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Alabama battle over gay marriage...Merkel says not giving up on diplomacy... Snow delays high-profile trials



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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he doesn't want to see his state as it was 50 years ago when another federal law — the Voting Rights Act — was defied. Today, Alabama became the 37th state where gays can legally wed, but the state's chief justice, Roy Moore, told probate judges to defy a federal ruling that said Alabama's gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. At least seven of Alabama's 67 counties issued marriage licenses to gay couples today. Other counties refused to issue such licenses or they shut down the operations altogether.

WASHINGTON (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl) says she hasn't given up on diplomatic negotiations to stop President Vladimir Putin's Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine. But President Barack Obama has been considering sending Ukranian troops anti-tank weapons and other defensive arms. Following a White House meeting between Obama and Merkel earlier today, the German leader met in Ottawa with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who says, "Unfortunately at this time Mr. Putin has rejected diplomatic means."

BOSTON (AP) — More than 2 feet of snow in parts of New England today is further delaying two high-profile trials in Massachusetts. Jury selection has been called off tomorrow in the federal trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv). And testimony will not resume until Wednesday in the murder trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, who's charged with killing the boyfriend of his fiancée's sister in June 2013.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid will have more surgery tomorrow after injuring himself in an exercise accident at his Nevada home on New Year's Day. Reid will have follow-up surgery at George Washington University Hospital in Washington in an effort to restore vision in his right eye. The 75-year-old Reid damaged his eye and sustained broken ribs in the accident.

SOUTH GATE, Calif. (AP) — There's no word on the condition of a gunman taken down by police in Los Angeles following a wild car chase this evening. Police say the gunman drove a stolen car through traffic southeast of downtown, hitting at least four cars before jumping out of the vehicle and stealing another one at gunpoint from a woman. Another chase on two freeways ended when the car became wedged in traffic. Police say the man apparently tried to steal another car before he was taken down.

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The Associated Press

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