Utah to take ruling on gay marriage to Supreme Court
SALT LAKE CITY
Utah is going directly to the nation’s highest court to challenge an appellate ruling that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry, the state attorney general’s office announced Wednesday.
If the U.S. Supreme Court decides to take the case, it will be the first time the top court considers gay marriage since justices last year struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The high court is under no obligation to the take the case, and it could wait for rulings from one or more of the five other appellate courts with gay marriage cases pending, legal scholars say.
But legal experts predict the nation’s top court will consider a gay-marriage case sometime in 2015 or later.
ND pipeline leaks 1M gallons of brine
Tribal and company officials say about 1 million gallons of saltwater has leaked from a pipeline on an American Indian reservation in western North Dakota.
An unknown amount has entered a bay leading to Lake Sakakawea, which provides water to communities on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.
Tribal and company officials say the leak near Mandaree has been isolated and drinking water is unaffected.
Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex Hall tells The Associated Press that the underground pipeline owned by Aero Pipeline LCC leaked about 24,000 barrels, or about 1 million gallons. The company says the leak started over the weekend and was discovered Tuesday.
Saltwater is a byproduct of oil production that’s 10 to 30 times saltier than seawater.
Germans probe US-linked spy case
German authorities are investigating a second spy case reportedly involving the United States, a week after the arrest of a German intelligence employee cast a new shadow over relations between the two countries.
Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that police raided properties in the Berlin area on “initial suspicion of activity for an intelligence agency.” They did not elaborate or specify what intelligence agency was involved, but said they had not made an arrest.
Colo. completes pot-market study
Colorado is smoking pot by the ton, and visitors are, too.
Colorado’s pot regulators issued what is believed to be the world’s first post-legalization market study for the plant Wednesday. The study relied on sales data from Colorado’s first three months of recreational-marijuana sales, while previous pot-market studies relied on survey responses because the drug is illegal.
The study estimated that total market demand for marijuana in Colorado is about 130 metric tons a year. That’s about 121 metric tons for residents and almost 9 metric tons a year for visitors. These figures include medical and recreational marijuana.
Iraqi leader: Kurds harboring militants
The ethnic and sectarian tensions that threaten to tear Iraq apart flared Wednesday as the prime minister accused the Kurdish self-rule region of harboring the Sunni militants who have overrun much of the country, and 50 bodies were discovered dumped in a village south of Baghdad.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s allegations, made in his weekly televised address, are likely to worsen Baghdad’s already thorny relationship with the Kurds, whose fighters have been battling the insurgents over the past month.