The Brief

gay marriage

Gay Marriage Arguments Set

The Supreme Court will hear arguments over same-sex marriage on April 28 and make audio of the proceedings available the same day

California's Drought Becomes Critical

El Niño Arrives

The cyclical climate pattern is back — but the precipitation won't alleviate California's severe drought, officials said Thursday

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

Ringling Bros. Circus Says Goodbye to Elephants

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced they would phase out their iconic elephant acts by 2018. The decision was spurred by public concern about the treatment of elephants in circuses — and perhaps the emotional damage done to the animals

INDIA-SPACE-SCIENCE-MARS

Mars Likely Had Ocean Larger Than Atlantic

Mars likely had a body of water larger than the Arctic Ocean, according to a new study. The size of the Martian ocean is significantly larger than previously thought and provides further evidence that the planet may have once had the ability to support life

Shi’ite fighters launch a rocket towards ISIS militants during heavy fighting in Salahuddin province, Iraq, March 4, 2015.

Turkish PM Warns of Sectarian Fallout in ISIS Fight

Iraq sending Shi'ite militias and Iranian forces to battle ISIS in Tikrit risks stoking the sectarian divide that nourishes the extremist group, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in an interview with TIME on Wednesday

Jodi Arias looks toward the gallery during the sentencing phase retrial in Phoenix

Jodi Arias Escapes the Death Penalty

Jodi Arias, who was convicted in 2013 of murdering her ex-boyfriend, will avoid the death penalty after the jury in her sentencing could not agree on a verdict. The court's judge will decide if she receives life in prison or life with the possibility of early release

US ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert covers his face as he leaves the Sejong Cultural Institute in Seoul on March 5, 2015.

North Korea Applauds Knife Attack on U.S. Ambassador

The U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was slashed on the face and wrist in the South Korean capital by an anti-American protestor. North Korea applauded the assault, calling it a "knife attack of justice"

A man walks his dog in falling snow in Riverside Park in upper Manhattan in New York City

'Last Hurrah' Winter Storm Hits Mid-Atlantic

Winter weather slammed the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Thursday, with the governors of Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia and New Jersey all declaring states of emergency — but one of the worst winters in recent memory may be relenting

Liberia  Ebola West Africa

Liberia Releases Its Last Ebola Patient

The WHO confirmed with TIME that Liberia currently does not have any confirmed patients in its Ebola treatment centers. Starting Thursday, the country can begin its count to 42 days of no new cases. After that point, it can be declared Ebola-free

Miriam Thimm Kelle, left, whose brother James Thimm was tortured and killed on a southeast Nebraska farm in 1985, is hugged by Byron Peterson of Scottsbluff, after she testified in favor of a law proposal to change the death penalty to life imprisonment without parole, during a hearing before the Judiciary Committee in Lincoln, Neb., March 4, 2015.

Nebraska Considers Eliminating the Death Penalty

Nebraska legislators are considering a bill that would eliminate the state’s death penalty, receiving significant support from Republican lawmakers and family members of murder victims. Nebraska currently has 11 people on death row