Tag Archives: Same-Sex Marriage

Protesters shut down Bangkok

Red-shirt protesters, supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, have converged on Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok to call for new elections, BBC News. the protesters, numbering in excess of 100,000, have shut down parts of Bangkok, New York Times.

5 same-sex couples wed in Mexico City. While civil unions are legal in some parts of Latin America, Mexico City is the first in Latin America to explicitly allow same-sex marriage, BBC News.

A U.S. court has ruled that there is no evidence a vaccine containing thimerosal has caused autism in the cases of three families who brought lawsuits, Reuters.

Amnesty International issued a report condemning maternal deaths in the U.S. The rate of death among pregnant women in the U.S. has doubled in the past 20 years. Lack of access to regular care during pregnancy, particularly among minority women and women living in poverty, endangers both the health of the mother and the child, CNN. Full report, Amnesty International.

Pope Benedict XVI has come under fire for his alleged involvement in the cover-up of a sexual abuse case in Germany in 1980 when he was archbishop, BBC News.

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Suicide Bomber in Somalia Strikes University Graduation

15 people, including 3 cabinet ministers and 3 journalists, are dead after a suicide bomber struck a university graduation ceremony in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia. The suicide bomber was dressed as woman. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing, but the militant Islamic group al-Shabab is suspected. Islamic militants control much of central and southern Somalia. The capital is protected by African Union peacekeepers who have nearly daily skirmishes with militants, Associated Press.

India’s Minister of State for the Environment has announced that the country will not sign any legally-binding emission reduction agreements at the upcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen, Times of India.  Residents of Shishmaref, Alaska fear climate change could destroy their town, CNN.

Israeli settlers protest a 10-month ban on new settlement construction. East Jerusalem is not included in the ban. Settlements are illegal under international law, but continue to be built by Israelis in disputed lands as a way of bolstering their claims on the land, CNN. The story of a Palestinian farmer whose grove of olive trees has been vandalized by nearby Israeli settlements, BBC News.

The New York State Senate did not approve a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage, New York Times.

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New Protests in Iran Show Hope for Reform Still Alive

On what was meant to be a day of anti-American sentiment, anti-government protesters instead took to the streets in Tehran, Iran. Today is the 30th anniversary of the Iranian takeover of the American Embassy in Iran and the beginning of the Islamic revolution that put the Shah of Iran in power in 1979.  Demonstrations for the anniversary are sponsored by the state, but opponents of the current government used the occasion to demonstration their support for reform. Police used teargas and violence to subdue protesters, New York Times.

Protests have been ongoing in Iran since the disputed June 12 presidential election. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad officially won reelection but supporters of reform candidates Mir-Hussein Moussavi and former president Muhammad Khatami alleged that the election was a fraud. Censorship and heavy surveillance by police prevent reformist Iranians from staging large-scale or long-running protests but protesters have been able to show their support and their growing numbers by coordinating reform demonstrations during state-sponsored demonstrations, such as at the Quds Day rallies in September. Iranians are also coordinating on Twitter and by text message. Timeline: Iran after the election, Al Jazeera.

President Obama appealed directly to the Iranian people in a statement released today. He called on Iranians to put aside the 30 years of mistrust that followed the seizure of the American Embassy and to start a new chapter of cooperation and mutual respect, Whitehouse.gov.

See our Live Blog for more information. See also the Green Wave of Freedom website for reports on reform efforts from inside Iran, Mowjcamp and the website for former presidential candidate Mehdi Karoubi, Tagheer. Use Google Translate to change the text to your language.

5 British soldiers were shot inside a police training facility in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The shooter was described as a “rouge policeman.” It is unknown if the Taliban was involved in the attack. Strategy in Afghanistan has focused on training Afghan police and soldiers in hopes that those forces will one day be capable of stabilizing the country without the aid of NATO forces, BBC News. Taliban link to the shooting probed, BBC News.  Q & A on British troops in Afghanistan, BBC News.

Voters in Maine overturned a law passed by the legislature and signed by the governor that had allowed same-sex couples to marry.  Maine becomes that 31st state that has rejected same-sex marriage by popular vote, ABC News.  Republican candidates won the race for governor in both Virginia and New Jersey, ABC News. In New York City, incumbent Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg won reelection. The race was closer than had been expected with the Democratic candidate getting 46% of the vote to Bloomberg’s 51%. Mayor Bloomberg, who has a personal fortune of $20 billion, spent $90 million of his own money on his reelection campaign, New York Times.

At least 91 people are dead and thousands have been displaced by Tropical Storm Mirinae in Vietnam, Associated Press.  Vietnam is still recovering from Typhoon Ketsana, Citizen’s Daily Brief.

American diplomats were allowed to meet with Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi despite her house arrest. Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for much of the past 20 years. Suu Kyi was democratically elected President of Burma but a military junta did not allow her to take office. The junta controls the country, which it has renamed Myanmar. The U.S. has initiated a new policy of engaging with the country’s leaders, CNN International.

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Cyclone Aila Kills More Than 150 in Asia

Read our earlier coverage of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor.

