The Twin Peaks restaurant chain blames its former Waco franchisee for damaging its brand and reputation by asking police to leave before a deadly shootout between rival biker gangs. 

     Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was charged Thursday with structuring $952,000 in cash withdrawals for $3.5 million he paid someone "to conceal his past misconduct," and lying to the FBI about it. 

     Jane told me words that no man wants to hear: "Mow the violets."
     I like violets. I detour around them.
     I acknowledge freely, with no trace of that curious yet overwhelming shame that haunts so much of my life, that when I am done mowing the lawn, it may look a bit spotty. In parts.
     It lacks that smooth, sculpted finish so admired by some people I know.
     Violets here, violets there, violets yon and perhaps hither.
     "But ..." I said.
     "Mow the violets please," Jane said, carrying the argument.
     I know when I'm beat. Jane knows all the plants' names - in Latin. She's out of my league.
     So I mowed the violets, but I didn't like it. The good news is that I discovered some new flowers - lovely purplish-blue fellows, they are. Clumps of them. And I spared them.
     Then I took a bike ride in the hills, and somewhere on a hillside in Massachusetts I saw a fellow just like me, mowing around the violets and the purple flowers.
     I rejoiced as I pedaled home, shoring these fragments against my ruins.
     So I was ready the next weekend when Jane told me to mow the violets.
     But I was not ready for the ajuga.
     "The what?" I said.
     "The ajuga you spared last week."
     "But ..."
     "I don't want the ajuga there."
     "But Jane," I said, pulling out my pathetic ammunition, "I saw a man on the hill up in Leyden, and he mowed around the ajuga. He mowed around the violets too."
     "So what?"
     "Well?"
     "So?"
     "Well?" I said, unleashing the full force of my argument.
     Not a truly robust chain of reasoning, perhaps.
     "But the violet is the state flower of four states," I said, pressing my disadvantage.
     "So what?"
     "Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Illinois and New Jersey."
     "We don't live there."
     Here I panicked.
     "Wouldn't you like me to give you flowers?" I said.
     "I'd prefer a couch."
     "A couch?"
     The last couch I bought, to furnish my own home, had survived the Great War. In No Man's Land, probably. It came from a Charitable Home for Misunderstood Derelicts, or one of their affiliates, and it set me back a touch more than the high two figures I was prepared to pay.
     What might a real furniture store ask for a couch for a woman who speaks Latin to plants?
     This was getting dangerous.
     "Can't I save some of the ajuga, and some of the violets?" I pleaded.
     "Yes, Robert," Jane said, swayed by my forthright, manly demeanor. "You may spare one clump of violets and one clump of ajuga."
     She directed my attention to a far corner of the back yard, by the brush pile. Where the violets and ajuga live, free from harm.
     That's called compromise.

     Accounting giant BDO USA will pay $40 million to settle claims it knowingly participated in R. Allen Stanford's $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

     The U.S. Department of State lifted the ban on exporting weapons to the Republic of Fiji, Friday.

     A worker lost a breast working at Kruger Foods because a conveyer belt lacked safety devices, she claims in San Joaquin County Court.  

     An Idaho law criminalizing second-trimester abortions is unconstitutional and a woman prosecuted under the law had legal standing to challenge it, the 9th Circuit ruled Friday. 

     Silk Road's founder Ross Ulbricht received a life sentence Friday after a federal judge denied the 31-year-old leniency for operating an underground drug website.

     A Washington law that prevents litigants from hauling their opponents into court as an intimidation tactic violates the right to trial by jury, the state Supreme Court ruled. 

     A former mayor of the City of Industry fraudulently billed the Los Angeles suburb for $219 million, much of it for bogus maintenance contracts over two decades, the city claims in court.

     Though its furnace caused at least one prior death, a steel plant failed to keep workers out of harm's way, a trio burned with molten metal claim in court. 


     A federal prosecutor claims sexism in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Omaha forced her to resign - from a job prosecuting crimes of violence against Native American women. 

     Houston's biggest school district laid off more than 60 employees without due process after taking over what used to be the state's largest black-run district, workers claim in three federal lawsuits. 

     Bio-Rad Laboratories fired a vice president for telling auditors the clinical diagnostics company was bribing foreign governments for contracts, the attorney-executive claims in court. 


     The 9th Circuit said the federal government properly granted a right-of-way over federal land for a wind energy project on private land near Tehachapi, Calif. without formal environmental analysis. 

     A federal judge Thursday declined to sanction Allegiant Air for contempt of a court order involving its scheduling system for union pilots. 


     A lawsuit accusing Toyota and Saatchi & Saatchi of violating copyright in a TV commercial showing B.B. King receiving a long-lost guitar from an admirer was dismissed with prejudice Thursday. 

