Rick Santorum makes an unexpected comeback in three state contests; Proposition 8 has been overturned by U.S. Circuit Court; and Obama shows gains over Romney in Virginia. Meanwhile, violence in Syria continues; Russian scientists have reached an Antarctic subglacial lake the size of New Jersey; and Daniel Radcliffe admits to groupie one night stands.
Kelly + Caitlin
Syria: Homs under ‘heaviest’ shelling yet, http://bbc.in/AhOpGA
After President Bashar al-Assad promised yesterday that he would end violence in Syria, 40 people have since died in Homs from heavy shelling. Civilians are hiding inside buildings, running low on food, and unable to travel because of sniper fire in the streets. The continued shelling comes after Russia and China blocked a UN Security Council resolution last week that backed a new Arab League plan for Syria. The plan involved Assad handing power to a deputy who would oversee a transition of power. Syria has become increasingly violent and isolated since the resolution was blocked.
Russians Claim To Have Punched Through To Antarctic ‘Subglacial Lake,’ http://n.pr/xuaLJX
Russian scientists announced today that they have successfully drilled through two miles of ice to reach Lake Vostok in Antarctica. The “lake” is roughly the size of New Jersey. Scientists have been drilling to Lake Vostok for about 50 years. The initial spurt of water from the lake, released when scientists finally broke through, has risen up and frozen in the drill hole. Likely contaminated from drilling chemicals, the scientists’ plan is to return next December to draw clean water.
Prop 8, California’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Declared Unconstitutional, http://huff.to/zABLfQ
Yesterday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled California’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional, noting that the ban serves no other purpose than to “lessen the status and human dignity” of gay people. Proposition 8 was approved by California voters in 2008 with 52 percent of the vote. The circuit court opinion cited that the law has no other purpose than to single out gay couples exclusively from marriage, since California already grants them all the rights and benefits of marriage if they register as domestic partners. The one dissenting judge wrote that the ban would help ensure that children are raised by married, opposite-sex couples. Gay rights activists were very pleased because the decision allows the controversy over Proposition 8 to move to the Supreme Court, where it is expected that the justices will affirm the trend of the appeals courts’ reversal of the ban.
White House hinting compromise on birth control, http://bit.ly/AqStxy
Amid outcry from conservative leaders and the Catholic Church, the Obama Administration is rumored to discuss a compromise on contraception coverage. A White House spokesman confirmed the belief that women working for church-affiliated employers should have access to birth control, but that the White House will also seek to accommodate ways to allay Catholic employer concerns. An option for compromise could include allowing a church-affiliated employer to not cover birth control and instead, refer employees to an insurer who would provide the coverage. Another would expand the definition of “religious employer” to be affiliated with houses of worship and institutions, which would allow them to be exempt from the healthcare mandate.
Rick Santorum wins Republican votes in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado, http://trib.in/z8GU07
Despite less money and less visibility, Rick Santorum won three states yesterday: the Missouri primary and the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses. Santorum, in total, has won four states, the other being Iowa. The votes in Missouri will not affect awarding delegates at the convention later in the year, but more Republicans participated in the Missouri primary than in Nevada, resulting in a major symbolic victory over Mitt Romney. Ron Paul also edged out Romney in Minnesota, coming in second place.
Obama leads Romney in Virginia poll, http://bit.ly/zdv2zN
Virginia, now a famous swing state in presidential elections, is showing that in a hypothetical poll, Obama leads Romney 47 percent to 43 percent. The poll results has Obama at a 5 point increase from December. The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, interviewed 1,544 registered Virginia voters. The poll findings also mention that, despite this encouraging state lead, Obama’s overall approval rating is still below 50 percent. Obama won Virginia in 2008, making him the first Democrat to win it in more than 40 years.
Sprint sells 1.8 million iPhones but posts huge loss, http://cnnmon.ie/zOlkBB
Joining AT&T and Verizon as the third national carrier to sell Apple’s iPhone last quarter, Sprint announced that while it sold 1.8 million iPhones, it is posting its biggest quarterly loss in three years. For the quarter, Sprint posted a $1.3 billion loss, 40 percent larger than the $929 million loss it recorded a year earlier. Sprint spokespeople remain hopeful, citing the company’s biggest customer growth in six years and average revenue per user rising by the highest rate in Sprint’s history. Apple sold 40 percent of iPhone products to Sprint customers, much above Verizon and AT&T.
‘It has happened!’ Squeaky clean Daniel Radcliffe implies he’s had one-night stands with groupies, http://bit.ly/waKhZh
Adele’s Health Crisis and Comeback, http://bit.ly/xQPhjx
Justice Sotomayor Appears On Sesame Street, http://bit.ly/AfQt7e
2.1 million viewers live stream Super Bowl online, http://bit.ly/ws8T3m
Ellen Degeneres addresses Prop 8 and J.C. Penney controversy, http://bit.ly/AjFHrs