• 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

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  • 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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  • Ukraine forces end rebel airport blockade
    Ukraine forces end rebel airport blockade

    By Richard Balmforth and Anton Zverev KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukraine said on Monday its forces had ended a rebel blockade of a strategic airport in the east as it traded charges and threats with Russia over violations of their joint border during a weekend of fierce military combat. Ukraine's military said its warplanes had inflicted heavy losses on the pro-Russian separatists during air strikes on their positions, including an armoured convoy which Kiev said had crossed the border from Russia. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's office said Kiev would present documentary proof of incursions from Russia to the international community via diplomats on Monday.

  • INFLUENCE GAME: Shaping railroad safety rules
    INFLUENCE GAME: Shaping railroad safety rules

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A string of fiery train derailments across the country has triggered a high-stakes but behind-the-scenes campaign to shape how the government responds to calls for tighter safety rules.

  • Amateur explorers claim to find lost Army fort in Florida Everglades

    By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - A team of amateur explorers say they found the site of a lost U.S. Army fort buried deep in the Everglades that once served as a restocking post for troops during a series of guerilla-like battles with Seminole Indians. Nestled into the dense, waterlogged swamps 60 miles (100 km)from the coast, Fort Harrell, built in 1837, was one of nearly a dozen forts across Florida used in the early and mid-19th century. “It was a critical fort during that period of time, which was the costliest war that the U.S. had been involved in, Indian-wise,” said Shawn Beightol, a Miami public school chemistry teacher who learned of it in a book more than a decade ago. Beightol, a longtime Everglades explorer who has kayaked across the wetland, found a trio of maps from the 1850s and began talking to local park rangers and fisherman in hopes of finding the 170-year-old site.

  • Why Germany's World Cup win is a big win for world soccer

    In days to come, Argentina will, perhaps, look back and wonder how, in those fleeting moments when the Germans got it horribly wrong, its players managed to do even worse. The 2014 World Cup final Sunday was hardly the best game of a sparkling tournament. No, by the meager measure of recent finals, Germany's 1-0 win Sunday was fairly decent entertainment value, actually.

  • Katherine Heigl returns to TV with new NBC series
    Katherine Heigl returns to TV with new NBC series

    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Katherine Heigl is returning to television, with her mother in tow.

  • Boko Haram leader claims blast in Nigeria's Lagos
    Boko Haram leader claims blast in Nigeria's Lagos

    By Tim Cocks and Isaac Abrak ABUJA (Reuters) - Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has claimed responsibility for two explosions on June 25 at a fuel depot in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub, in a video seen by Reuters on Sunday, which if true would be the militants' first recorded attack on the city. "A bomb went off in Lagos. The two blasts minutes apart last month in the main port of Apapa were almost certainly caused by bombs, three senior security sources and the manager of a major container company told Reuters. One was most likely the work of a female suicide bomber, they said.

  • New Cosby show could debut as soon as next summer

    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Bill Cosby could be returning to the network with a new comedy as soon as next summer.

  • Woods gets early new taste of Royal Liverpool
    Woods gets early new taste of Royal Liverpool

    Tiger Woods was out practicing on Saturday at Royal Liverpool, the venue for next week's 143rd British Open and the course where he won the 2006 title. Woods set out mid-morning in the company of fellow American Patrick Reed who captured this year's WGC-Cadillac Championship in March.

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