Today's top trending headlines are heavy, but must-reads for your day. In Virginia, their new attorney general Mark Herring announced to NPR that he will not defend the gay-marriage ban. His reasoning: he wants the state to be on the "right side of history." NPR's Steve Inskeep elaborates further with quotes: "'I...will not defend laws that violate Virginians' rights,' @markherringVA tells@nprnews of VA gay marriage ban."
The Washington Post is all over that story, as well, reporting that as a state senator eight years ago, Herring voted against same-sex marriage but has said that his views have changed since then. Jamil Smith at MSBNC observed, "This kind of stuff tends to happen when you replace folks like Ken Cuccinelli with a Democrat." Scott Bixby at The Daily Beast had a similar thought: "Ken Cuccinelli is rolling in his (political) grave."
In other government news, Charlie Savage at The New York Times reveals that a new watchdog report says the NSA should put a stop to its program collecting bulk phone call records . TechRepublic EIC Jason Hiner summarized, "Independent privacy watchdog concludes NSA PRISM has 'minimal' benefits, is illegal, & should end."
Also, a surreal twitpic from the AFP has gone viral among journalists on Twitter. The subjects of the photo are Ukrainian riot police officers, as they prepare to take on protestors in the heart of Kiev. "This @AFPphoto of riot police in Ukraine looks like something straight out of an Alan Moore graphic novel," their Hong Kong correspondent Jerome Taylor noticed. John Aglionby at the Financial Times had a similar reaction: "Is Hollywood on to the Ukraine protests already? Amazing photo from Kiev."
In news that will break your heart, CNN reports that the attorneys representing the family of Marlise Munoz say the brain-dead woman's fetus is "distinctly abnormal." Allegedly its lower extremities are deformed to the extent that its gender cannot be determined, and it appears to suffer from encephalitis as well as a possible heart problem. "This situation continues to be absolutely horrifying and an object lesson in treating women like vessels," remarked Irin Carmon at MSNBC. "This is almost Terri Schiavo-level gholuish and stupid," The Atlantic's Jordan Weissmann seemed to agree. "I'm glad I can snark about schiano the rest of the night as a distraction because Jesus Christ, Texas," The New Yorker's Caitlin Kelly lamented.