RSS
10 things you need to know today: May 13, 2014
Gay couples get marriage licenses in Arkansas, scientists say the Antarctic's ice melt is unstoppable, and more
 
Jennifer Rambo and Kristin Seaton tie the knot in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. 
Jennifer Rambo and Kristin Seaton tie the knot in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  (AP Photo/Sarah Bentham)

1. Gay couples marry in Arkansas
More than 200 gay and lesbian couples married in Arkansas on Monday as the state Supreme Court considered an appeal of a Friday ruling overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The conservative state, the first in the South to issue same-sex marriage licenses, is fighting to preserve the 10-year-old ban, which voters approved by a 3-to-1 margin. All but five of Arkansas' 75 counties held off on issuing licenses pending the appeal. [The Associated Press]

………………………………………………………………………………

2. Antarctic ice melt looks unstoppable, scientists say
The West Antarctica ice sheet is breaking up faster than previously believed, and its melting now might be unstoppable, two groups of scientists reported Monday. Scientists have concluded that with temperatures rising, the melting ice sheet could cause sea levels to rise 10 feet or more in coming centuries, picking up speed at the end of this one. "This is really happening," said NASA polar ice expert Thomas P. Wagner. "There's nothing to stop it now." [The New York Times]

………………………………………………………………………………

3. Keystone proposal stalls after Senate deadlock on energy bill
The Senate deadlocked on a popular bipartisan energy-efficiency bill on Monday, scuttling an effort to approve plans for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had promised to allow a vote on the Keystone bill if Republicans dropped a filibuster on the energy efficiency proposal, but that didn't happen. The impasse appeared likely to douse the chance of a vote on Keystone in the near future. [The Washington Post]

………………………………………………………………………………

4. Ukrainian separatists ask to join Russia
A separatist leader in eastern Ukraine said Monday that the Donetsk region would ask to join Russia following a Sunday autonomy referendum. Organizers claim voters overwhelmingly approved breaking away from the Ukrainian national government. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived in Kiev Tuesday in the latest international effort to resolve the crisis in eastern Ukraine, which erupted after Russia annexed Crimea in March. [CNN, The New York Times]

………………………………………………………………………………

5. Clay Aiken's congressional primary opponent Keith Crisco dies
Keith Crisco, who was locked in a tight North Carolina Democratic congressional primary with former American Idol singer Clay Aiken, died Monday after an accidental fall at his home. He was 71. Crisco, a textile manufacturer who was once the state's top business recruiter, trailed Aiken by 400 votes after last week's election. A final count is coming this week. If Crisco wins, local Democrats will choose their nominee. [The Associated Press]

………………………………………………………………………………

6. U.S. sends surveillance aircraft to search for abducted girls in Nigeria
The United States has started sending "manned surveillance flights" over Nigeria to help find 270 high-school girls abducted by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram last month, Obama administration officials said Monday. "As you know, President Obama has directed his team to do everything it can to support the Nigerian government's efforts to find and free these girls," White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday. [NBC News, Voice of America]

………………………………………………………………………………

7. Explorer says wreck off Haiti could be Columbus' flagship
Underwater explorer Barry Clifford says he is confident that a sunken ship his team found off Haiti is Christopher Columbus' long-lost flagship, the Santa Maria. Clifford told CNN late Monday that he found the "smoking gun" — a distinctive 15th century cannon — in the exact spot where Columbus reported that the ship ran aground on a reef off what is now northern Haiti more than 500 years ago. "It is the Mount Everest of shipwrecks for me," he said. [CNN]

………………………………………………………………………………

8. Judge orders search for ailing radio icon Casey Kasem
A California judge on Monday ordered a search for legendary DJ Casey Kasem, who is suffering from advanced Parkinson's disease and has gone missing. Judge Daniel S. Murphy assigned a court investigator to find the former American Top 40 radio host, who is 82 and can no longer speak. A lawyer for Kasem's wife, Jean Kasem, said the radio icon had "been removed from the country." [NBC News]

………………………………………………………………………………

9. Researchers question whether red wine really helps you live longer
Red wine might not have miraculous health benefits after all, according to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The researchers tracked nearly 800 elderly Italians for 11 years, measuring levels of resveratrol — red wine's supposed wonder chemical — and found that the levels didn't tell doctors anything about the patients' likelihood of suffering cardiovascular disease or cancer, or their mortality in general. [JAMA Internal Medicine]

………………………………………………………………………………

10. Hotel looks into leaked video of alleged Jay Z scrap
A New York City hotel is investigating the source of a leaked security video that appears to show Jay Z being physically attacked in an elevator by Solange Knowles, the sister of his wife, Beyonce. The Standard Hotel issued a statement saying the management was "shocked and disappointed" over the release of the video, which was posted online by TMZ. In the clip, Solange appears to try to hit and kick Jay Z, with Beyonce at his side, before a security guard stops her. [CBS News, TMZ]

Get '10 things you need to know today' in your inbox each morning. Sign up for the email version here.

 
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