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Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who's been criticized by presumptive GOP candidate John McCain for not visiting Iraq since 2006, before the US troop surge, said he is considering a trip but has made no final plans.

Although gay marriage is not legal in New York, the governor's office said Wednesday that in response to a state court ruling, New York agencies will recognize the same-sex marriages of residents who are legally married elsewhere. Meanwhile, barring a stay of a historic California Supreme Court ruling, same-sex couples in the state may officially wed beginning June 17, according to a state directive.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service Wednesday to list three seal species as threatened or endangered. They depend on sea ice that is receding rapidly off Alaska's coast for molting and birthing. Two weeks ago, the Interior Department listed polar bears, which prey on the seals, as "threatened" for the same reason.


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