The California Supreme Court voted today 6-1 to uphold the gay marriage ban in the state, titled Proposition 8. In November, 52% of voters elected to ban same-sex marriage, but gay rights activists had held out hope that the ban would be overturned today. The court did rule, however, to allow almost 18,000 same-sex marriages performed before Prop 8 to stand, MSNBC.

Mike Tyson’s four-year-old daughter has died from injuries sustained yesterday after she was accidentally strangled by a cord connected to a treadmill. Yesterday the young girl had been listed in extremely serious condition and had been on life support since the accident, USA Today.

Niger’s President, Mamadou Tandja, has dissolved the country’s parliament after a court denied his request to seek a third term in office. The act has been met with opposition, and some fear Tandja will become a dictator, BBC News.

At least 150 people were killed today when a cyclone hit Bangladesh and West Bengal in India. An estimated 500,000 people are now homeless as a result of Cyclone Aila, BBC News.

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Breaking: Prop 8 Upheld

In a 6-1 decision, a California high court has upheld Prop 8, a California resolution that bans same-sex marriage in the state. The 18,000 or so marriages performed in the state last year before the ban will still be valid. Hundreds are reported to be marching in San Fransisco now, we’ll update with pictures and video as soon as we can.

WCBSTV live feed.

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Breaking: Pres. Obama Nominates Fed. Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court

President Obama has announced that he will nominate federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor will take the place of Justice David Souter who announced his retirement last month. If confirmed, Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic to serve on the Supreme Court. She will also be one of two woman on the Court, serving with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, retired during the Bush administration. Sotomayor, whose nomination must be confirmed by a majority vote in the US Senate, is expected to be confirmed easily. The nominee must first be examined by the Senate Judiciary Committee which Democrats control 12 to 7. Many conservatives had talked about aggressively blocking any nominee, but Republican leaders have been backing off that tactic, New York Times. See the New York Law Journal for more information on Judge Sotomayor’s past rulings and judicial philosophy.

Obama will make the announcement of his selection at 10:15 EDT. Watch the announcement live on the Whitehouse website, Whitehouse.gov.

Coming one day after testing a nuclear bomb underground and testing two short-range missiles, North Korea has launched another two short-range missiles. South Korea is on high alert. The UN Security Council is working on a new resolution which will have stricter consequences for the unlawful tests, BBC News.

In news we’ll be watching today, California’s Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the ballot measure that changed the California State Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. 18,000 same-sex marriages were conducted before Prop 8 went into effect. Today’s ruling will also determine whether those marriages are still valid, CNN. Californians are prepared to take to the streets in celebration or protest once the ruling is made, Day of Decision.


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Boston Trolley Crash Caused by Text Messaging

A crash between two trolleys on the Green Line in Boston has injured 49 people last night. The driver responsible for the crash was text messaging his girlfriend when he rear-ended the trolley in front of him. Many of the passengers were headed to the Red Sox game. None of the injuries were reported to be life threatening, Boston Globe.

The Statue of Liberty’s crown will reopen to the public on July 4th. The entire structure was closed after 9/11. IN 2004, the museum and observation deck at the base of the statue were reopened. 10 people will be allowed up to the crown at a time and will be chosen by lottery, Reuters.

Minnesota has become the first state to ban Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used in plastics that can leak out in small amounts when the plastic is heated. Canada banned the use of BPA in baby bottles last year.  BPA is a concern because it mimics the effects of estrogen and it is not yet completely known how exposure to the chemical can impact an infant’s development, Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Maine has legalized gay marriage, making the practice legal in five out of the six states in New England. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire all allow some form of state recognition off same-sex marriage. Rhode Island has not yet added same-sex marriage to its books. The law in Maine won’t go into effect until September, but businesses in Maine are already anticipating the boost that same-sex weddings are expected to give the Maine economy, Portland Press Herald.

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Washington DC Recognizes Same-Sex Marriage

The Washington DC city council has approved legislation to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa allow same-sex marriage and New York recognizes marriages performed in other states. DC councilmember Marion Barry, the former DC mayor who gained political infamy when he was arrested in an FBI sting operation for using crack cocaine, was the lone dissenting vote in approving the measure which passed 12-1. The US Congress, which has jurisdiction over Washington DC, has 30 days to review the bill after it’s signed by DC major Adrian Fenty, National Public Radio.

44 people, including the bride and groom and three pregnant women, were killed at a wedding in Turkey. The deaths are a result of fighting between rival families. The attackers used bombs and automatic weapons, CNN.

America’s first successful face transplant patient appears in public. Shot by her husband, Connie Culp survived a shotgun blast to her face five years ago but was disfigured. Five months ago she was giving an experimental face transplant at the Cleveland Clinic. See before and after pictures at USA Today.

Dom DeLuise, the star of “Blazing Saddles” and “Spaceballs”, died today at the age of 75. DeLuise died a Los Angeles hospital, but his family did not release his cause of death, Washington Post.

First American dies from swine flu. The woman, who officials say had health issues prior to contracting the H1N1 virus, is from Cameron County, Texas near the Mexico border, BBC News.

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