By Sherrel Wheeler Stewart BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Reuters) - Same-sex couples began marrying in parts of Alabama on Monday, acting on the strongest signal yet from the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of gay marriage ahead of an expected ruling, but numerous state judges avoided granting marriage licenses to gay couples in apparent defiance of the high court. The Supreme Court earlier in the day cleared the way for Alabama to become the 37th state where gay marriage is legal by refusing a request by the state's Republican attorney general to keep weddings on hold until it decides later this year whether laws banning gay matrimony violate the U.S. Constitution.
By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. West Coast port operations resumed in full on Monday after shipping companies halted loading and unloading of freighters for the weekend, citing chronic cargo backups that shippers and dockworkers have blamed on each other during months of labor tensions. Shippers and terminal operators announced last week they would suspend cargo crane operations for container vessels at the ports on Saturday and Sunday because of mounting congestion that they said had brought the docks to virtual gridlock.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — London Mayor Boris Johnson, launching a six-day swing through the East Coast, on Monday took on the role of traveling salesman, encouraging a packed room of some of the nation's top college students and entrepreneurs to consider launching their careers as part of his city's growing technology sector.
CHICAGO (AP) — Drew Peterson, the former suburban Chicago police officer convicted of killing his third wife and suspected in the disappearance of his fourth, has been charged with trying to hire someone to kill the prosecutor who helped put him in state prison, authorities announced Monday.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he can't be blamed for the corruption charges that prompted state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign any more than President Barack Obama can be blamed for former Rep. Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California has proposed closing by October up to 140 oilfield wells that state regulators had allowed to inject into federally protected drinking water aquifers, state officials said Monday.
CHICAGO (AP) — A prosecutor told a federal judge Monday that a suburban Chicago mother of four accused of sending money and military equipment to militant groups in Syria and Iraq poses a danger to the community and is a flight risk, so should remain in custody.