South Dakota

Same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

A federal judge on Monday declared South Dakota's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but stayed the decision pending appeal. U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier issued a summary judgment in favor of the six couples who filed the lawsuit last year in Sioux Falls. The federal complaint challenges a 1996 law passed by the Legislature and a voter-approved 2006 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which means such cases are now pending in 30 states with gay marriage bans.

New Mexico

2 Albuquerque cops charged with murder

Two Albuquerque police officers were charged with murder in the killing of a homeless man, a shooting that led to sometimes violent protests and a federal probe into the city's police force. Police said SWAT team member Dominique Perez and former detective Keith Sandy fatally shot James Boyd, who was holding two knives, during a standoff. Video from an officer's helmet camera showed Boyd, who authorities say was mentally ill, appearing to surrender when officers opened fire.

Washington, D.C.

Transit incident kills 1, hospitalizes 83

A woman riding on a Metro train died on Monday and 83 other passengers were taken to hospitals, at least two in critical condition, after the train abruptly stopped, went dark and filled with smoke in a tunnel in downtown Washington, authorities said. Scores of riders were aboard the Virginia-bound train when it came to a halt about 150 feet into the tunnel. Passengers said the darkened cars quickly filled with smoke. Several riders said as much as an hour went by before firefighters arrived and led them out of the cars, escorting them back to the train station. The cause was still under investigation, but there did not appear to be a fire.


Divers retrieve 2nd AirAsia black box

Divers have retrieved the crashed AirAsia plane's second black box from the bottom of the Java Sea, giving investigators the essential tools they need to start piecing together what brought Flight 8501 down. An official said the trapped cockpit voice recorder was freed from beneath the wing's ruins a day after the aircraft's flight data recorder was recovered. It will be flown to Jakarta to be downloaded and analyzed. Since it records on a two-hour loop, all discussions between the captain and co-pilot during the 42-minute journey should be available.

South Korea

Park says she's ready to talk to North's Kim

South Korea's President Park Geun-hye held out something of an olive branch to North Korea, saying she was prepared to hold talks without preconditions with Kim Jong Un. The gesture, made in Seoul, follows a similar statement by Kim, the leader of nuclear-armed North Korea, that he was open to a meeting with Park. Together, they represent a noticeable cooling in the usual hostile rhetoric between the neighbors, and could signal the start of a new era of discussions.

news services