National News

Oregon Won't Defend State's Ban On Gay Marriage

Saying the state's ban on gay marriage could not withstand a federal constitutional challenge, Oregon's attorney general said they will no longer defend the ban in court.

The Oregonian reports Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum made the announcement in a brief filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene, where the voter-approved 2004 amendment is being challenged.

The Canadian team celebrates Marie-Philip Poulin's winning overtime goal as American players try to recover from a game that seemed to be within their grasp in Sochi Thursday.

U.S.A. Loses Gold To Canada, In A Women's Hockey Classic

With a 2-0 lead late in the game, it seemed like Team USA would finally overcome archrival Canada on hockey's largest stage Thursday, winning an Olympic gold medal that has eluded it for 16 years. But the gold medal went to Canada after a spirited comeback forced overtime.

The Canadians scored on a five-on-three power play, after a sequence of penalties on both teams, including a checking call on Team USA's Hilary Knight. Forward Marie-Philip Poulin scored on an assist from Laura Fortino. Under Olympic rules, the "golden goal" ended the game with a score of 3-2.

A field north of the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport where UPS flight 1354 crashed on August 16, 2013.

Automated Landing System, Crew Fatigue, Eyed In UPS Plane Crash

The crew of a United Parcel Service Airbus A300 freighter that crashed during an early morning landing at Birmingham, Ala. were forced to make a "non-precision approach" when a computerized landing system became overloaded, investigators told the NTSB on Thursday.

The plane crashed short of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Ala., killing both the pilot and co-pilot.

The New York Times says:

His antlers are so bright.

These Reindeer Really Do Glow, And It's For Their Own Good

Feeli the Finnish reindeer,

Had some very shiny horns ...

OK, we'll stop there.

Here's the news:

"Herders in Lapland are spraying their reindeer with reflective paint to help drivers see them in the dark," the BBC writes.

Leopoldo López, an ardent opponent of Venezuela's socialist government facing an arrest warrant after President Nicolas Maduro ordered his arrest on charges of homicide and inciting violence, kisses his wife Lilian Tintori, before turning himself in to authorities on Tuesday.

5 Things To Know About Venezuela's Protest Leader

If you've been following the crisis in Venezuela only peripherally, the name Leopoldo López must've come as a surprise.

During a major protest on Tuesday, he turned himself in to authorities in dramatic fashion. This picture of him saying goodbye to his wife cemented his place as the face of the opposition to the government of Nicolas Maduro:

It meant that López has, for now, replaced Henrique Capriles, who ran against Hugo Chávez and Maduro in presidential elections, as the symbolic head of the opposition.

A wax sculpture of Stalin sits behind the desk he used at the dacha. From the time he first began to visit the villa, Stalin was signing death warrants for his rivals — and living in fear of retribution.

Sochi Was Once A Vacation Spot Fit For A Dictator

Long before it became an Olympic host city, Sochi was a favorite getaway for one of history's most ruthless dictators: Josef Stalin.

The Soviet leader had a villa built in the hills overlooking the Black Sea, and he visited it during some of the most tumultuous years of his reign.

The villa, known as Stalin's dacha, or summer house, was built in 1934, and he used it until the end of World War II in 1945. No Soviet or Russian leader after Stalin is known to have visited it.

Fredy DeLeon gets a flu shot at a Walgreens pharmacy in Concord, Calif., in January.

Flu Strikes Younger Adults Hard This Year

This year's flu season is hitting younger and middle-aged adults unusually hard, federal health officials say.

More than 60 percent of flu patients who ended up in the hospital this year have been between the ages of 18 and 64. The proportion of young people among the hospitalized is much higher than usual, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only about 35 percent of flu patients who were hospitalized in the previous three years fell into that age group, the CDC says.

CT scans are valuable for finding cancers, but deliver a lot of radiation in the process. That's an especially big concern for children.

Tiny Iron Particles Help Find Cancer Without Using Risky Radiation

Full body CT scans can save lives by helping detect cancer early. But the scans use high doses of radiation to create their detailed images, which means they also increase patients' risk of developing cancer later on in life.

Children and teenagers are at greatest risk, because they tend to live long enough to develop secondary cancers. And their growing tissues may be more susceptible to radiation.

Journalists hold placards as they demonstrate across the street from Egypt's embassy in central London, on Wednesday.

3 Al-Jazeera Journalists In Egypt Plead Not Guilty To Terrorist Links

Three journalists working for Qatar-based network Al-Jazeera English who are on trial in Egypt for their alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood have pleaded not guilty on Thursday. The trio were denied bail and their trial was adjourned until March 5.

Australian Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohammed, wearing white prison outfits, appeared in metal cages, according to Reuters, which says several others identified as al-Jazeera journalists are being tried in absentia.

Facebook announced it acquired WhatsApp late Wednesday.

Why Facebook Thinks WhatsApp Is Worth $19 Billion

Facebook's purchase of messaging service WhatsApp — at a price tag of up to $19 billion — is its largest acquisition yet. To put things in perspective, the social giant tried to purchase Snapchat for a fraction of that cost — $3 billion. And it successfully bought Instagram for $1 billion.

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