Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 5:36 pm
Earlier today, the Justice Department announced it had charged seven people on counts of copyright infringement and conspiracy in what's being called one the biggest criminal copyright cases.
NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The Justice Department accused Megaupload, a popular file sharing site, with helping millions of people gain access to pirated movies, music and TV programs, often before the items are released for sale.
The Justice Department announced that 36 Boeing employees and one non-employee were arrested in connection to a drug sting at the aerospace company's Ridley Park, Penn. plant.
Twenty-three of them were charged with illegal distribution of a prescription drug; while the rest were charged with buying the drugs. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration placed an uncover agent at the plant, after Boeing complained that there was a problem.
There has been a lot for supporters of gay marriage to celebrate this year, including a new law that permits same-sex nuptials in New York.
Back in February, the Justice Department said it would no longer defend the federal law that restricts marriage to heterosexual couples, citing doubts about its constitutionality. This week, the White House said President Obama wants to overturn the law. On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a bill that would do that and — for the first time — give federal benefits to same-sex couples who marry.
On Monday, House Republicans are scheduled to weigh in with a federal court in New York on the side of a law called the Defense of Marriage Act.
Big majorities in Congress passed the law 15 years ago to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Usually, it's the Justice Department that speaks up when federal laws are challenged in court. But in this case, the Obama administration has declined to defend a law it considers unconstitutional.
The decision generated controversy among conservatives and even within the Justice Department.