At least 40 are dead after twin blasts in Damascus; prosecutors wrap up their case against John Edwards; wreckage from this week’s Russian plane crash is discovered; Democrats demand that the national convention be moved from Charlotte; and after coming out in support of same-sex marriage, President Obama asks for donations and calls out Mitt Romney for ‘backwards’ views. In the entertainment world, Anna Faris and husband Christ Pratt are expecting; Blink 182 cancels tour dates; Rihanna is hospitalized after the Met Gala; and Britney Spears signs a $15 million ‘X-Factor’ deal.
Dozens dead in twin Damascus blasts, http://aje.me/K5ms0T
Two explosions left 40 people dead and 170 injured in Damascus Thursday. The attacks took place near an intelligence building for security forces and could be heard throughout Syria’s capital city. No one will take responsibility for the blasts; the Syrian government blames the opposition while the opposition claims security forces have carried out attacks near government buildings before.
Prosecutors won’t call Rielle Hunter in John Edwards trial, http://bit.ly/K1RnNY
Federal prosecutors will wrap up their case against John Edwards today. They are not expected to call Edwards’ mistress and mother of his four-year-old daughter, Rielle Hunter, to the stand. Legal experts say that it’s not in the prosecutors’ best interest to do so unless Hunter can directly link money she received to two wealthy campaign donors. Edwards’ attorneys will ask the judge presiding over the case to dismiss the charges.
(via The Associated Press) All passengers feared dead after Russian plane on demo flight crashes in Indonesia,http://fxn.ws/ISRlrQ
Rescuers discovered the shattered wreckage of a new Russian-made passenger plane Thursday that smashed into the side of an Indonesian volcano during a flight to impress potential buyers. All 45 people on board were feared dead.Due to the remoteness of the crash site and the steep, rugged terrain, the bodies will be placed in nets and lifted by ropes to a hovering chopper, national search and rescue agency spokesman Gagah Prakoso said. Heavy mist was hampering visibility, however, forcing the postponement of evacuations until Friday. “So far we haven’t found any survivors, but we are still searching,” he said as teams of soldiers, police and volunteers continued to troop up the slopes.
Angry opponents of N.C. amendment call for moving Democratic convention from Charlotte, http://bit.ly/KSPQGn
Close to 20,000 Democrats have signed a petition to move the Democratic National Convention from Charlotte after North Carolina voters decided to pass Amendment One, which bans same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution. The petition, called “Move the Convention,” is from Gay Marriage USA and demands that the convention be in a “state that upholds equality and liberty, and treats ALL citizens equally.” Democratic officials said yesterday that the convention will not be moved to a new location.
After marriage announcement, Obama makes money pitch, http://bit.ly/JAi0tp
A little while after President Obama told ABC News that he supports same-sex marriage, his campaign sent out an e-mail asking for donations. “Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer: I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry,” the email said. “More than 1.9 million people like you power this campaign. If you can, please donate today.”
(via Christian Science Monitor) New Obama video slams Romney as ‘backwards’ on gay marriage,http://bit.ly/IWaKsM
President Barack Obama’s campaign moved quickly Thursday to capitalize on his newly announced support for gay marriage, releasing an Internet video that calls his Republican challenger backward on the highly divisive social issue. Obama broke from his long-claimed indecision on the issue to express outright support for the right of homosexual couples to marry. He spoke during an ABC television interview Wednesday. On Thursday morning, his campaign released an Internet video titled “Mitt Romney: Backwards on Equality.” It opens with Obama saying same-sex couples should have the right to marry, then shows a clip of Romney saying Wednesday that he opposes gay marriage and favors rolling back some rights for same-sex couples.
(via USA Today) Obama campaign helps supporters with new election laws, http://usat.ly/KcEMJl
New voter ID and registration rules are on the books in 17 states and more are in the pipeline, so the Obama campaign is giving volunteer organizers and voters a crash course on the new election laws. Experts say these new rules could diminish participation among young and minority voters — two groups that are key to President Obama’s re-election strategy. In Florida, where a new law requires political parties to certify organizers registering voters and turn over signed forms within 48 hours or face steep fines, the campaign has begun training volunteers on the details. In Wisconsin, where — barring a successful legal challenge — a new photo ID rule will be in effect, Obama volunteers have hosted talks over sandwiches at private homes and public libraries about the new requirements…. Heather Smith, executive director of Rock the Vote, a non-partisan voter advocacy group targeting young people, said the rules could be a significant roadblock for young voters. About 50% of eligible young voters cast ballots in the 2008 election and voted for Obama by 2-to-1.
London 2012 Olympics: torch lighting ceremony – as it happened, http://bit.ly/Jg6NAs
Rihanna hospitalized for exhaustion after Met Gala, http://nyp.st/LXUOXT
Travis Barker’s Emergency Surgery Forces Blink-182 to Cancel Tour Dates, http://eonli.ne/IWcimI
Celebrity stylist Vidal Sassoon dead at 84, http://trib.in/IF5dTS
Anna Faris & Chris Pratt Expecting First Child, http://bit.ly/J3e8Nb
Britney Spears signs $15 million X Factor deal, http://bit.ly/KcID8Y
Tags: abc news, anna faris, backwards on equality, Barack Obama, blink 182, Britney Spears, chris pratt, Damascus, democratic national convention, gagah prakoso, gay marriage usa, john edwards, london 2012, met gala, Mitt Romney, move the convention, Obama campaign, President Obama, rielle hunter, Rihanna, Summer Olympics, travis barker, vidal sassoon, X Factor