Wikinews Shorts: February 14, 2012

A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, February 14, 2012.

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Iranians block Internet; email

An Iranian woman uses the computer.
Image: Milkyo0.

The Iranian government has blocked the Internet outside of the country ahead of protests, and the blockage has affected the ability of Iranians to log on to their Facebook, Twitter, and email accounts, until just the latter was restored. Google said around 30 million Iranians had lost access to their Google gmail accounts.

Foreign sites were primarily affected prior to demonstrations scheduled for today. National sites have been called "Halal" Internet, which means it has the blessing of the government. National email brands were not affected in the block which has occurred over the weekend but many Iranians critical of the government do not trust them.


Washington: seventh state legalizes same-sex marriage

With the stroke of her pen, Governor Christine Gregoire yesterday made Washington the seventh state to legalize marriages for homosexual couples in the United States. While the governor is a Catholic, the law she signed does not force churches, like those of her faith who are against gay marriage, to hold ceremonies for same-sex couples.

Gregoire said her views evolved over the years and like onlookers at the signing ceremony, she celebrated the signing. Former U.S. Senator and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was in the state campaigning on the same day Gregoire signed the law and was scheduled to meet with those who want to overturn the law.


Australian man who saluted Queen fined

It cost one Australian man US$400 per bum cheek today for mooning Queen Elizabeth II and her husband last October. 22-year-old Liam Lloyd Warriner said after his fine that he would like to also show President Barack Obama his back side.

While Warriner was being cheeky with the press, his own lawyer called the stunt "low level stuff". Warriner characterized his victims as "any self-important, self-propagating elitist," but in contrast he was said to have held the Australian flag between his buttocks as a form of salute. Prosecutors had hoped for a larger fine.