The Ukrainian crisis: President Obama will wait to decide whether the U.S. will provide weapons to Ukraine. “French and German leaders, visibly rattled by the swell of support for arming Ukraine in Washington, are rushing to convene Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Belarus on Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to stop the conflict,” writes BuzzFeed News’ Max Seddon from Ukraine. However, French president François Hollande admitted last week that these last-minute peace talks were something of a long shot.
Same-sex couples started marrying in Alabama on Monday: A district court had ruled in January that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, but Alabama officials asked the Supreme Court to put the ruling — and thus same-sex marriages — on hold until the high court rules on the issue later this year. A decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday allowed these couples to get married
in the interim, despite the officials’ petition to “hold” until later in the year. BuzzFeed News’ Sarah Karlan spoke to the state's first legally married same-sex couple. And this is what marriage equality looks like today in the U.S. (the pink states have full marriage equality):
Same-sex marriage in the U.S.: Alabama is the 37th state (plus Washington, D.C.) to allow marriage equality. The move comes as the Supreme Court prepares to hear marriage cases in four states — Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee — that don’t allow same-sex marriage.
BuzzFeed News’ Legal Editor Chris Geidner expects the Supreme Court will rule in favor of nationwide marriage equality this year.
About 3 in 5 Americans opposed same-sex marriage as recently as 2004, according to research by Pew. But by 2011, the trend had reversed: those who favored marriage equality outnumbered those who opposed equal rights. In 2014, 52% were in favor, while 40% were opposed. There’s still a sharp divide on this issue along political lines: 64% of Democrats are in favor of same-sex marriage being legal, while just 30% of Republicans are, Pew's research showed.
The missing students in Mexico: Last September 43 students who were on their way to a protest disappeared in Iguala, Mexico. Mexican officials said that remains recently found at a trash dump belonged to those missing students, but a group of independent forensic experts said that there is not enough evidence to support that conclusion, BuzzFeed News’ Karla Zabludovsky reports from Mexico City.
Measles outbreak: Six babies and one adult have been diagnosed with measles linked to a Chicago-area day care center. Health officials said they aren’t yet sure what the source of the outbreak was, nor do they know if it is linked to the cases stemming from Disneyland. As the movement against vaccinations spreads, a group of academics want parents who don’t vaccinate to pay a tax for opting out of the public health system.
Boston’s winter walloping: It’s poised to be the city’s snowiest season ever. More than two feet of snow has blanketed the city since Saturday. Boston’s 14-day total: 64.4 inches, prompting New York and other nearby states to lend snow-removal equipment. Schools and transit are closed today. And, ugh, more snow looms on Thursday and Friday.