RSS
10 things you need to know today: May 8, 2013
Delaware legalizes same-sex marriage, Mark Sanford wins, and more
 
According to a recent poll, 81 percent of young adults support gay marriage.
According to a recent poll, 81 percent of young adults support gay marriage. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

1. DELAWARE BECOMES 11TH STATE TO APPROVE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
A split Delaware Senate backed gay marriage by a 12-9 vote on Tuesday, making their state the 11th to legalize same-sex weddings. The vote came after a long debate, during which one lawmaker came out of the closet and revealed her long-term same-sex relationship. Gov. Jack Markell signed the bill into law a half-hour after it passed. "Delaware should be, is and will be, a welcoming place to live, love and raise a family for all who call our great state home," Markell said. [News Journal]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. MARK SANFORD WINS CONGRESSIONAL SEAT
Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford completed his political comeback on Tuesday, defeating Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch to win a seat in Congress. Sanford's political career once appeared damaged beyond repair by his lies about a 2009 extramarital affair, which made "hiking the Appalachian Trail" a euphemism for adultery. Sanford won by nine percentage points in a vote considered a toss-up, saying he was an "imperfect man" who was "saved by God's grace." [New York Times, Washington Post]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. POLICE FACE QUESTIONS ABOUT MISSED CLUES AFTER THREE WOMEN FREED
As three long-missing young women were reunited with their families, Cleveland police are facing questions about how the women could have been held undetected for a decade in a densely populated neighborhood. Amanda Berry, 27, Michelle Knight, 32, and Gina DeJesus, about 23, disappeared — separately — about a decade ago. Since then, neighbors say people twice called police after seeing a naked woman on a leash crawling in the house where they were found, and after someone heard pounding on a window. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. PENTAGON SAYS MILITARY SEX ASSAULTS RISE SHARPLY
An estimated 26,000 members of the military were sexually assaulted in unreported incidents last year, a 35 percent increase since 2010, according to a Pentagon report released Tuesday. President Obama reacted to the jarring figures by saying he had "no tolerance" for sexual crimes in the armed forces and had ordered a crackdown. "If we find out that somebody's engaging in this stuff, they've got to be held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged, period," Obama said. [Los Angeles Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. ITALY PORT ACCIDENT LEAVES FIVE DEAD
At least five people were killed when a cargo ship, being guided by tug boats, veered out of control and slammed into a control tower in the Italian port of Genoa, rescue officials said Wednesday. Another four people were missing. The ship, the Jolly Nero, demolished the concrete and glass tower during a shift change, with 14 people inside. Three were in an elevator that fell into the water when the tower collapsed into rubble. [BBC News]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. DOW BREAKS 15,000
The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 15,000 for the first time ever on Tuesday. The milestone came just two months after the big-stock index recovered the last of the losses sustained in the financial crisis. The Dow has gained 15 percent since Jan. 1, as a host of encouraging factors — including strong corporate earnings and improvement in the housing market — have eased fears of another economic downturn. [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. LAWYERS SAY HOLMES WANTS TO CHANGE PLEA TO INSANITY
James Holmes, the man accused in July's deadly shooting rampage in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, wants to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity, his lawyers said Tuesday. The move could delay his trial by months while he's evaluated at a state mental hospital. Holmes' lawyers had held off on using the insanity defense for weeks out of fear that it would be harder to mount a death penalty defense if Holmes didn't cooperate with doctors evaluating his mental state. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. TANKER CRASH KILLS 23 IN MEXICO
At least 23 people were killed along a highway near Mexico City on Tuesday when a speeding natural-gas tanker crashed into a cluster of homes and erupted in a huge fireball. "There was a flash, then a noise, and the ground began to shake," said Dulce Gonzalez, who lives in the neighborhood. Highway officials said 26 people were injured, and warned that the death toll could rise as crews sift through the wreckage of the 45 homes that were damaged. The driver survived and was arrested. [CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. GUN-CRIME RATE DROPS
The rate of homicides involving guns has fallen sharply since peaking in 1993, according to two studies released Tuesday. There were 18,253 gun-related killings in 1993, and 11,101 in 2011, the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics reported. Since the population grew, that translated to a drop from seven gun homicides per 100,000 in 1993 to 3.6 in 2010. Despite the decline, the Pew Research Center found that most Americans think the rate is rising, partly due to the impact of rare but jarring mass shootings. [NPR]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. VISUAL EFFECTS LEGEND HARRYHAUSEN DIES AT 92
Hollywood visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen, who helped to launch the modern blockbuster with his work in stop-motion films like Mighty Joe Young, Jason and the Argonauts, and Clash of the Titans, died Tuesday in London. He was 92. Sci-fi and fantasy filmmakers said Harryhausen's groundbreaking work paved the way for today's blockbusters. "He was, obviously, a genius, infinitely ahead of his time," said director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness, Lost). [Entertainment Weekly]

 
Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week