PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island’s governor on Monday declared that the state will recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, giving gay couples the same rights as heterosexual ones when it comes to health insurance and a slew of other benefits.
The order signed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee in a Statehouse ceremony directs state agencies to recognize marriages performed out of state as legal and treat same-sex married couples the same as heterosexual ones.
Some gay couples married outside Rhode Island — where civil unions are allowed, but gay marriage is illegal — have not been afforded certain rights because state law is not clear on the subject.
In 2007, then-Attorney General Patrick Lynch issued an opinion in favor of recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages, but it was nonbinding. Chafee said his signing of the executive order is “following through” on that opinion.
USPS halts closure of some stations
DES MOINES, Iowa — The U.S. Postal Service said Monday its decision to halt the closing of more than 3,700 post offices includes roughly 600 urban and suburban postal branch offices and satellite stations.
The facilities in many cities serve as neighborhood post offices. The Postal Service announced last year that it was looking at closing up to 252 mail-processing centers and 3,700 post offices, many of them in rural areas, as part of a plan to save some $6.5 billion a year.
It backed off the plan to close the 3,700 post offices last week, saying it would no longer close thousands of rural post offices but would keep them open with shorter hours. The mail agency on Monday reiterated that about 600 branches and satellite stations in urban and suburban locations that had been included in the original study for closure also will be kept open, rather than shut down sometime after Tuesday.
“Any proposals to close these facilities have been placed on hold and will not close at this time,” said a statement from Richard Watkins, Postal Service spokesman in the Kansas City area. “Going forward, the Postal Service will evaluate how best to incorporate them into long-term plans for effective and efficient retail service.”
The Postal Service has said it will also put forward a new plan for the mail processing centers later this week.
JPMorgan replaces head of unit faulted for $2 billion loss
LOS ANGELES — Ina Drew, the JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive who headed the bank’s unit responsible for a stunning $2 billion trading loss, will retire, the bank announced.
Chief Investment Officer Drew will step down after more than 30 years with the bank, though the bank’s announcement did not specify when she would depart.
A source familiar with the situation told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday that Drew had offered repeatedly to resign and that her resignation would likely be accepted this week.
“Ina Drew has been a great partner over her many years with our firm,” Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Despite our recent losses in the CIO [Chief Investment Office], Ina’s vast contributions to our company should not be overshadowed by these events.”
Despite the announcement, JPMorgan’s stock continued to take a beating on Wall Street. In early trading the bank’s stock had lost 84 cents, or 2 percent, falling to $36.12 a share.
The stock had plunged 9 percent Friday following disclosure of the $2 billion loss the previous day.
Replacing Drew will be Matt Zames, who is currently co-head of global fixed income in JPMorgan’s investment banking unit head of capital markets in the mortgage banking unit, the bank said.
7 killed in Afghanistan pharmacy bombing
KABUL — At least seven Afghan civilians were killed in a pharmacy on Monday in a suspected suicide bombing, an official said, the latest attack in a spate of rising violence in the country.
The blast took place in Ghormach, a remote and restive district in a relatively secure area of northwestern Faryab province, provincial governor Abdul Ahad Shafaq said.
“The initial information we have says that either a suicide bomber or a blast has killed seven civilians and wounded eight others,” Shafaq said by telephone.
Among the dead was a member of a provincial council in adjacent Badghis province, Shafaq said. The council member was meeting with a group of local residents in a pharmacy when the blast was detonated.