Virginia's new attorney general has announced that his office will not defend the state's ban on gay marriage, revealing that he has changed his views on the matter and refuses to "hurt" people any more.
"As attorney general, I cannot and will not defend laws that violate Virginians' rights," Attorney General Mark Herring announced on Thursday, according to NPR. "The commonwealth will be siding with the plaintiffs in this case and with every other Virginia couple whose right to marry is being denied," he added of a recent case concerning gay marriage.
The case in question concerns a Virginia couple, Timothy B. Bostic and his partner Tony C. London, who applied for a marriage license in July 2013 at Norfolk Circuit Court but were turned down because of the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Bostic and London have since filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court and have been joined by another same-sex-couple, Carol Schall and Mary Townley. more >>
Reacting to imprisoned Christian missionary Kenneth Bae's recent press conference in North Korea where he seemingly admitted guilt to a serious crime, Bae's sister expressed pain and asked for mercy for his release. She also urged President Barack Obama to do all he can to secure his return back home in America.
"To the leaders of DPRK, we understand that Kenneth has been convicted of crimes under DPRK laws. Our family sincerely apologizes on Kenneth's behalf. Kenneth has also acknowledged his crimes and has apologized," Terri Chung wrote in a message posted on Tuesday on FreeKenNow.com.
"He has now served 15 months of his sentence, but faces chronic health problems. We humbly ask for your mercy to release my brother," she added. more >>
Real estate mogul Donald Trump said in a recent interview that he may be considering a 2016 presidential bid, adding that he would run for the political office to undo some of the policies enacted by President Barack Obama.
"It is something I would certainly look at. You know why? I'm unhappy with the way things are going in America," Trump told Reuters in a telephone interview on Tuesday. The real estate mogul, who also hosts the reality television show "Celebrity Apprentice," went on to tell the publication that he is dissatisfied with the Affordable Care Act and Obama's handling of the economy.
"No one has any idea what's happening at the top. America is not headed in the right direction, and that worries me," he said. "I want to talk about what needs to be done." more >>
North Korea has issued an aggressive message to the U.S. and South Korea, warning the two countries to stop their routine military drills scheduled for February and March, calling the training exercises a "dangerous" provocation. The warning from North Korea is reminiscent of the tension that took place last year regarding the drills.
"We sternly warn the US and the South Korean authorities to stop the dangerous military exercises which may push the situation on the peninsula and the north-south ties to a catastrophe," North Korea's KCNA state news reported last week on behalf of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea.
The statement went on to say that the planned drills are "little short of the declaration of a total nuclear stand-off," adding that the training exercises could force the North and South into an "unimaginable holocaust and that disaster will follow should they go ahead with the nuclear war drills and make military provocation, defying our warning." more >>
N.J. Governor Chris Christie's office has denied accusations by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer that it purposefully withheld large amounts of Hurricane Sandy relief funds. Zimmer said she would take a lie-detector test to prove that her claims are true.
CNN reported that N.J. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is expected on Monday to "categorically deny" accusations that Christie blocked the funds after Zimmer refused to agree to a multimillion-dollar redevelopment project.
"Mayor Zimmer has been effusive in her public praise of the Governor's Office and the assistance we've provided in terms of economic development and Sandy aid. What or who is driving her only now to say such outlandishly false things is anyone's guess," Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said in a statement on Saturday following Zimmer's interview on MSNBC where she first made the accusation. more >>
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must step down if things for the war-torn country are to get better. Meanwhile, Russia is stepping up its help for Assad by providing his government with military supplies, including armored vehicles and bombs.
"I believe as we begin to ... get into this process, that it will become clear there is no political solution whatsoever if Assad is not discussing a transition and if he thinks he is going to be part of that future. It is not going to happen," Kerry said at a news conference on Friday, Reuters reported.
"We are also not out of options with respect to what we may be able to do to increase the pressure and further change the calculus," he added. more >>