Flip flop? Rep. Paul Ryan appears to have softened his stance on gay adoption, according to reports from a town hall meeting he held earlier this week. Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican and 2012 running mate of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said he would vote differently on allowing gay couples to adopt: “I do believe that if there are children who are orphans who do not have a loving person or couple, I think if a person wants to love and raise a child they ought to be able to do that. Period.” Despite his changing attitude toward adoption, Ryan said he still opposes gay marriage, although he’s always favored civil unions.
Slippery slope. Irish lawmakers are considering a bill that would loosen the country’s ban on abortion. The measure would clarify a doctor’s right to approve an abortion in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, including the possibility of suicide. That exception to the ban could open the door for abortion on demand in the staunchly pro-life country. Although supported by abortion rights activists, the measure likely will face stiff opposition from the majority of the country’s Catholic residents. The proposed bill comes just week after an inquest into the death of Savita Halappanavar, a woman who died from a lethal infection. Pro-abortion activists said Halappanavar’s life could have been saved if doctors had allowed her to have an abortion. But after hearing testimony from medical experts, a judge ruled Halappanavar’s death was the result of the hospital’s mismanagement of her severe infection.
Evidence piling up. Federal investigators are slowly piecing together evidence that ties suspect Everett Dutschke to the poisoned letters sent to President Barack Obama and two other elected officials. FBI agents found traces of ricin, a poison made from castor beans, on a dust mask, a coffee grinder, a box of latex gloves and an empty bucket of floor adhesives found in the trash at or near Dutschke’s home in Tupelo, Miss. Officials arrested Dutschke last week and charged him with sending the letters. Investigators also found two publications about handling ricin on Dutschke’s computer and records showing he ordered 50 red castor bean seeds on eBay in November. He made a second purchase of 50 seeds in December.
Slow going. The latest economic numbers show more evidence of a slowdown, although other indicators point to stronger consumer confidence, especially in the housing sector. Private-sector job growth slowed in April, with employers adding just 119,000 new jobs. Analysts had expected 150,000 new jobs. The decline is the second in a row and shows the slowest pace of growth since September. The government will release its jobs report on Friday. Analysts had hoped it would show an increase in growth.