SCOUTUS justice to officiate at same-sex wedding
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will officiate at a same-sex wedding this weekend in what is believed to be a first for a member of the nation’s highest court.
Ginsburg will officiate today at the marriage of Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser and John Roberts, a government economist.
”Michael Kaiser is a friend and someone I much admire,” Ginsburg said in a written statement Friday. “That is why I am officiating at his wedding.”
The private ceremony will take place at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a national memorial to President John F. Kennedy. The 80-year-old Ginsburg, an opera lover, is a frequent guest at the center.
Same-sex marriage is legal in the District of Columbia and 13 states.
UN experts leave Syria
BEIRUT — U.N. chemical weapons experts have left Syria and crossed into neighboring Lebanon.
An Associated Press crew saw the U.N. personnel cross into Lebanon from Syria through the country’s Masnaa border crossing early today.
The team on Friday carried out a fourth and final day of inspection as they sought to determine precisely what happened in the Aug. 21 alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus.
The team took samples from victims for examination in laboratories in Europe.
Jury convicts teen of murder in shooting of baby in stroller
MARIETTA, Ga. — An 18-year-old man was convicted of murder in the shooting of a baby who was riding in a stroller alongside his mom in a town in coastal Georgia despite the defense’s attempt to cast guilt upon several others, including the child’s parents.
Jurors deliberated about two hours before finding De’Marquise Elkins guilty of 11 counts, including two counts of felony murder and one count of malice murder in the March 21 killing of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago in Brunswick. The man’s mother, Karimah Elkins, was on trial alongside him and was found guilty of tampering with evidence but acquitted of lying to police.
De’Marquise Elkins faces life in prison when he is sentenced at a later date. At the time of the shooting he was 17, too young to face the death penalty under Georgia law.
Clinton outpaced Obama in gifts from world leaders
WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton outpaced President Barack Obama last year in receiving lavish gifts from foreign leaders.
Clinton received gold jewelry worth half a million dollars from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. The State Department said the gift included a necklace bracelet, ring and earrings. The white gold was adorned with teardrop rubies and diamonds. Clinton also got gold, sapphire and diamond jewelry worth $58,000 from Brunei’s queen.
Obama’s most expensive gift was a $16,500 gold-plated clock from Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the Saudi defense minister.
Obama, a big sports fan, scored a red, white and blue basketball from — and autographed by — Chinese President President Xi Jinping. British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, gave Obama a customized Dunlop table tennis table with United States and United Kingdom decals and paddles worth $1,100.
The gifts were among a bounty of vases, watches, artwork and other items given to the Obama family and top U.S. officials in 2012, according to the department’s Office of Protocol, which catalogs the gifts and publishes an annual listing.
By wire sources