• The same-sex marriage Senate endorsement tracker

    The cascade of senators announcing or clarifying their support for same-sex marriage in the past two weeks has somewhat obscured the fact that more than half of the Democrats in the Senate backed the policy before it became fashionable. By the time Vice President Joe Biden abruptly announced his own support for the policy on May 5, 2012, nearly two-dozen senators had already signed on to a campaign begun several months earlier calling for marriage equality to be included on the Democratic Party's platform. Another eight, including independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont, expressed their support prior to 2012.

    The following chart tracks each Democratic senator's position on same-sex marriage organized around when he or she made the announcement. In some cases, this date is ambiguous. After the Huffington Post listed Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow among those who had not formally supported the measure, for example, her office indicated that she had already done so as part of her 2012

    Read More »from The same-sex marriage Senate endorsement tracker
  • Editor's note: Marc Young is a Berlin-based freelance journalist covering President Barack Obama's visit for Yahoo News.

    Ever since John F. Kennedy made his legendary “Ich bin ein Berliner” address almost 50 years ago to the day, Berlin has been a place to which  U.S. presidents come when they have something important to say.

    In 1963, JFK set down a marker that America would not yield West Berlin to the Soviets just two years after the Berlin Wall had been built. And Ronald Reagan made one of his most memorable speeches in the still-divided city in 1987, demanding that Mikhail Gorbachev tear down that very same Cold War barrier.

    Keenly aware of the gravitas a Berlin visit can lend, Barack Obama as a presidential candidate in 2008 made a passionate plea for a better world to a huge crowd of 200,000.

    Now leader of the free world, President Obama gave an eagerly awaited foreign policy address in front of Berlin’s symbolic Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday morning. But with the entire center

    Read More »from The view of Obama’s Berlin visit from the street
  • U.S. military guards watch detainees in a cell block at Camp 6 in the Guantanamo Bay detention center in 2010. (John Moore/Getty)

    More than 150 doctors and other medical professionals are asking President Barack Obama to allow them to treat hunger strikers in the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    "It is clear that they do not trust their military doctors," the physicians wrote in an open letter published in The Lancet medical journal on Tuesday. "Without trust, safe and acceptable medical care of mentally competent patients is impossible. Since the detainees do not trust their military doctors, they are unlikely to comply with current medical advice."

    More than 100 of the 166 prisoners still in Guantanamo are on a hunger strike; some of them have been striking for as long as five months. Nearly half of the hunger strikers are being "enterally fed," according to the military, which means military doctors snake tubing connected to a can of Ensure up their nostrils and down the backs of their throats. Many of the detainees consider this to be torture.

    The World Medical Association and the United Nations say that mentally competent prisoners who refuse to eat should not be force-fed, but the U.S. civilian prison and military prison policy is that prisoners should not be allowed to starve themselves.

    Thirteen of the hunger strikers sent a letter last month to their military doctors asking for independent medical attention.

    "I do not wish to die, but I am prepared to run the risk that I may end up doing so, because I am protesting the fact that I have been locked up for more than a decade, without a trial, subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment and denied access to justice," read the letter, which was published in the Guardian. "I have no other way to get my message across."

    The detainees said the doctors' "dual loyalties" to both follow military orders and treat their patients meant they could not trust them. A Pentagon spokesman told the Guardian there was "no precedent" for outside doctors to treat detainees.

    Read More »from Doctors to Obama: Let us treat Guantanamo detainees on hunger strike


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  • Someone's Handing Out Leaflets in Eastern Ukraine Telling Jews to 'Register'
    Someone's Handing Out Leaflets in Eastern Ukraine Telling Jews to 'Register'

    In a disturbing reminder of an era that's supposed to be bygone, an image has been circulating of what appears to be a leaflet asking all Jews over the age of 16 in Donetsk, Ukraine, to "register" with separatist militants. The leaflet, reported by Ynet and picked up by USA Today, bears the signature of the head of Donetsk's temporary pro-Russia "government" Denis Pushilin. However, the Ukranians attempting to bring the region under Russian control have denied any involvement with the flyer. Secretary of State John Kerry declined to assign blame for the leaflets in a Thursday statement. According to Ynet's English report, the leaflet, written in Russian, reads: 

  • French Lab Loses SARS Vials
    French Lab Loses SARS Vials

    Vials Containing SARS Fragments Not Dangerous, But Hint at Vulnerability

  • Kim Novak speaks out against Oscar night 'bullies'
    Kim Novak speaks out against Oscar night 'bullies'

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kim Novak says that cruel jabs about how she looked during the Oscar ceremony amounted to bullying that left her crushed at first, but then determined to speak out in protest.

  • Chinese auto brands limp into Beijing show
    Chinese auto brands limp into Beijing show

    BEIJING (AP) — China's automakers are the underdogs heading into next week's Beijing auto show, where foreign and domestic brands will jostle for attention in a market that is increasingly difficult for homegrown models.

  • Ukraine disbands army unit after fiasco push into east
    Ukraine disbands army unit after fiasco push into east

    Ukraine on Thursday disbanded an army unit that lost six armoured vehicles to pro-Russian militants, as Kiev's military reeled from a disastrous attempt to oust separatists in its eastern regions. "The 25th parachute brigade, members of which showed cowardice and gave up their weapons, will be demobilised and the guilty servicemen brought before court," acting President Oleksandr Turchynov told parliament. Ukraine's enfeebled army suffered a major embarrassment Wednesday as a much-hyped "anti-terrorist" operation to force pro-Moscow protesters out of a string of eastern towns descended into humiliating farce when separatists seized six armoured personnel carriers and forced another mechanised column of troops to disarm. Ukraine's defence ministry said in a statement Thursday that the column of armoured vehicles and soldiers blockaded a day earlier by pro-Russian activists in the town of Kramatorsk was returning to base after the tense stand-off.

  • Researchers say brain is at its best at age 24
    Researchers say brain is at its best at age 24

    Researchers at Simon Fraser University in Canada claim to have pinpointed 24 as the age at which cognitive motor performance begins to decline. The good news is that age seems to come with better strategies to make up for the decrease in processing speed. The results of the Canadian study, which is among the first to advance a precise age for the start of cognitive decline, were recently published in the journal PLOS One. To test cognitive motor performance, which is defined as how quickly the brain reacts to factors in the environment, researchers at Simon Fraser University recruited 3,305 players of the video game "StarCraft 2" whose ages ranged from 16 to 44.

  • Group Grieving May Help Families Through South Korea Ferry Disaster
    Group Grieving May Help Families Through South Korea Ferry Disaster

    Grieving in Groups Beats Grieving Alone, Experts Say

  • Students trapped in sinking ferry send heartbreaking text messages
    Students trapped in sinking ferry send heartbreaking text messages

    Ferry Survivors Describe Sliding Bodies, Grabbing at Railings, Wall of Water

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