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Same-sex couples celebrate historic Supreme Court marriage rulings

Gays and lesbians across the United States erupted in celebration Wednesday after the Supreme Court passed two landmark rulings on same-sex marriage in their favor. In San Francisco, which has one of the biggest gay communities in the country, more than 400 people had gathered at City Hall for the…

Oprah Winfrey tops Forbes celebrity ‘power’ list

Television talk show queen Oprah Winfrey was named the most powerful celebrity in the world on Wednesday as Forbes.com released its annual list of the top movers and shakers in the entertainment industry. Winfrey, 59, who was ranked in the top spot despite her signature daytime television show Oprah ending…

Democrats want you to watch Republicans talk about marriage equality

Democrats have a new strategy to use against their Republicans opponents: Just let them speak. The Democratic National Committee’s YouTube channel “DemRapidResponse” frequently uploads short campaign-style videos. Many of the videos are mash-ups of several clips about a particular topic, while other videos show Democrats speaking out about current trends.…

Witness: Trayvon Martin told friend a ‘creepy’ was following him

By Tom Brown and Barbara Liston SANFORD, Florida (Reuters) – In the minutes before he died Trayvon Martin told a friend with whom he was speaking by phone that a “creepy” man was “watching him,” jurors in the murder trial of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman heard on Wednesday. Rachel Jeantel,…

Rising NFL star charged with murder in Massachusetts court

By Richard Valdmanis BOSTON (Reuters) – Aaron Hernandez, a 23-year-old rising football star with the New England Patriots, was charged with murder and fired by the team on Wednesday, another blot on the National Football League’s tightly protected image. Hernandez was charged in a Massachusetts court with one count of…

Gulf of Mexico could see record-sized ‘dead zone’ from pollution this year

The Gulf of Mexico could see a record-size dead zone this year of oxygen-deprived waters resulting from pollution, US scientists have cautioned based on government data models. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecasts said the dead zone could be as large as New Jersey, or up to 8,561 square…

Lesbian widow celebrates Supreme Court victory

By Edith Honan NEW YORK (Reuters) – If Thea Spyer, whose death in 2009 set the stage for Wednesday’s landmark Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, were still alive, she might tell her partner, Edith Windsor, “You did it, honey!” Windsor, who turned 84 just a few days ago, spoke…

Dutch court finds six coffee shop owners guilty of selling cannabis to non-residents

A Dutch court on Wednesday fined six coffee shop owners and workers for selling cannabis to non-residents, in a victory for Dutch authorities’ fight against drug tourism. Prosecutors had sought up to one-month suspended jail terms for the owners and staff of cannabis cafes in Maastricht for selling pot to…

U.S. government will retire most research chimpanzees

The US government said Wednesday it will send most of its 360 research chimpanzees into retirement but will keep a small colony of about 50 for possible future studies on vaccines and behavior. The National Institutes of Health announced after more than two years of examination it was accepting most…

Twitter CEO defends ‘principled’ data gathering policy

Twitter is holding to a “principled” policy on national security data requests and will “push back” in some cases to protect the privacy of its users, its chief executive said Wednesday. Dick Costolo, appearing at a forum at the Brookings Institution in Washington, declined to comment on whether Twitter had…

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