With Elections Looming, Obama (Kind of) Shows Support for Gays
President Barack Obama on Wednesday made some vague statements suggesting he could change his position on gay marriage, according to gay news magazine The Advocate. The president, who has not officially backed legalizing gay marriage, told five progressive bloggers that "attitudes evolve." Obama said that he is wrestling with the issue, and he is close with several gay couples in committed monogamous relationships. "I care about them deeply," he said. The Advocate reports that Obama has not taken a single question from the gay media since he was elected in 2008.
Cost of College Tuition Rises Again
The average cost of college tuition increased again this fall, according to The Associated Press. The average cost of attending a four-year, in-state, public school increased by 7.9 percent, according to a College Board report. Many public colleges have been ravaged by budget cuts during the recession. Students are reportedly relying on more federal aid to attend school.
Foreclosure Rates Spike in American Cities
The foreclosure crisis spread from its epicenter in states like Arizona and California to urban areas across the country this summer, according to a National Public Radio report. While Florida and southwestern states with massive new development remain foreclosure hotbeds, rates in those states declined in recent months as foreclosures spiked in cities like Chicago and Seattle. A total of 133 of 206 major metropolitan areas reported a recent increase in foreclosures.
British Spy Chief Condemns Torture
In a rare press conference, the director of Britain's secret MI6 spy program said that his agency faced "real, constant operational dilemmas" to avoid using intelligence gathered by torture, including intelligence gathered by torture committed by the United States, according to the BBC. "Torture is illegal and abhorrent under any circumstances and we have nothing whatsoever to do with it," said MI6 Director Sir John Sawyers. He also defended secrecy in the name of Britain's national security.
Deadly Disasters in Indonesia
More than 340 are dead and many more are missing in Indonesia after a volcano erupted and an earthquake triggered a tsunami wave, according to The Christian Science Monitor. A 7.7 magnitude earthquake caused a tsunami that swept away entire villages on remote islands, and less than a day later, a volcano eruption on Java claimed at least 30 lives. Bad weather has hindered the work of rescue crews, but some aid is reportedly reaching Indonesian islands that were hit by the tsunami. Indonesia lies in a geologically unstable area that is prone to earthquakes.