Irish vote on gay marriage in landmark referendum
By Padraic Halpin and Conor Humphries DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland voted on Friday on whether to allow gay marriage, just two decades after decriminalising homosexuality, with reports of a high turnout likely to favor the 'Yes' side. With the once mighty Catholic Church's influence ravaged by child abuse scandals, opinion polls indicated the proposal would pass by as much as two-to-one, making Ireland the first country to adopt same-sex marriage via a popular vote. Irish national broadcaster RTE estimated turnout was likely to reach 60 percent in Dublin, which would be the highest in a referendum for years.
Williamson frustrates England in first Test
Kane Williamson's unbeaten 92 rounded off a fine day's work for New Zealand in the first Test against England at Lord's on Friday. The Black Caps ended the second day well-placed at 303 for two, just 86 runs behind England's first innings 389. Williamson and Ross Taylor (47 not out) had so far shared an unbroken stand of 155 after coming together when the tourists had lost two wickets with their score on 148.
'Live Earth' global climate change concerts delayed
Organisers of Live Earth, a set of global concerts backed by Al Gore aimed at pushing for urgent action on climate change, on Friday announced a delay. Live Earth had announced shows on each inhabited continent for June 18 featuring more than 100 artists to raise pressure for a strong agreement at a UN-led climate conference in Paris at the end of the year. Representatives however said Friday that no events would take place on June 18, and instead a free concert would be held near the Eiffel Tower in Paris sometime in the autumn.
Clinton: GOP threatening small-business jobs
HAMPTON, N.H. (AP) ? Republicans in Congress and GOP presidential hopefuls are threatening tens of thousands of small business jobs by seeking to cut a little-known government agency that guarantees loans to help U.S. exporters, Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday.
Correction: Air Force Station-Crash story
HONOLULU (AP) ? In a story May 20 about the death of a second Marine during a training exercise in Hawaii, The Associated Press, relying on information from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, erroneously reported the hometown of Lance Cpt. Matthew Determan. He was from Ahwatukee, Arizona, not Maricopa.
State Dept releases first Clinton emails on Libya
The State Department on Friday released a first batch of emails by Hillary Clinton, giving an unprecedented glimpse into the work of the former top diplomat in the wake of a deadly 2012 attack on a US mission in Libya. The emails have stoked fresh controversy since Clinton -- who is now running for president -- admitted to using a private server and email address during her tenure as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. Both issues are likely to stalk Clinton as she bids to become the first woman to occupy the Oval Office in the 2016 elections, hoping to slide into the seat once held by her husband, former president Bill Clinton.
US officials: Iran enters Iraqi fight for key oil refineryWASHINGTON (AP) ? U.S. defense officials say Iran has entered the fight to retake a major Iraqi oil refinery from Islamic State militants.
Clinton got now-classified Benghazi info on private emailWASHINGTON (AP) ? Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received information on her private email server about the deadly attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that has now been classified.
In Wilde's shadow, shyness and pride in Irish gay marriage vote
While many voters in Ireland's referendum on introducing same-sex marriage were strolling around Dublin wearing "Yes" stickers Friday, many "No" voters were quietly keeping it to themselves. The heated campaign has stirred emotions on both sides, with many voters in both camps wary of voicing their standpoint for fear of being dragged into an emotion-fuelled argument. Final opinion polls suggested the "Yes" camp was heading for victory, but campaigners warned against complacency, wary of a large block of 'shy' "No" voters reluctant to disclose their opposition.
Fed's Yellen expects rate hike 'some point this year'
Janet Yellen said Friday she expects the Federal Reserve to begin raising interest rates "at some point this year," saying delaying the long-awaited move risks the economy overheating. The comments came two days after minutes of the Fed's policy board made clear that slow economic growth in recent months meant it was not expecting to increase the benchmark Fed funds rate before late July, despite earlier forecasts of a mid-year hike. Yellen said she expects the economy to bounce back from the stall in the first quarter, which she attributed to "transitory" factors like severe weather and labor disputes at West Coast ports.