Tag:  Occasions

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National

Neighboring Pa., NJ spotlight gay marriage efforts

State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, at podium, speaks during a news conference beneath the Robert Indiana sculpture “Love,” Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, at John F. Kennedy Plaza, also known as Love Park, in Philadelphia. Democratic state Reps. Steve McCarter and Brian Sims say they are introducing a bill that would allow same-sex couples to get married legally in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) by Peter JacksonAssociated Press Writer HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania and New Jersey are on tracks that could lead to the Northeast being the first full region in the country to legalize gay marriage — but the routes are hardly parallel and the horsepower anything but equal. A flurry of recent court decisions has gay couples in New Jersey, where same-sex marriage has long been debated, hurrying to make wedding plans for when they can legally marry starting Monday — even as a moderate Republican governor with apparent presidential aspirations awaits a decision on his appeal. Across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, advocates are pecking away at a 1996 gay marriage ban by introducing bills in the Legislature, defiantly issuing marriage licenses in localities and taking the issue to court — with few people conceding the tactics will work anytime soon in a big state with a socially conservative spine.

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Generation Y

Why Malala’s bravery inspires us

Malala Yousafzai at United Nations (CNN Photo/Eskinder Debebe) by Julia Fine (CNN) — As a teenager, it’s easy to feel lost, to get swallowed up into the mob mentality and lose your voice. We’ve all been victim to that; anyone who says they haven’t is either lying or under the age of 13 years. And so when a teenage girl undertakes such an incredible task of courage, one adults cower in fear of doing, the event takes on utmost significance. This is exactly what Malala Yousafzai, a huge inspiration to me and so many other girls, did.

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People

Novelist Tom Clancy a master of military thrillers

This undated file image provided by Paramount Studios shows a scene from “The Hunt for Red October” starring, from left, Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin and Scott Glenn. The film is based on the book by Tom Clancy. (AP Photo/Paramount Studios) LOS ANGELES (AP) — With CIA analyst Jack Ryan, Tom Clancy created a character that spoke to audiences from both page and screen, representing the changing mood of a country facing growing geopolitical challenges. “Thrillers, like all art, are always a reflection of the culture,” said fellow author Brad Meltzer. “No one captured that Cold War fear — and that uniquely American perspective— like Clancy. Jack Ryan wasn’t just a character. He was us. He was every American in those days when we were a push-of-the-button away from nuclear war.” Clancy brought such realism and attention to detail to his novels that in 1985, a year after the Cold War thriller “The Hunt for Red October” came out, a military official suspected the author of having access to classified material.

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National

From solemn to spectacular, July 4th celebrated

Visitors to fhe Statue of Liberty take photos as they arrive on the first tourist ferry to leave Manhattan, July 4, in New York. The Statue of Liberty finally reopened on the Fourth of July months after Superstorm Sandy swamped its island in New York Harbor as Americans across the country marked the holiday with fireworks and barbecues. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) by Jake Pearson Associated Press Writer NEW YORK (AP) — From solemn to spectacular, the nation marked its independence with the reopening of the Statue of Liberty for the first time since Superstorm Sandy, extravagant fireworks that included a 19-burst salute to Arizona’s fallen firefighters and a musical tribute in Washington to those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.

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Entertainment

19 years later, Essence Fest still holding strong

In this Feb. 3 photo, Beyonce performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, in New Orleans. The singer headlines at the 2013 Essence Music Festival, with other nightly concerts held in the Superdome to include, Maxwell, Jill Scott, Charlie Wilson, LL Cool J, New Edition, Emile Sande, Trey Songz, Janelle Monae and several others. The festival dates are July 4-7, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File) by Chevel Johnson NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Nearly two decades after Essence magazine launched a festival here to “party with a purpose” and celebrate Black culture, music and people, the Essence Fest may be facing some new competition. Like Essence this weekend, last weekend’s BET Experience, held in Los Angeles, had Beyonce as a headliner. It also had panels discussing topics important to the community and spanned a three-day weekend — a format Essence until recently had used for years. But Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications Inc., said the similarities end there.

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International

‘Africa Day’: In Ethiopia, African Union celebrates 50 years

US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Saturday May 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Jim Young, pool) by Kirubel TadesseADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The African Union on Saturday marked 50 years since the founding of a continentwide organization that helped liberate Africa from colonial masters and which now is trying to stay relevant on a continent regularly troubled by conflict.

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Generation Y

Obama dares Ohio State graduates to reject cynical voices

President Barack Obama speaks at Ohio State University’s spring commencement ceremony May 5, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan) by Josh Lederman Associated Press Writer COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A year to the day after kicking off his victorious re-election campaign on this college campus, President Barack Obama returned to Ohio State University and told graduates that only through vigorous participation in their democracy can they right an ill-functioning government and break through relentless cynicism about the nation’s future.