National News

Kevin Faulconer reaches for his wife, Katherine, at a Feb. 11 rally as their daughter looks up from below. Faulconer, a Republican, won the San Diego mayoral race last week.

GOP Struggles To Sell Message In Big Cities

San Diego voters did something highly unusual last Tuesday: They elected a Republican as mayor.

San Diego will now be the largest city in the country with a Republican mayor, Kevin Faulconer, who has been serving on its city council. The next largest is Indianapolis.

In fact, of the nation's 100 largest cities, a grand total of nine now have GOP mayors, plus two other Republicans who are nominally independent.

Canada fans cheer during a men's hockey game between Austria and Canada at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on Friday.

Soaking Sochi In Red And White, Canada Aims To Repeat 2010 Wins

The wave just never stopped. The fans kept it going around Bolshoy Stadium at the Canada-Austria men's hockey match. Hands up, yell, sit, wait, repeat. Hands up, yell, sit, wait, repeat. As it moved, again and again, through the stands, the wave was strikingly red and white. A moving, yelling, living, breathing mass of Canadian pride.

It was Valentine's Day in Sochi. And the Canadians were in love — with their hockey teams, which are doing well, and with so many other athletes from their country. Canada is having a great run in Sochi, and its fans here are celebrating.

U.S. Men's Hockey Team Triumphs Over Russia In Shootout Ending

Kelly Mottershead and Louie Okamoto held a beach party last October for their wedding ceremony in Carmel, Calif.

Walking Down The Widening Aisle Of Interracial Marriages

Editor's Note: Code Switch has been engaged in a month-long exploration of romance across racial and cultural lines. Follow the Twitter conversation via the hashtag #xculturelove.

The numbers are small but growing.

Virginians demonstrate outside Federal Court in Norfolk, Va., on Feb. 4. The judge ruled this week that Virginia's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Flood Of Gay Marriage Cases Releasing Stream Of Federal Rulings

A federal judge in Virginia struck down that state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage this week. It's just the latest in a string of similar rulings in conservative states, and it indicates that the strategy for winning marriage equality in federal courts is moving faster than many had expected.

In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen said Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional because "core civil rights are at stake." She compared the case to the landmark 1967 Supreme Court ruling recognizing interracial marriage.

Tenn. Workers Vote To Reject Union At VW Plant

Russian President Vladimir Putin claps during the third period of a men's ice hockey game between the USA and Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics, on Saturday in Sochi, Russia.

U.S. Men's Ice Hockey Beats Russia In Preliminary Round

The U.S. Olympic ice hockey team beat Russia 3-2 on the ice at the Sochi Games in a heart-stopping sudden-death shootout.

Although only a preliminary round, the contest was reminiscent of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" at the Lake Placid Games when a group of American college players beat the formidable Soviet team in what became a touchstone of Cold War Olympic rivalry.

T.J. Oshie of the St. Louis Blues scored the game-winning point in the eighth round of the shootout that ended the clash among some of international hockey's best players.

What We Might Learn From Snoring Weather Cats

Sometimes it feels like all the fancy meteorological machinery and prognostication equipment is actually working. And that the weatherfolks may finally be able to predict – albeit with constant updates and countless hedge words — what the weather is going to be.

At least for the next day or so.

But is that good enough?

Members of parliament from the ruling AK Party and the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) scuffle during a debate on a draft law to give the government tighter control over the judiciary.

Push Comes To Shove In Turkey's Parliament Over Judicial Bill

Passage of a bill to increase the Turkish government's control over the country's judicial system on Saturday came down to a real fight in parliament – literally.

Two members of parliament were injured, one with a broken nose, during debate over the controversial measure to give the Justice Ministry greater control over the selection of judges. The measure ultimately passed, but not before some minor bloodshed.

The Associated Press reports:

UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is pictured during a news conference in Geneva on Saturday.

Mediator: Syrian Peace Talks Have 'Not Come Out With Very Much'

Direct talks between the Syrian government and the opposition fighting to topple the regime have ended in what international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi described as a frustrating round of negotiations that have "not come out with very much."

About all that was decided in the latest round of the talks in Geneva that ended on Saturday was an agenda for a third set of meetings at an unspecified date.

"I apologize that these two rounds have not come out with very much," Brahimi said.

Pages