USA

The GOP's push for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages appeared to be stuck in a political quagmire. In what has turned into mostly a symbolic exercise, Republican sponsors of the bill acknowledged they were far short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage in the Senate Wednesday. The amendment, pushed by President Bush, defines marriage as a "union between a man and a woman." Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, a superior court judge was scheduled to rule on a request for an injunction brought by eight out-of-state couples who want to block enforcement of a 1913 law being used to prevent nonresident same-sex couples from getting married in the Bay State.

States have begun receiving long-awaited federal shipments of antidotes against chemical weapons, reports said Tuesday. Meanwhile, New York City opened a a $16 million laboratory designed to handle the massive number of samples that might require testing in case of a bioterrorism attack.

Protesters in 13 states demonstrated in their respective capitals Tuesday against computerized voting systems they claim are poorly programmed and prone to hackers, fraud, and software bugs. They called for safeguarding the voting process with a paper trail. Above, a participant in the "Computer Ate My Vote" campaign, organized by VerifiedVoting.com, expresses her sentiments in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

NASA should pursue options for manned and robotic missions to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, a National Research Council panel urged Tuesday. The space agency previously had announced it was cancelling all servicing missions to the 14-year-old orbiting telescope, which is expected to operate without attention until 2007 or 2008. Hubble counts dozens of planets among its many finds.

Movies rated PG and PG-13 include significantly more instances of violence, sex, and profanity than they did in 1992, according to a Harvard School of Public Health study released Tuesday. The researchers, citing what they call "ratings creep," said the current system does not adequately describe the content of movies.

The American League hammered National League starting pitcher (and hometown hero) Roger Clemens, scoring six runs in the first inning en route to a 9-4 victory Tuesday night in baseball's annual All-Star Game. It was played in Houston's Minute Maid Park. The win was the seventh straight for the AL, not including a tie in 2002.

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