WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal judge found Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional late on Thursday, saying it denied gay couples a fundamental freedom to marry.
The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen in Norfolk, Virginia, added momentum to growing acceptance of gay marriage in the United States.
By Ian Simpson
(Reuters) – The celebrity boxing match between rapper DMX and acquitted Florida killer George Zimmerman has been called off, its promoter said on Saturday after threats were made against him.
The three-round match would have pitted Zimmerman, who was found not guilty in the 2012 shooting death of unarmed, black teenager Trayvon Martin, against the trash-talking musician with a history of arrests, most of them drug or driving offenses.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Frustrated West Virginians demanded information about the safety of their drinking water in the wake of a chemical spill in January that left 300,000 of them without safe tap water for more than a week, even as U.S. lawmakers pressed for action to prevent similar accidents in the future.
West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant asked lawmakers at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing to support a 10-year study into the effects of the January 9 spill into the Elk River near Charleston, the state capital.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The 80-year-old Irish woman who inspired the Oscar-nominated film “Philomena” took her campaign for access to adoption records to the U.S. Congress on Thursday, and a senator said lawmakers might urge Ireland to act on the issue.
Philomena Lee, who searched for 50 years for the son she was forced to give up as a teenager, launched a campaign last week calling on Dublin to pass laws for the release of more than 60,000 adoption files held by the state, private adoption agencies and the Catholic Church.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A winter storm packing snow and Arctic cold slammed the northeastern United States on Tuesday, grounding 3,000 flights, shutting down governments and schools and making travel a potential nightmare for millions.
States across the northeast declared emergencies and warned residents not to travel during the fast-moving storm, which packed a potentially lethal combination of snow and wind, backed by temperatures up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius) below normal.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fast-moving winter storm forecast to dump as much as a foot (30 cm) of snow on the north-eastern United States on Tuesday was expected to disrupt the evening commute for millions of people along the densely populated coast.
The storm prompted officials to close schools and many federal government offices in Washington, where about an inch (2.5 cm) of snow had fallen by early afternoon.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fast-moving Arctic cold front forecast to dump up to a foot (30 cm) of snow on the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday shut down state and federal governments, closed schools and snarled air travel in its path.
Winter storm warnings and advisories are in place from the central Appalachian Mountains north to southern New England, the National Weather Service said, including all of the Middle Atlantic states and the busy I-95 highway corridor that connects cities like Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fast-moving cold front will plunge the U.S. Midwest into a deep freeze on Tuesday and dump up to a foot of snow on parts of the East Coast, forecasters said.
The cold front will drop temperatures below freezing as far south as northern Florida. The high in and around Minnesota and the St. Lawrence Valley will not top zero Fahrenheit (-18 Celsius) during Tuesday’s daylight hours, forecaster AccuWeather said.
By Ian Simpson
(Reuters) – West Virginia’s top law enforcement officer on Wednesday vowed a full investigation of a chemical spill that contaminated tap water for hundreds of thousands of people.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said there was a lot of speculation surrounding the spill into the Elk River at Charleston, the state capital, on Thursday that shut off water to more than 300,000 people.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The District of Columbia will take a step closer toward decriminalizing marijuana on Wednesday with a move that will make smoking a joint in the U.S. capital a violation comparable to a parking ticket.
With Washington arresting people for pot possession at a higher rate than any state, a city council panel is set to mark up a bill that would reduce penalties for possessing less than an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana to a fine as little as $25.