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By Compiled from wire service reports by Ross Atkin / May 30, 2008



Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who's been criticized by presumptive GOP candidate John McCain for not visiting Iraq since 2006, before the US troop surge, said he is considering a trip but has made no final plans.

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Although gay marriage is not legal in New York, the governor's office said Wednesday that in response to a state court ruling, New York agencies will recognize the same-sex marriages of residents who are legally married elsewhere. Meanwhile, barring a stay of a historic California Supreme Court ruling, same-sex couples in the state may officially wed beginning June 17, according to a state directive.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service Wednesday to list three seal species as threatened or endangered. They depend on sea ice that is receding rapidly off Alaska's coast for molting and birthing. Two weeks ago, the Interior Department listed polar bears, which prey on the seals, as "threatened" for the same reason.

Demonstrators carrying signs that said "It's time to invest in the environment" and other messages protested outside the annual Exxon Mobil shareholders meeting in Dallas. Inside, four resolutions were defeated, including one supported by descendants of company founder John D. Rockefeller Sr. to separate the chief executive and chairman positions. Rex Tillerson holds both positions.

Massachusetts took the lead nationally by becoming the first state Wednesday to enact a law that calls for a comprehensive, science-based plan to manage all offshore resources within three miles of its coast. The law will enable the state to balance commercial use, recreation, and the protection of underwater habitats.

Spanish is becoming the primary language in Miami, according to an Associated Press report that notes that only 27.2 percent of Miami-Dade County residents speak only English.

West Virginia and Colorado said they are moving ahead with plans to garnish the winnings of casino gamblers who owe child support. Critics argue it's too hard to track what delinquent parents make at gaming tables.

Los Angeles schoolchildren high-fived actor Kirk Douglas Wednesday at the Lillian Elementary School as he participated in the dedication of a new playground, one of 400 built or refurbished with $8 million from a foundation he and his wife, Anne, created. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a friend from their days working together in the 1979 movie "The Villain," attended.

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