U.S. says Iranian forces fire on and board cargo ship in GulfBy Noah Browning and David Alexander DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iranian forces boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Gulf on Tuesday after patrol boats fired warning shots across its bow and ordered it deeper into Iranian waters, the Pentagon said. U.S. planes and a destroyer were monitoring the situation after the vessel, the MV Maersk Tigris, made a distress call in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most important oil shipping channels. There was no immediate word from Iranian officials. Reuters tracking data showed the Maersk, a 65,000-tonne container ship, off the Iranian coast between the islands of Qeshm and Hormuz.
Supreme Court to hear historic same-sex marriage arguments
Gay marriage friends, foes spar outside U.S. Supreme CourtBy Elvina Nawaguna WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The debate over gay marriage in America, one of the leading social issues of this era, played out on the sidewalks outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday as the nine black-robed justices weighed the arguments inside. The gay marriage supporters, who outnumbered those who were opposed, sang the U.S. national anthem to try to drown out the demonstrator's voice. Gay marriage supporters included Shelly Bailes, 74, and Ellen Pontac, 73, a lesbian couple who met on a blind date 41 years ago and married in California six years ago. Pontac carried a sign with the message "Life feels different when you're married." Reacting to the demonstrators against gay marriage, Bailes said: "It's very sad that people have to hate in order to show how they feel.
Skeptical Supreme Court justices hear gay marriage case
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday on whether the Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, with a majority of the nine justices firing skeptical questions at a lawyer asking them to legalize gay marriage nationwide. Five justices including a possible swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy, and a member of the court's liberal wing, Justice Stephen Breyer, asked lawyer Mary Bonauto why the high court should change a definition of marriage that has existed for millennia, rather than allowing American voters to decide. The oral arguments, scheduled for 2-1/2 hours, continued and were expected to end about 12:30 p.m.. A lively crowd estimated at more than 1,000 people, with those favoring legalized gay marriage outnumbering those opposed, gathered outside the white marble courthouse as the justices heard arguments in the case, known as Obergefell v. Hodges.
Tsipras presses for May debt deal, threatens referendum
By Renee Maltezou and Deepa Babington ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday he was confident of an outline deal with international creditors within two weeks, after shaking up his negotiating team and sidelining his finance minister who has infuriated euro zone partners. Athens is weeks away from running out of cash, and talks with EU and IMF lenders on more aid have been deadlocked over their demands for Greece to implement reforms, including pension cuts and labor market liberalization. Greek financial markets and the euro rallied on hopes that the relegation of Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, a Marxist academic prone to lecturing his euro zone peers, would improve prospects for an early deal to avoid a default that might lead to a Greek exit from the currency area. Yet around half of investors expect Greece to leave the euro zone within the next 12 months, a survey published by German research group Sentix showed on Tuesday.
Latest on police-custody death: Rumors close suburban mall
Maersk Tigris ship manager declines comment, Pentagon says Iran boards vesselThe ship manager for the container vessel boarded by Iranian forces declined to comment on the status of the vessel on Tuesday. The Pentagon said earlier that the Marshall Islands-flagged Maersk Tigris was boarded by Iranian forces in the Gulf. The Maersk Tigris is managed by Singapore-based Rickmers Ship Management, which is part of Hamburg-based Rickmers Group. A Rickmers Group spokeswoman declined to comment when contacted by Reuters about the vessel.
Deutsche Bank co-CEO in dock on false testimony charges
Deutsche Bank co-CEO Juergen Fitschen and four other defendants went on trial on Tuesday accused of giving false testimony in a long-running legal battle with the defunct Kirch media group. A guilty verdict would deal a deadly blow to Germany's biggest lender as it struggles to clean up its image in the wake of a long list of legal challenges in recent years, and would leave the defendants facing prison sentences of between one and 10 years. Fitschen and four others -- ex-chief executives Rolf Breuer and Josef Ackermann and former executives Clemens Boersig and Tessen von Heydebreck -- are accused of giving misleading evidence to judges in one of the lawsuits brought by the late media magnate Leo Kirch against the bank.
Dr. Phil to Cat Cora: Celebs thank their moms in letters
Daredevil to walk on moving, 400-foot-high Ferris wheel