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Federal judge Vaughn Walker ruled that California’s Proposition 8, which sought to ban gay marriage, violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution. “Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians,” the judge said in his opinion. “The evidence shows that, by every available metric, opposite-sex couples are not better than their same-sex counterparts.” Conservative groups opposed to the ruling claimed Walkerâ??s own sexual orientation influenced his decision. “Here we have an openly gay federal judge,” explained chairwoman of The National Organization for Marriage, Maggie Gallagher, “substituting his views for those of the American people and of our Founding Fathers who, I promise you, would be shocked by courts that imagine they have the right to put gay marriage in our Constitution.” “I feel,” said one protestor of the ruling, “like I don’t live in America.” ReutersRaw StoryMSNBCMexico‘s Supreme Court upheld a Mexico City law allowing gay people to marry, the mayor of ReykjavĂk marched in drag in the city’s gay pride parade, and a group of men in Sudan were publicly flogged for dancing in a “womanly fashion.” LA TimesIceland ReviewBBCA veterinarian in San Bernardino, California, performed sex reassignment surgery on a hermaphroditic Pomeranian, and the Milwaukee teachers union demanded that its health insurance cover Viagra, alleging that failing to do so discriminates against male employees. Press-EnterpriseRaw Story
Elena Kagan became the 112th justice of the Supreme Court and the fourth female justice. Washington PostThe Senate passed a $26 billion spending bill to aid state budget shortfalls, and BP successfully deployed its “static kill” strategy, plugging the blown-out Deepwater Horizon well with mud and cement. “You want to make sure it’s really dead dead dead,” explained Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Don’t want anything to rise out of the grave.” “Clearly there’s lots of oil and gas here,” said BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles, “and we’ll have to think about what to do with that at some point.” Raw StoryNew York TimesWashington PostCNNA piece of ice measuring 100 square miles broke off of Greenland, and wildfires burned across Russia, while world leaders met in Bonn, Germany, to continue the climate change talks that stalled last winter in Copenhagen, but again failed to produce a binding resolution. “It’s like a flashback,” said one environmental activist. “At this point,” said U.S. delegate Jonathan Pershing, “I am very concerned.” BBCBBCRaw StoryEngineers in Bristol developed a “poo-powered” Volkswagen Beetle, the Cadillac Escalade was the most stolen vehicle for the eighth straight year, and Caroline Giuliani, the daughter of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, was arrested for shoplifting at a Sephora. BBCCNNNew York TimesDermatologists at the University of Edinburgh reported that the genuine allover tan was an impossibility.BBC
A woman in Atlanta used her toes to type for help after burglars left her tied up in her home, and a man in Michigan discovered he had Type 2 Diabetes after his dog bit off his big toe while he was passed out drunk. “He ate it,” said the man. “I mean, he must have eaten it, because we couldn’t find it anywhere else in the house.” AOL NewsGrand Rapids NewsSnooker world champion Alex Higgins, once described by Daily Mail as “a belligerent narcissist, filled with self-pity and towering anger,” who “never allowed concern for others to put any restraint on his appetites, whether it be for drink or drugs or sex,” died at 61. NYTimesBill Cosby denied being dead, and Florida’s health department reported an outbreak of Dengue Fever in Key West. Vanity FairCNNA carnival in Pennsylvania took down its “shoot a dart at Obama” game. Raw StoryMichelle and Sasha Obama vacationed in southern Spain, spending time on a hundred-yard stretch of beach cleared by the Spanish police, while President Obama celebrated his 49th birthday at a “finance dinner,” which guests paid $30,400 to attend.Christian Science MonitorChristian Science MonitorFormer Fugee Wyclef Jean, whose hits include “Ready or Not,” “Gone Till November,” and “We Trying to Stay Alive,” announced his intention to run for the Haitian presidency. “If not for the earthquake,” said Jean, “I probably would have waited another 10 years before doing this.”BBC
More from Genevieve Smith:
From the May 2014 issue
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing â€” for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now â€” for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco â€” well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations â€” half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime ministerâ€™s lair â€” became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugeesâ€™ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: â€śWe donâ€™t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!â€ť The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as â€śa nation of oppressors and exploiters.â€ť
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â€śHe could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein â€” literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.â€ť