National Briefs: Gay wedding without hitch

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LOS ANGELES -- The first same-sex wedding in the history of the Tournament of Roses Parade went off without a hitch Wednesday despite threats of protests and days of opposition on social media.

Spectators clapped their hands as grooms Danny Leclair, 45, and Aubrey Loots, 42, faced each other and recited their vows before the Rev. Alfreda "Freda" Lanoix on the float sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. White doves were released into the bright blue sky afterward.

The vows took place near the end of the two-hour telecast of the 125th annual Rose Parade. There were no major incidents reported.

In the days before the parade, commenters on the Tournament of Roses' Facebook page debated the merits of including a same-sex wedding. Opponents said it was offensive, citing biblical grounds. A Facebook page called "Boycott the 2014 Rose Parade" had more than 8,000 likes.

But some in the crowd said they came specifically to see the couple exchange vows.

Detroit mayor takes oath

DETROIT -- The new mayor of Detroit was sworn into office Wednesday, and despite the New Year's Day holiday -- and his limited powers in an insolvent city whose finances are controlled by a state-appointed emergency manager -- he is starting work immediately.

Mike Duggan was holding initial staff meetings at City Hall on Wednesday after the morning ceremony, continuing the work he has done on Detroit's behalf since voters elected him in November.

The former Detroit Medical Center chief has attended a meeting of new mayors hosted by the White House, put together his own administration and lobbied with emergency manager Kevyn Orr for a greater role in the city's immediate turnaround.

Under Michigan's emergency manager law, Mr. Orr has control over Detroit's finances. He filed the city's bankruptcy petition in July. On Dec. 3, federal Judge Steven Rhodes made Detroit the largest U.S. city to enter bankruptcy.

Mr. Duggan announced Dec. 19 that he and Mr. Orr agreed to share some of the duties in running the city, with the bulk of financial responsibilities still under the emergency manager's control.

Ex-first lady in hospital

HOUSTON -- Barbara Bush, the former first lady, has been admitted to a Houston hospital for treatment of pneumonia. She is recuperating at the same hospital where her husband, former President George Bush, spent weeks overcoming bronchitis-related illnesses in 2012.

Ms. Bush, 88, was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Monday and remained there Tuesday evening.

Justice pleas for funding

WASHINGTON -- Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. predicted a Dickensian future for the federal courts if Congress does not find a way to repair some of the damage he said was caused by budget cuts.

In his annual year-end report on the federal judiciary, Justice Roberts apologized for returning to a subject he said has lost appeal. In doing so, he compared his plea to "the revival of favorite phantoms -- Scrooge's ghosts and George Bailey's guardian angel -- who step out from the shadows for their annual appearance and then fade away."

Justice Roberts said the across-the-board cuts demanded by the budget process known as sequestration had hit the judiciary harder than other branches.

-- Compiled from news services


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