This news blog is an education excercise involving students at the University of Minnesota. It is not intended to be a source of news.

Rhode Island legalizes gay marriage

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Rhode Island became the 10th U.S. state to legalize gay marriage Thursday, which will take effect Aug. 1, ABC News said.

"We would not be where we are today without the Rhode Islanders who for decades have fought for tolerance and freedom over discrimination and division," Gov. Lincoln Chafee said, according to Reuters. "I am proud to say that now, at long last, you are free to marry the person you love."

Chafee made the law official on the Statehouse steps Thursday evening after a 56-15 vote in the House, ABC News said.

"I've been waiting 32 years for this day, and I never thought it would come in my lifetime," said Raymond Beausejour, a 66-year-old gay North Providence man who has been with his partner for 32 years, according to ABC News. "For the first time in my life, I feel welcome in my own state."

N.B.A. center Jason Collins comes out as gay

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Jason Collins, center in the N.B.A., came out as gay Monday in the May 6 online edition of Sports Illustrated, the New York Times said.

"Imagine you're in the oven, baking," Collins said to Sports Illustrated. "Some of us know and accept our sexuality right away and some need more time to cook. I should know - I baked for 33 years."

Collins became the first openly gay male athlete to still play in a major American team sport. Athletes such as former N.B.A. center John Amaechi waited until retirement to come out to the public, the New York Times said.

Collins received support from teammates, league executives and major National Basketball Association stars such as Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade.

FDA approves over-the-counter morning-after pill

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The morning after pill became available over the counter Tuesday after the government moved to lower the minimum age of purchase to 15, USA Today said.

In the agreement, the Food and Drug Administration allowed the pill to sit on drugstore shelves next to women's health products and condoms, requiring identification at the cash register, USA Today said.

"This decision is a step in the right direction for increased access to a product that is a safe and effective method of preventing unintended pregnancies," said Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, according to Fox News. "It's also a decision that moves us closer to these critical availability decisions being based on science, not politics."

The FDA initially sought to lift all age limits for the purchase of Plan B in late 2011, however Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the motion. She argued that some girls go through puberty as early as 11, but are not independent enough to buy the pill on their own, according to USA Today.

The Michael Jackson wrongful death trial will begin with opening statements Monday, CNN said.

In the suit, Jackson's mother and three children are accusing concert promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group of threatening to end Jackson's career if he didn't put on a comeback tour in London as well as hiring Conrad Murray, the doctor who was convicted of giving Jackson a fatal amount of the anesthetic propofol, the Los Angeles Times said.

Prince, Spike Lee, Quincy Jones, and Diana Ross are among the stars on the witness stand, the Los Angeles Time said.

AEG's argument states that Jackson was responsible for his death, choosing Murray, himself, to be his full-time doctor, and that his drug addiction got in the way of his smart decision making, CNN said.

Four people hurt in church stabbing

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At least four people were hurt Sunday after a man stabbed a choir member at an Albuquerque church, police said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Lawrence Capener, 24, began his attack of St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church's choir area around noon, Police spokesman Robert Gibbs said, according to the Huffington Post.

"It has been determined that he is not a parishioner," police said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "As to the motive regarding the multiple stabbing, this has not yet been determined."

The four church-goers' injuries were not life-threatening, the Huffington Post said.

Thousands pay tribute to fallen MIT officer

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Thousands honored Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, who was shot and killed on April 18 by brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Wednesday at a campus memorial, CBS Boston said.

The memorial service was held at MIT's Briggs Field with a crowd of over 10 thousand, including Vice President Joe Biden MIT News Office said.

"We have suffered," Biden said, according to MIT News Office. "We are grieving, but we are not bent. We will not yield to fear. We will not hunker down."

A funeral was held for Collier on Tuesday, CBS Boston said.

2 arrested in Canada terror plot

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Two men were arrested Monday after being charged with plotting a terrorist attack set for a Canadian passenger train, CBS News said.

Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed Jaser, 35, who are believed to be supported by al Qaeda, were targeting a Via Rail passenger train in Toronto, Yahoo! News said, but the Royal Canadian Mounted Police did not believe they were an immediate threat.

"It was definitely in the planning stage but not imminent," RCMP chief superintendent Jennifer Strachan said, according to CBS News.

Esseghaier and Jaser are being charged with conspiring to execute an attack and murder people in association with a terrorist group, Yahoo! News said.

"This is the first known al-Qaida planned attack that we've experienced in Canada," Superintendent Doug Best said at a news conference, according to CBS News.

Boston bombing suspect responding to questions

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Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev regained consciousness Sunday and responded to police questioning via writing, ABC News said.

Tsarneav, 19, was admitted to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital after a gun battle with police resulted in his arrest, NBC News said. Investigators told NBC they suspect the suspect's injuries to be a result of a suicide attempt.

Tsarnaev could face both state and federal charges, but Massachusetts does not enforce a death penalty, ABC News said.

"It does seem to be pretty clear that this suspect took the backpack off, put it down, did not react when the first explosion went off and then moved away from the backpack in time for the second explosion," Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said on "Meet the Press," according to NBC News. "It's pretty clear about his involvement and pretty chilling, frankly."

Second Boston Marathon bombing suspect in custody

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The 19-year-old college student police believed to be responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings was taken into custody Friday night, the Boston Globe said.

Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev of Cambridge was found in a boat parked in a community right outside Boston, the Boston Globe said.

Tsarnaev's brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was also believed to be involved, was shot early Friday morning in a shoot off with police, the Boston Globe said.

The Tsarnaev brothers were also responsible for shooting and killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology security officer Thursday, PBS said.

President Obama spoke on the arrest, saying, "tonight our nation is in debt to the people of Boston and the people of Massachusetts," according to PBS.

F.B.I. releases video of Boston bombing suspects

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The F.B.I. asked the public to help them identify two suspects involved in the Boston Marathon Bombing Thursday after releasing photos and videos with suspicious men with backpacks, CBS News said.

"Somebody out there knows these individuals as friends, neighbors, co-workers or family members of the suspects," F.B.I. agent Richard DesLauriers said, according to CBS News. "Though it may be difficult, the nation is counting on those with information to come forward and provide it to us."

DesLauriers said one of the suspects was seen leaving a dark-colored backpack outside the site of the second bombing soon before the explosion, according to the New York Times.

DesLauriers did not describe the men's appearances or allude to their possible ethnicity or national origin, the New York Times said.