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Washington National Cathedral says ‘I do’ to same-sex marriage

WASHINGTON — The Washington National Cathedral had been ready to embrace same-sex marriage for some time, though it took a series of recent events and a new leader for the prominent, 106-year-old church to announce Wednesday that it would begin hosting such nuptials.

The key development came last July when the Episcopal Church approved a ceremony for same-sex unions at its General Convention in Indianapolis, followed by the legalization of gay marriage in Maryland, which joined the District of Columbia. The national church made a special allowance for marriage ceremonies in states where gay marriage is legal.

Longtime same-sex marriage advocate the Very Rev. Gary Hall took over as the cathedral’s dean in October. Conversations began even before he arrived to clear the way for the ceremonies at the church that so often serves as a symbolic house of prayer for national celebrations and tragedies.

The Episcopal bishop of Washington, the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, authorized use of the new marriage rite in December for 89 congregations in D.C. and Maryland. Each priest then decides whether to marry same-sex couples.

The cathedral’s congregation and leadership include many gays and lesbians. The church was just waiting for the right moment and the right leader.

Quebec community makes urgent request for help saving trapped killer whales

MONTREAL — A community in Quebec’s Far North is calling for outside help to free about a dozen killer whales trapped under a vast stretch of sea ice.

Locals in Inukjuak said the mammals have gathered around a single hole in the ice — slightly bigger than a pickup truck — in a desperate bid to get oxygen.

Mayor Peter Inukpuk urged the Canadian government Wednesday to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help them find open water. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation.

“Fisheries and Oceans Canada is assessing the situation and are exploring every possible option, but will only be in a position to determine what — if anything — can be done once our specialists arrive on site,” spokesman Frank Stanek said in a statement.

A hunter first spotted the pod of about a dozen trapped whales Tuesday at the hole, which is on the eastern shore of the Hudson Bay. Inukjuak is about 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) north of Montreal.

Adele to make first post-baby appearance at Golden Globes

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Adele is coming to the Golden Globes.

The executive producer of the show says the 24-year-old Grammy-winning pop star is set to make her first post-baby appearance at Sunday’s ceremony, where she is nominated for original song for the James Bond theme “Skyfall.”

Adele welcomed her first child, with boyfriend Simon Konecki, in October. The singer has kept a low profile since announcing her pregnancy in June after sweeping the Grammy Awards last February with six wins.

Her single, “Skyfall,” will compete at the Golden Globes with Taylor Swift’s song from “The Hunger Games,” Jon Bon Jovi’s number from “Stand Up Guys,” Keith Urban’s track from “Act of Valor,” and “Suddenly” from “Les Miserables.”

The Globes will be presented Sunday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

By wire sources