(CNN) - Attorneys on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate faced off Monday in a federal appeals court in California, as a panel of judges heard arguments about the constitutionality of Proposition 8.
In August, a federal judge ruled that the voter-approved measure, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, violated the U.S. Constitution. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considered an appeal of that judge's ruling Monday.
The three-judge panel opened Monday's hearing with tough questioning of parties seeking to appeal the decision, including ProtectMarriage.com and Isabel Vargas, who's a deputy clerk and deputy commissioner of civil marriages for Imperial County, California, where voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 8.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - The compromise on the Bush tax cuts announced Monday night between President Obama and Republicans could cost between $600 billion and $800 billion if ultimately signed into law - no sure thing given opposition from many Democrats.
About half of the measures in the announced package might be considered new short-term stimulus, meaning they may add to the deficits for two more years, but could help maintain the economic recovery and help spur economic activity and job creation.
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) - U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made a surprise visit to Afghanistan Tuesday to meet with officials and deliver a pat on the back to American troops slugging it out with militants there for more than nine years.
He touched down at Bagram Air Base in a stop made just days after U.S. President Barack Obama's trip to the country and on the same day British Prime Minister David Cameron was traveling there.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - The cost of health care is blowing the top off the Pentagon's budget.
Mirroring the private sector trend, expenses have skyrocketed within the military's health system. The military spent $19 billion on health care in 2001 - and $49 billion in 2010. The Department of Defense forecasts a continued rise of 5% to 7% a year.
The bottom line: Health care will account for 10% of the Pentagon budget by 2015.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world. Click on the headlines for more.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com
CNN: Obama announces proposed deal on taxes, jobless benefits
President Barack Obama on Monday announced a deal with Republican leaders that would extend Bush-era tax cuts for two years and unemployment benefits for 13 months while also lowering the payroll tax by two percentage points for a year. The compromise, worked out in negotiations involving the White House, the Treasury and congressional leaders from both parties, includes provisions that each side doesn't like, Obama said in a hastily arranged statement to reporters after discussing the proposed deal with Democratic leaders. "It's not perfect," Obama said of the plan, which also would continue tax breaks for students and families contained in the 2009 stimulus bill and allow businesses to write off all investments they make next year. "We cannot play politics at a time when the American people are looking for us to solve problems."