Obama campaign: Marriage stance may not hurt him

President Obama’s re-election campaign is beginning to express some confidence that the president’s historic, yet politically risky, embrace of gay marriage may not hurt him in the November election.

In a conference call announcing efforts to get gay and lesbian voters engaged in the Obama campaign, officials said poll numbers on same-sex marriage were increasingly tilting in their favor.

“A lot of recent polls show that support for gay marriage across the country is growing,” said Clo Ewing, an Obama campaign spokeswoman.

That includes a Washington Post-ABC News poll out Wednesday showing 53 percent of Americans say gay marriage should be a legal, a new high for the poll. Thirty-nine percent, a new low, say gay marriage should be illegal.


Nancy Reagan recovering injuries she sustained in fall

Former first lady Nancy Reagan is continuing to recover from a March fall at her home that left the 90-year-old with fractured ribs, her spokeswoman said Wednesday.

News of Reagan’s injuries spread after she missed a scheduled appearance Tuesday evening at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. Library executive John Heubusch said that Reagan was watching the event on television at her home in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles and would not be able to attend because of her injuries.

Reagan spokeswoman Joanne Drake confirmed that the former first lady fell at her home “weeks ago” and fractured “a number of ribs.”

“She has been recovering slowly and has been adding a few appointments back onto her schedule, but was advised by her doctor not to try and attend large events too far from home just yet,” Drake told the Los Angeles Times.


Cheetah cubs delivered by C-section are doing well

Two cheetah cubs have a new home at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and are being raised by human hands after a risky birth last month at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia.

The zoo offered a first look at the now-healthy cubs Wednesday and hopes to place them on view to the public in the cheetah yard by the end of the summer.

When the cubs’ mother gave birth to the first cub in late April, problems quickly developed. She abandoned her first cub and left him in the cold on a snowy day. Then her labor stopped, even though she had three more cubs waiting to be born.

Zoo veterinarians performed a “rare and risky” emergency cesarean section and saved one more cub, along with the cheetah mother. Two other cubs died.


Google doodle pays tribute to Bob Moog’s synthesizer

Bob Moog’s synthesizer helped change the sound of modern music. On what would have been his 78th birthday, Google is paying tribute to the man with a virtual version of his famous Moog on its homepage — and it’s completely playable.

The Moog doodle, a replica of the Minimoog Model D, may not be a highly complex synthesizer but it explores a lot of the realms of synthesis – the sculpting of sound mastered by a synthesizer.

“To be able to put all those capabilities in the hands of hundreds of millions of people is just astounding,” said Moog’s daughter Michelle Moog-Koussa, who serves as executive director of the Bob Moog Foundation. “I think he would be humbled and awed.”

In 45 years, the Moog synthesizer has gone from a behemoth instrument that took several techs to work and several people to carry, to one you can download on your iPhone.

Greenpeace: KFC’s buckets made from tropical trees

Yum Brands is making its trademark KFC chicken buckets using wood harvested from Indonesia’s rain forest, destroying the habitat of the endangered Sumatran tiger, Greenpeace International said Wednesday.

Independent tests on food boxes purchased at stores in Indonesia, Britain and China in the past two years found fibers from tropical hardwood trees, according to a Greenpeace report. More than half the material in some KFC chicken buckets in China came from such wood, said Rolf Skar, forest campaign director for Greenpeace.

Since 1996, Indonesia has lost about 5 million acres of forest a year to logging, double the rate in the 1980s, according to Global Forest Watch in Washington. Globally, the loss of forests, which remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, accounts for a fifth of emissions blamed for global warming. Yum’s China unit generated 44 percent of 2011 revenue.

“Do consumers want to have chicken wrapped in rain forests, or is there a better way of doing business?” Skar asked.

Greenpeace supporters hung a sign on Yum’s headquarters building in Louisville, Ky., early Wednesday as part of the protest. Police and fire units were at the scene before 8 a.m., Jessa Latona, a Greenpeace spokeswoman, said in an email.

— From news service reports