Obama to Sign Orders Barring Discrimination against Gay, Transgender Workers
U.S. President Barack Obama is due to sign two executive orders Monday to prohibit discrimination against gay and transgender government workers.
Mr. Obama announced his plans for the orders last month, saying it is "upsetting" and "wrong" that Americans could go to work fearing they could be fired for being themselves.
The president has been pushing Congress to issue a more sweeping law to apply to workers across the United States, not just those working for the federal government, but that legislation has stalled.
White House officials say the orders Monday will impact 24,000 companies that employ 28 million workers, or about one-fifth of the U.S. workforce.
Ukraine PM Offers Plane Crash Lead Investigation to Netherlands
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has offered to turn over the lead in the investigation into the downing of a Malaysian airliner to the Netherlands - the country that suffered the most losses in the disaster.
At a news briefing Monday in Kyiv, Mr. Yatsenyuk also expressed outrage at the pro-Russian separatists whom he blames for shooting the plane out of the sky. He also said Moscow is on "the dark side"
Meanwhile, three Dutch investigators have arrived on the scene of the crash. The head of the team said the storage of the victims' bodies appears to be "of good quality" four days after the crash.
The U.N. Security Council could vote Monday (afternoon) on a resolution demanding international access to the crash site. The Security Council met late Sunday in the New York headquarters to consider a resolution.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott dispatched Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to the U.S. to lead the lobbying effort for the resolution. Australia lost at least 37 citizens and residents in the crash.
Foreign Minister Bishop says it is time to stop using the plane victims' "bodies as hostages or pawns in a Ukrainian-Russian conflict."
Russian President Vladimir Putin once again on Monday said the downing of the airliner would not have happened if Ukraine had not re-ignited fighting last month in the region with separatists who now control the crash site.
Mr. Putin is under increasing international pressure to rein in the rebels in Ukraine to allow international inspectors to investigate the site.
He said Monday that Russia is doing everything possible to allow a team of experts from the U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization to investigate the scene.
Russia's U.N. ambassador Vitaly Churkin says Russia cannot support the U.N. resolution as currently written because it is not clear the U.N.'s Aviation Organization will lead the investigation.
The British ambassador to the U.N. said Russia is engaging in "typical Russian delaying tactics."
Mark Lyall Grant said Australia incorporated a Russian amendment into the resolution, but Russia now finds the amendment unacceptable. Grant said "one can guess why they want delay."