price of Georgia and John Campbell of California as well as Democrat Joe Crowley of New York undergo further investigation by the House Ethics Committee. An investigation would cover potential conflicts of interest from funds raised in December of 2010 during the time of the vote on the financial services regulation bill.

New York Governor Signs “Domestic Worker Bill of Rights” Into Law

According to Democracy Now!, New York Gov. David Paterson signed into a law bill guaranteeing more protections and rights to domestic workers, like nannies and housekeepers. Calling domestic workers “the skeleton and underpinning of our success,” the bill requires “overtime pay after a forty-hour workweek, at least one day off per week, and at least three days off with full pay per year.”

Couple Married in Massachusetts Cannot Divorce in Texas

A Texas appeals court rejected a gay couple’s appeal to be divorced in Texas, where same-sex marriage is banned, the AP reports. According to the Fifth Texas Court of Appeals, a Dallas district court did not have the authority to hear a gay divorce case, given that Texas defines marriage only between one man and one woman. The state’s Attorney General, Greg Abbott, argued before the appeals court that the state cannot grant a divorce when the male couple’s marriage is not even valid in the state.

In Afghanistan, Death Toll Rises

According to McClatchy Newspapers, 22 US soldiers have lost their lives since Friday. Though US forces claim gains, violence is up across the country, especially in areas once thought to be safe. The deaths further mark what was a “painful summer for coalition forces, with 102 foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan in June and a further 88 in July.” As forces move into Taliban strongholds across the country, the death toll has risen in Afghanistan. The web site iCasualties, which tracks the death toll of coalition forces, reports that the death toll for US forces is now up to 322, while total numbers for 2010 near 500. Total numbers since the war in Afghanistan began top 2,000, according to the site.

In Israel and Palestine, Peace Talks Commence (as Murders Are on the Rise)

For the first time in two years, Israel and Palestine will engage in peace talks, according to the BBC. Beginning on Thursday, leaders from both Israel and Palestine will recommence negotiations in Washington, DC. Despite the recent murders on Tuesday of four Israeli settlers by Hamas, leaders from Israel and Palestine said it will not stop negotiations. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon chided Hamas for the killings, saying they were a “blatant attempt” to thwart the coming negotiations.