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North Carolina has made it harder for pedophiles to marry children. The state Senate unanimously approved a new bill raising the legal marrying age from 14 to 16.

Senator Vickie Sawyer initially pushed to raise the marrying age from 14 to 18, saying most child marriages involved pedophilia and abuse and ended in divorce.

"If you can't rent an apartment or drive a car ... or get a tattoo before you're 18, why should you be able to get married?" Sawyer said.

But her older male colleagues convinced her that their mothers and grandmothers got married young and lived happy, if difficult, lives, according to WRAL.

The International Center for Research on Women reviewed marriage licenses in the state from 2000 to 2019 and found more than 4,000 minors had applied to be married in that time period.

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In most of the applications an adult male was marrying a child. Such relationships would be considered statutory rape, a felony, in other states.

Sen. Danny Britt amended the proposal to leave the four-year age difference restriction in place, making it illegal for a man older than 20 to marry a child.

16- and 17-year-olds still need parental consent or approval from a court to get married.

Both the legislation and Britt's amendment passed by a vote of 49-0 on Wednesday. The bill now moves on to the House.

Most NC residents who commented on the article were stunned to learn they live in a state that legalizes pedophilia. Many had no idea such an archaic law was still on the books.

One Twitter user wrote "What the actual f***? We're a pedophile state?"

Another user wrote, "Please help bring this state into the 21st century... this should not be JUST happening... grown ass folks out here shouldn't be getting married. Y'all letting kids get married and writing articles about it."

And a third tweeted, "16 is still a child who should not be married. Just because earlier generations did doesn’t make it right or ok now. #endchildmarriageinN."

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California passed a first-in-the-nation law requiring corporations based in the state to appoint minority or LGBT people to their board of directors.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law on Wednesday. The law forces corporations headquartered in California to appoint Black, Hispanic or Asian people to their board of directors.

The law also requires corporations to appoint at least one member of the LGBT community to its board of directors. Companies that fail to comply could face fines of up to $300,000.

“When we talk about racial justice, we talk about empowerment, we talk about power and we need to talk about seats at the table,” Newsom said before signing the bill.

Assembly Bill 979 requires corporations to have at least one director from an under-represented community by the end of 2021.

Corporations with more than four directors, but fewer than nine, would require a minimum two diverse directors.

A corporation with nine or more directors must have at least three minority or LGBT directors by 2022.

Reparations Task Force

Gov. Newsom also signed a law on Wednesday that calls for a nine-member task force to study how reparations could be paid to Black Californians.

The task force will make recommendations for how the reparations could be paid, such as through compensation, property, mortgage loans, or restitutions.

Additionally, Newsom vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have required all high school students in California to take an ethnic studies course in order to graduate.

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Kobe Bryant's death has inspired a new bill banning unauthorized photos of the dead by first responders.

The bill was signed into California law by California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday.

The Los Angeles Lakers basketball legend and his teenage daughter Gianna, 14, were among nine people killed on January 26 when their chopper crashed into a hillside in Calabasas during foggy weather.

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Shortly after the tragedy, members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department began sharing Kobe's death scene photos with others outside the scope of the investigation. One woman revealed a sheriff's deputy texted photos of the deceased at the scene.

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The news prompted Bryant's widow, Vanessa, to sue authorities over the invasion of privacy, and on Monday, Governor Newsom signed legislation making such behavior by first responders illegal.

The Kobe Bryant Law forbids them from taking photos "for any purpose other than an official law enforcement purpose or a genuine public interest".

The law will go into effect on January 1, 2021, and is punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 per violation.

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Alcoholics with a sweet tooth can have the best of both worlds now that liquor-flavored ice cream is legal in New York state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation authorizing the manufacture and sale of liquor-flavored ice cream. Ice cream infused with vodka, bourbon or rum is now legal to meet "increasing consumer demand for alcoholic ice cream," according to KTLA5.

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Ice cream infused with wine, beer or cider was already legal in New York state. "This legislation will further grow a burgeoning industry and boost small businesses while helping to put them on a path of sustained growth that empowers both producers and consumers," Cuomo said in a statement.

According to the new law, ice cream can contain a maximum of 5% of hard liquor by volume and will require the same labeling and warnings as ice cream with wine, beer and cider.

State Sen. Rachel May and Assembly Member Donna Lupardo say the new law will help businesses and boost tourism in the state.

"This legislation will help New York’s dairy industry and our liquor and craft beverage industries at the same time," May said in a statement. "I am very grateful to the Governor for signing this into law, and I look forward to sharing some maple bourbon ice cream with him at next year’s State Fair!"

Question: What's your favorite ice cream and liquor combo?
 

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