In brief | Nation & World, 06-08-14


Hundreds of gay couples rush to marry in Wisconsin, mindful ban could be reinstated

MILWAUKEE — Dozens of gay couples married Saturday at courthouses in Milwaukee and Madison, taking advantage of what most believed would be a small window in which to get hitched before a judge’s decision overturning the state’s same-sex marriage ban was put on hold.

The decision was announced Friday afternoon just as the party was getting started at PrideFest, an annual gay celebration that draws thousands of people to Milwaukee’s festival grounds on Lake Michigan.

Many couples who married Saturday said the judge’s decision had caught them by surprise, and they hadn’t wanted to break Friday night plans. Others needed time to assemble the documents required for a marriage license. Couples began lining up outside the Milwaukee County courthouse at 6 a.m., three hours before it opened.

Police release 911 calls from Seattle campus shooting

SEATTLE — One student talks to 911 operators while a classmate attempts to tend to his bleeding neck and chest. Two other callers after witnessing the shooting at a small Seattle university calmly describe their location, the shooter and the chilling scene.

“He walked up behind this guy,” the caller said, adding moments later: “There were two people standing there. And this guy walked up behind one of them, lifted his rifle and shot directly.”

A day after a lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle police released three 911 calls recorded shortly after the shooting. The calls reflect a mix of shock, calmness and swift action by students, witnesses and faculty.

The 911 calls show “the remarkable calm and resourcefulness of students, faculty, and other witnesses,” police wrote.

Police said the shooter, who killed a 19-year-old freshman student and wounded two other young people, had 50 additional shotgun shells and a hunting knife. He said after his arrest that he wanted to kill as many people as possible before taking his own life, Seattle police wrote in a statement filed in court Friday.

Poet Maya Angelou’s many gifts remembered by first lady, Oprah, Clinton at memorial

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Maya Angelou liked to say that people will forget what you said or did in your life, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Former President Bill Clinton, first lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey said Saturday they were among the millions touched by Angelou’s wisdom when they needed help to rise.

Family and friends, both famous and anonymous, gathered Saturday to remember one of the 20th century’s most famous black writers. Amid tears, laughter, and gospel singing, they met at Wake Forest University, where she taught for 32 years though she never graduated from college. Dr. Angelou, as she liked to be addressed out of respect for all the honorary degrees she received, died May 28 at age 86.

“We could just all be up here talking about how Maya Angelou represented a big piece of American history. And triumphed over adversity. And proved how dumb racism is,” Clinton said at the private memorial service. “But her great gift in her action-packed life was she was always paying attention. And from the time she starting writing her books and her poetry, what she was basically doing was calling our attention to the things she’d been paying attention to. And she did it with a clarity and power that will wash over people as long as there is a written and spoken language.”

By wire sources