State AG Says Hospitals Can't Limit Reproductive Healthcare: As I reported yesterday, if public hospitals offer maternity care, they must also offer contraception and abortion services.
Pardoning Private Bradley Manning: Supporters are lobbying President Obama to pardon Manning or commute his 35-year sentence for leaking classified military documents to the media. Meanwhile, Manning has announced intentions to live life as a woman:
"I am Chelsea Manning. I am female," the Army private wrote in a statement read on NBC's TODAY show Thursday by his attorney. "Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition."
Wentworth Miller: Comes out as gay in a classy way.
Getting Gay Married in Beautiful New Mexico: A county clerk in Las Cruces decided yesterday to start issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, getting a jump start on several cases making their way through the state's courts. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King says he had no plans to challenge county clerks who decide to issue these marriage licenses. Yay! Go get gay married at Billy the Kid's grave!
Alleged Kidnapping Survivor Speaks: Sixteen-year-old Hannah Anderson gives her first tv interview since being found in the Idaho wilderness with family friend James DiMaggio after an extensive multi-state manhunt.
All Eyes on Syria: France is urging force against the Syrian government and other Western powers (notably, not the US) are pressuring Syria to let UN inspectors into Damascus to confirm allegations that the government used chemical weapons against its people. Medics and opposition leaders have estimated the death toll somewhere between 200 and 1,400. So far, none of the estimates have been independently verified.
Getting More Bang for Your College Bucks: The Obama Administration is proposing a new college rating system that would rank schools based on measures like tuition, graduation rates, debt and earnings of graduates, and the percentage of lower-income students who attend. The plan is to grant federal aid based partly on those ratings.
Why Don't We Just Ship College-Aged Debtors to Detroit? An essay on bankrupt cities and student loans.
Nostalgia for Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin: Since January, Republican lawmakers have introduced hundreds of new anti-abortion laws—86 percent of which don't make exceptions for rape victims. As Salon.com's Jill Filipovic writes, "Sometimes, the simplest way to demonstrate the hostility Republican politicians feel toward women is by highlighting their own words on rape... That gets harder when they stop talking and start doing, which seems to be what they learned in 2012."
And finally, here are some true facts about sea pigs: