Aggression toward police officers in Louisiana is now classified as a hate crime, an unprecedented legal expansion roundly criticized by minority rights groups Friday. Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards -- the son of a former sheriff -- signed the bill in the southern state Thursday, expanding the state's list of those protected by hate crimes legislation to include law enforcement officials, firefighters and emergency paramedics. "The men and women who put their lives on the line every day, often under very dangerous circumstances, are true heroes and they deserve every protection that we can give them," Edwards said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Greece on Friday in a visit aimed at reinforcing a relationship with one of his few friends in the EU amid tensions with the West. The visit, Putin's first to the EU since December, comes at a low ebb in relations between Russia and Europe over the conflict in Ukraine that broke out in 2014, with sanctions still in force against Moscow. Greek officials say increased trade with Russia could play a part in recovery efforts.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Friday he would not debate Democrat Bernie Sanders ahead of California's June 7 primary. "Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged ... it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher," Trump said in a statement. (Reporting by Alana Wise; Editing by Toni Reinhold)