Rush to the altar

It took only minutes for Oregon's 23 first married gay couples to start getting hitched

May 20, 2014

Some states ease into same-sex marriage. Oregon isn't one of them. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane struck down the state's gay marriage ban at about noon on Monday, and the news spread to the crowd gathered outside at 12:08. It took only another minute for Multnomah County officials to let waiting same-sex couples inside to get their marriage licenses. "Within an hour, 23 couples had bought a marriage license, and the first ceremonies were wrapped up," says Kirk Johnson at The New York Times.

Unlike in Idaho, where a federal judge struck down a gay marriage ban and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the ruling, there were no parties with standing who opposed the Oregon ban — the state attorney general said it was unconstitutional and refused to defend it. So Oregon officials were ready when the ban fell. Portland Mayor Charlie Hales even got in on the act even though his office doesn't give him the right to officiate weddings. As he explained to The Oregonian, he just did what everyone else does and obtained a license online from the Universal Life Church. --Peter Weber

This just in

2 planes in Seattle evacuated due to 'security concerns'

8:49pm ET
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Late Sunday afternoon, two planes were evacuated once they landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport over what a spokesperson called a "security concern."

Upon arrival, passengers from a JetBlue flight from Long Beach, California, and a regional SkyWest jet from Phoenix were bused to their gates "out of an abundance of caution," The Associated Press reports, and an investigation is underway. On Sunday afternoon, a Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Orlando was diverted to Dallas also due to a "security concern," a Delta spokesperson said. Passengers were removed from that flight and authorities are examining the airplane.

Authorities have not said if these cases are linked to bomb threats made Saturday that targeted two airplanes heading to Atlanta, AP says.

Greece votes

Exit polls show anti-austerity Syriza party to win Greek elections

2:42pm ET
Matt Cardy / Getty Images

Greece's left-wing Syriza party on Sunday appeared to win a decisive victory in a nationwide election, according to early exit polls.

In what would represent a sound rejection of austerity, preliminary results showed Syriza taking around 35 percent of the vote to 30 percent for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and the governing New Democracy Party. A Syriza victory would likely result in the party's leader, Alexis Tsipras, becoming the next prime minster.

"The message is that our common future in Europe is not the future of austerity," Tsipras said Sunday.

bundle up

'Potentially historic' snowstorm threatens to paralyze Northeast

2:09pm ET

The northeastern United States could in some places see around two feet of snow over the next few days as a massive winter storm passes through the region.

Blizzard watches are in effect in Boston and Providence — which could each get slammed with two feet of snow — and in New York City, where one foot is forecast to fall between Sunday and Wednesday. A "large area" could see winds around 50 miles per hour, and 70 mph gust could buffet the Massachusetts coast, according to The Weather Channel, which calls the storm "potentially historic."

2016 Watch

Mike Huckabee on 2016 bid: 'I'm moving in that direction'

1:19pm ET
Screenshot / NBC

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said Sunday he is leaning toward another run at the White House.

"I think it's pretty evident that I'm moving in that direction," Huckabee said on Meet the Press.

Earlier this month, Huckabee left Fox News after more than six years with the network, a move widely seen as a prerequisite for a 2016 bid. You can watch Huckabee's entire Meet the Press interview here.

2016 Watch

Bobby Jindal backs constitutional amendment on gay marriage

12:58pm ET
Screenshot / ABC

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Sunday joined the push for a constitutional amendment that would allow states to define marriage for themselves.

The Supreme Court this month agreed to hear arguments over whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry. A decision is expected this summer, and Jindal said shoud the Justices side with same-sex marriage advocates, he would support a legislative effort to override that ruling.

"I certainly support Ted Cruz and others that are talking about making an amendment — a constitutional amendment — to allow states to continue to define marriage," he said in an interview with ABC.

Watch this

Saturday Night Live on Deflategate: Tom Brady did it

12:10pm ET

Mystery solved: Tom Brady deflated all those footballs, according to Saturday Night Live's take on Deflategate.

As expected, SNL opened this weekend with a sketch lampooning the New England Patriots' alleged ball tampering, with a curmudgeonly Bill Belichick throwing his squirming QB under the bus. And yes, there were some jokes about balls. —Jon Terbush

Greece votes

Greece holds election that could serve as referendum on austerity

11:36am ET
Milos Bicanski / Getty Images

Greek voters headed to the polls Sunday for a crucial election that could set the stage for a showdown with the European Union over austerity measures.

The left-wing Syriza party, which led in the run-up to the election, has vowed to renegotiate a $270 billion international bailout it blames for the country's poor financial health. Led by 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, Syriza has also said it will demand creditors write off billions of dollars of Greece's debt.

"Democracy will return to Greece," Tsipras said Sunday.

Deflategate

Bill Nye on Deflategate: Patriots' explanation 'didn't make any sense'

11:18am ET
Screenshot / ABC

Bill Nye, the celebrity scientist and former host of an eponymous TV show, on Sunday threw cold water on New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick's amateur science explanation for why footballs used in last weekend's AFC Championship game were underinflated.

"What he said didn't make any sense," Nye said in an interview with ABC.

Belichick on Saturday said atmospheric conditions, not deliberate tampering, caused the balls to fall below the minimum allowable PSI, saying the team "absolutely followed every rule to the letter." —Jon Terbush

Crisis in Ukraine

Rebel missile attack kills 30 civilians, injures 100 in Ukraine

9:30am ET
Screenshot / The Associated Press

Pro-Russian separatists on Saturday launched missile attacks on the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, killing 30 civilians and injuring more than 100.

"This is a crime against humanity to be tried by the Hague tribunal," Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a statement.

Rebels fired around 60 missiles in two separate attacks, with the scope of the bombardment suggesting, according to Western officials, some degree of Russian involvement. Secretary of State John Kerry called the attack "reprehensible" adding that it was "aided and abetted by Russia’s irresponsible and dangerous decision to resupply" the rebels despite a delicate truce.

Moscow denied any role in the attack.

2016 Watch

Republican presidential hopefuls gather in Iowa for 2016 kickoff

9:02am ET
Scott Olson / Getty Images

A slew of potential Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential nomination descended on Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday for a conservative summit considered the unofficial kickoff to the next election cycle.

Sponsored by Iowa Rep. Steve King (R), the event drew prospective candidates ranging from the moderate (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie) to the Tea Party-aligned (Texas Sen. Ted Cruz), the latter of whom challenged his fellow speakers to "show me where you stood up and fought" President Obama's policies. Other featured attendees included Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Notably, two of the most prominent potential GOP candidates — Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney — did not attend, citing scheduling conflicts.

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