     To drum up revenue, a Long Island traffic court illegally tries and sentences motorists in absentia over traffic tickets, a class claims in Federal Court. 

     A federal judge approved a $9 million award to plaintiffs in a $39 million settlement of an antitrust class action accusing eight airlines of conspiring to fix prices on trans-Pacific flights. 

     Newly unearthed federal documents did not persuade a federal judge to block expansion of a train tunnel underneath Washington's Capitol Hill neighborhood, to the dismay of an influential advocacy group.

     Jamul Indians sued the Bureau of Indian Affairs and a casino company for $4 million, claiming they dug up their ancestors' remains and dumped them by a freeway. 

     Sexting fabrications caused a New Yorker to flee to Virginia when her private Jewish high school expelled her, she says in Federal Court. 

     Five cops who allegedly beat a student protestor at a San Francisco community college must answer claims that the beating and subsequent arrest violated the student's constitutional rights, a federal judge ruled. 

     The 4th Circuit advanced claims that new election district maps in Wake County, N.C., disenfranchise black voters. 

     Unwanted text messages about horoscopes, celebrity gossip and trivia soaked consumers for $50 million, federal prosecutors said, unsealing charges against six men across the globe. 

     Ashworth College promised to refrain from unfounded claims about its programs to settle federal charges the for-profit college misleads students about its career training programs and credit transfers. 

     Former NBA star Horace Grant must go back to court to continue his child-support battle with the mother of one of his children, the Utah Court of Appeals ruled. 

     A Catholic diocese from Wisconsin is on the hook for $500,000 to a victim of priestly molestation persuaded the Nevada Supreme Court to nix the award. 

     Police acting on an anonymous tip of drug activity at a Newport News motel did not need a warrant to walk a drug-sniffing dog past a suspect's room, an appellate court ruled. 

     A South Dakota jury convicted a failed Republican candidate for U.S. Senate of 12 election-related felonies.


     Three female employees of Virginia State University claim in separate lawsuits they are paid less than their male counterparts for comparable work. 


     Apple cannot disqualify a court-appointed monitor or limit his role in probing the company for antitrust violations in e-book prices, the 2nd Circuit ruled Thursday. 


     Environmental group Sea Shepherd has asked a federal court to bar Japanese fleets from violating international bans on whaling.

     A federal judge Wednesday reversed an order directing the 9th Circuit to preserve allegedly racist emails sent by a Montana judge - though the emails will be preserved elsewhere. 

     An insurer may have to cover an Arizona home destroyed by a post-wildfire mudslide and flooding even though the policy excluded water and earth movement damage, the 9th Circuit ruled Friday. 

     The European Commission sued Germany for inadequate monitoring of airport security controls as required by EU law.

      The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday said it is closing its investigation of the death of a black man founding hanging from a tree in Mississippi in March.

     A New Jersey developer will pay a $225,000 penalty and preserve 108 acres in the state's highlands preservation area to settle charges it failed to prevent polluted discharges from impacting multiple watersheds. 

     Attempts to shield a billion-dollar monopoly by making Alzheimer's patients switch their Actavis drugs inflamed the 2nd Circuit, a ruling unsealed Thursday shows. 

     A New Orleans man was charged Thursday with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and trademark counterfeiting for allegedly selling fake coupons on the Silk Road online marketplace. 

     The Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday endorsed a bill prohibiting abortion clinics from operating within 2,000 feet of a public school.

     Kaiser Permanente Ventures and 14 financial services firms were sued for patent infringement Thursday, in Federal Court. 

     Two companies say in court that their CFO embezzled millions to live a lavish lifestyle with Las Vegas cocktail waitress mistress. 

     A federal judge found it reasonable for BMI to offer Pandora Media a blanket license fee of 2.5 percent for gross revenue. 

     A federal judge Thursday approved a $7.4 million settlement in deferred pay for Wells Fargo financial advisers who went to work elsewhere, $1.8 million of it for attorneys' fees. 

     Police kept a New Yorker locked up for two days because he was singing at a Long Island Rail Road terminal, he claims in court. 

     Negligence by Ponce Funeral Homes caused a man's remains to arrive in a decomposed state unfit for the funeral planned, a widow claims in court. 

     New Jersey discriminates in letting only domestic taxi insurers participate in a state-administered risk-sharing fund, an out-of-state carrier claims in court. 

     New York City and its Police Department discriminate against black workers who maintain NYPD vehicles, a class action claims in New York County Supreme Court.  

     Hecla's Lucky Friday Mine and Mill near Mullan, Idaho violated clean water law, the USA says in Federal Court.  

     The Jewelry Channel dba Liquidation Channel falsely advertises discounts, a class action claims in Federal Court.