WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced until Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require close federal monitoring of elections.
The justices said in 5-4 ruling Tuesday that the law Congress most recently renewed in 2006 relies on 40-year-old data that doesn't reflect racial progress and changes in U.S. society.
The court did not strike down the advance approval requirement of the law that has been used, mainly in the South, to open up polling places to minority voters in the nearly half century since it was first enacted in 1965. But they said lawmakers must update the formula for determining which parts of the country must seek Washington's approval for election changes.
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - A former employee of the Missouri Department of Transportation is suing the agency, claiming age discrimination.
A lawsuit filed in Buchanan County says 64-year-old Elaine Justus worked at MoDOT's northwest district from 1997 until early 2013, largely in community relations.
The complaint says MoDOT developed a cost-cutting plan that included lists identifying employees by age and tenure. The lawsuit also says a northwest district manager created a similar list sorted by retirement eligibility and called it the "Buzzard List."
The St. Joseph News-Press reports the lawsuit says in 2011, a manager asked Justus her age. Justus says she was told a month later she wouldn't be reappointed. She says she was later demoted and was terminated in January.
MoDOT spokesman Bob Brendel says the department doesn't comment on pending litigation.
St. Louis Based Peabody Energy plans to cut 450 jobs at Australian coal mines.
The St. Louis Business Journal reports along with Switzerland-based coal company Glencore Xstrata, a combined 500 mining jobs in Australia will be cut as global coal supplies push down prices.
The cuts will take place over the coming weeks across Peabody's operations in Queensland and New South Wales, where it mines both coking and thermal coal.
Prices for coking coal, used in steel making, have fallen about 40 percent in the last year while prices for thermal coal, used in power generation, have dropped 30 percent in the last two years, according to the news agency.
St. Louis-based Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), the world's largest private-sector coal company, reported a loss of $575.1 million in fiscal 2012, on revenue of $8.1 billion.