Eight months ago, the future of the civil rights movement that convulsed Ferguson, Mo., remained an open question. The protests in Baltimore this weekend are the latest proof that something has already changed. In the end, it seems, it has not mattered that the groups that came together in Ferguson have not been able to spawn an organized national movement of the scope that Martin Luther King Jr. did in the 1960s. This past week, that trend has added the name Freddie Gray to the list of black men whose deaths have recently brought attention to the issue of police violence.
By Joan Biskupic WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court's arguments on Tuesday over same-sex marriage will cap more than two decades of litigation and a transformation in public attitudes. Based on the court's actions during the past two years, a sense of inevitability is in the air: That a majority is on the verge of declaring gay marriage legal nationwide. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's pivotal member on gay rights, has been marching in this direction with opinions dating to 1996. In his most recent gay rights decision for the court in 2013, rejecting a legal definition of marriage limited to a man and woman for purposes of federal benefits, Kennedy deplored that U.S. law for making gay marriages "unequal." That 5-4 decision did not address a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, but lower court judges interpreted the ruling as an endorsement of it and began invalidating state bans.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments this week on whether a drug used in Oklahoma's lethal injection mix should be banned in a case that comes as a shortage of execution chemicals has sent some states scrambling for alternatives. The main question before the nine justices in the case brought by three death row inmates that will be heard on Wednesday is whether the use of the sedative midazolam violates constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment. The case does not address the constitutionality of the death penalty in general, but brings fresh attention to the debate over whether executions should continue in the United States. Opponents say midazolam is not approved for use in painful surgeries and should not be used in the death chamber because it cannot maintain a coma-like unconsciousness, potentially leaving inmates in intense pain from lethal injection drugs that halt breathing and stop the heart.
By Lacey Johnson BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Thousands of people marched through downtown Baltimore on Saturday to protest the unexplained death of a black man in police custody but the demonstrations turned violent when some protesters threw metal objects at officers and broke windows. Saturday's protests began peacefully, with at least 2,000 demonstrators marching to City Hall for a rally, the biggest since 25-year-old Freddie Gray died six days ago, a week after his arrest. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the overwhelming majority of the protesters were peaceful but that agitators disrupted the demonstration. “After a week of peaceful demonstrations I am profoundly disappointed to see the violence in our city this evening,” Rawlings-Blake said at a news conference.
Russian hackers who penetrated sensitive parts of the White House computer system last year read President Barack Obama's unclassified emails, the New York Times reported on Saturday, quoting U.S. officials. "There is no evidence that the president's email account itself was hacked, White House officials said. Still, the fact that some of Mr. Obama's communications were among those retrieved by hackers has been one of the most closely held findings of the inquiry," the paper said. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on the report but the White House earlier this month confirmed the breach, saying it took place last year and that it did not affect classified information.
LONDON (AP) — As world leaders and global charities tried to grasp the scope of an earthquake that devastated Nepal, they offered condolences for the nearly 1,400 people killed and readied emergency aid for the survivors. Mountaineering groups struggled to check on climbers, and Nepalese abroad did their best to reach families in the stricken area.
Police captured a young, female coyote outside a cafe in a residential area of lower Manhattan on Saturday, the latest in a series of coyote sightings in New York City, where an increasing number of the predators are making their home. An emergency operator fielded a 911 call early Saturday morning reporting a coyote sighting at North Cove Marina near Battery Park City, said Detective Annette Markowski, spokeswoman for the New York Police Department. It was placed in a cage and transported in a police cruiser to Manhattan Animal Care and Control for examination. "It is healthy and will be released into an appropriate wilderness area somewhere in New York City, probably today," said a spokesman for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
Waves of demonstrators were expected to descend on Baltimore on Saturday to protest the unexplained death of a black man after he was taken into custody, a day after the city's police chief said officers had failed to give him timely medical attention for a spinal injury. Both were due to start at the place where Freddie Gray, 25, was detained on April 12 for carrying a switchblade knife and placed inside a police transport van.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal Saturday, causing an avalanche on Mount Everest and crumbling buildings in Katmandu, the capital. Nepal’s Home Ministry announced an initial death toll of 686, a number that is continuing to rise. We are collecting stories and from the ground and live updates on the death toll and damages as the story develops.