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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington National Cathedral, where the nation gathers to mourn tragedies and celebrate new presidents, will soon begin hosting same-sex marriages. Cathedral officials tell The Associated Press the church will be among the first Episcopal congregations to implement a new rite of marriage for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members. The church announced its new policy Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is hearing personal stories of gun violence from representatives of victims groups and gun-safety organizations as he works on the Obama administration's response to the shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. Biden's meeting Wednesday is part of a series he's holding this week to build consensus around proposals to curb gun violence after the Dec. 14 shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 school children were killed. He told participants that he and President Barack Obama are determined to act.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says it might leave no troops in Afghanistan after December 2014, an option that defies the Pentagon's view that thousands of troops may be needed to contain al-Qaida and to strengthen Afghan forces. "We wouldn't rule out any option," including zero troops, Ben Rhodes, a White House deputy national security adviser, said Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Black Keys and fun. will make their debut on the Grammy stage next month. The Recording Academy announced Wednesday that the multiple Grammy nominees will perform at the awards, airing live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10. Nominees Mumford & Sons, Taylor Swift and Rihanna will also hit the stage. Leading the nominees with six nominations each are the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, fun., Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons and Jay-Z.
NEW YORK (AP) — A high-speed ferry loaded with hundreds of commuters from New Jersey crashed into a dock in lower Manhattan on Wednesday during the morning rush hour, injuring around 50 people, at least two critically. Passengers aboard the Seastreak Wall Street said scores of people who had been standing, waiting to disembark, were hurled to the deck by the impact. "We were pulling into the dock. The boat hit the dock. We just tumbled on top of each other. I got thrown into everybody else. ... People were hysterical, crying," said Ellen Foran, 57, of Neptune City, N.J.
LONDON (AP) — Historical biopic "Lincoln" leads the race for the British Academy Film Awards, with 10 nominations including best picture and best actor — but nothing for director Steven Spielberg. Epic musical "Les Miserables" and boy-meets-tiger saga "Life of Pi" received nine nominations each Wednesday for Britain's equivalent of the Oscars. James Bond adventure "Skyfall" got eight — rare awards recognition for an action movie — and Iran hostage thriller "Argo" took seven.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lance Armstrong has agreed to an interview with Oprah Winfrey in which he is to address allegations he used performance-enhancing drugs during a career in which he won seven Tour de France titles. According to Winfrey's website on Tuesday, this will be a "no holds-barred interview." It will be the first with Armstrong since his cycling career crumbled under the weight of a massive report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. The report detailed accusations of drug use by Armstrong and teammates on his U.S. Postal Service teams.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The site of the eighth annual U.S. Pond Hockey Championships is about to start taking shape in Minneapolis. Construction is scheduled to begin Wednesday on the giant warming tent and 26 rinks on Lake Nokomis. Work will continue through Saturday. The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships bills itself as the largest pond hockey tournament in the country.
HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) — A West St. Paul man is accused of creating a Facebook page to harass a Dakota County sheriff's deputy who had his BMW towed. Forty-four-year-old Shawn Amick is charged with felony harassment and stalking. A criminal complaint says Amick set up a Facebook page in the deputy's name, included personal information and posted "derogatory homosexual and racist comments."
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota dentists will be providing free dental care services for children in need across the state on Feb. 1-2. The Minnesota Dental Association's 11th annual Give Kids a Smile event is expected to provide care to 6,000 children at over 200 dental clinics throughout the state. People interested in scheduling an appointment can call United Way at 211, or the statewide toll-free number 1-800-543-7709. Patients should be 18 years or younger and accompanied by a parent or guardian.