3:56pm

Tue March 26, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

'It's Bad For Business': Employers Side With DOMA Opponents

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:58 pm

Starbucks is among the companies that have filed a brief against the Defense of Marriage Act, being challenged at the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act — the federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. And among those asking the justices to strike it down is a broad cross section of corporate America.

Nearly 300 companies have filed a brief arguing that the law — called DOMA for short — hits them where it counts: their bottom lines.

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3:56pm

Tue March 26, 2013
The Two-Way

China, Vietnam Clash Over Disputed Islands

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 4:23 pm

Aerial view of the city of Sansha on an island in the disputed Paracel chain, which China considers part of its territory.
STR AFP/Getty Images

China is once again at odds with a maritime neighbor over disputed islands, this time — as often — leading to a little shooting and a lot of posturing.

The latest confrontation is with Vietnam over the mostly uninhabited Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. Hanoi has accused Beijing's forces of firing on a Vietnamese vessel engaged in fishing near the islands, which both sides claim.

Vietnam did not say if anyone was hurt in the incident that occurred last Wednesday, but it described the matter as "very serious."

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3:45pm

Tue March 26, 2013
The Two-Way

William Shatner Says He's 'Appalled' At IRS 'Star Trek' Parody Video

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 5:54 pm

This video image from an Internal Revenue Service video shows an IRS employee portraying Mr. Spock.
Uncredited AP

William Shatner has made up his mind about the Star Trek parody video produced by the Internal Revenue Service. He tweeted:

"So I watched that IRS video. I am appalled at the utter waste of US tax dollars."

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2:59pm

Tue March 26, 2013
Author Interviews

You're So Dumb, You Probably Think This Book Is About Getting Slapped

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:58 pm

Oxford University Press

William Irvine is a philosophy professor by day, but he has an unusual sideline: He's also a collector of insults. Irvine has gathered some of his favorite jibes into a new book called A Slap in the Face: Why Insults Hurt — And Why They Shouldn't.

Irvine tells NPR's Audie Cornish that one of his favorite masters of insult is Winston Churchill. "Nancy Astor [said] to Winston Churchill, 'if you were my husband, I would put poison in your coffee,' " Irvine says, to which Churchill replied, " 'If you were my wife, I would drink it.' "

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2:39pm

Tue March 26, 2013
The Salt

Food Fraud Database Lets Us All Play Detective

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 10:45 am

Spices are common targets for food fraudsters.
iStockphoto.com

By now we know that not every food is what it seems.

Beef might be horse meat, and tuna might be much cheaper escolar. Extra virgin olive oil is often nothing of the kind.

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2:25pm

Tue March 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Obama Will Appoint Julia Pierson As Secret Service Director

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:12 am

Veteran Secret Service agent Julia Pierson is President Obama's choice to be the agency's new director.
U.S. Secret Service Reuters /Landov

President Obama has chosen 30-year veteran Julia Pierson to head the Secret Service. Pierson will become the first woman to hold that position and she takes the reins as the agency recovers from scandal.

The Washington Post reports:

"Pierson, 53, began her career in the Secret Service as an agent in Miami three decades ago. She serves as the service's chief of staff.

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2:24pm

Tue March 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Man Sentenced To 30 Months For Pointing Laser At Airplane

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:16 am

A man in California has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for pointing a laser at a small jet as it approached the runway at Burbank airport.

Adam Gardenhire, 19, of North Hollywood, was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty in October to one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, according to The Pasadena Star-News.

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2:09pm

Tue March 26, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO: Supreme Court Arguments On California Gay Marriage Ban

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 3:40 pm

The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard oral arguments on California's voter-approved gay marriage ban, known as Proposition 8. Audio of Tuesday morning's arguments is available above and a transcript, as prepared by the court, follows.


CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: We'll hear argument this morning in Case 12-144, Hollingsworth v. Perry. Mr. Cooper?

ORAL ARGUMENT OF CHARLES J. COOPER ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONERS

MR. COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court.

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1:47pm

Tue March 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Report: 3 Out Of 4 Found With Drugs By Border Patrol Are U.S. Citizens

The Center for Investigative Reporting has a report today that shatters some preconceived notions: A review of records from the Border Patrol, shows that three out of four people the patrol found carrying drugs were United States citizens.

CIR reports this finding goes against the many press releases issued by the agency highlighting Mexican drug smugglers.

The organization reports:

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1:39pm

Tue March 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Gay Marriage Arguments: Cellphones, The Internet And Fertility Over 55

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 3:25 pm

This artist rendering shows attorney Charles J. Cooper, who was defending California's voter-passed ban on gay marriage, addressing the Supreme Court on Tuesday. From left, the justices are Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, (Chief Justice) John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan.
Dana Verkouteren AP

The U.S. Supreme Court heard lively arguments Tuesday in a challenge to California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages.

And, as many learned painfully after last year's court decision to uphold Obamacare, it is risky business to predict how justices will rule later based on questions raised in arguments.

So we won't.

Instead, here are five areas of discussion we found interesting, even if they may not prove predictive of the outcome.

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