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Sharks are rapidly becoming extinct, which is bad news for the rest of the ocean food chain worldwide. A major culprit is shark fin soup, an important delicacy for centuries in Chinese culture. But it's now a leading cause of 73 million shark deaths every year. Now California may ban the sale of shark fins, because of the environment and animal cruelty. (Fins are stripped from live sharks, which are thrown back in the water to drown.) Also, a ruling about the gay judge who struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, Republicans hold a debate — in name only.

Banner image: People shop as shark fins (L) are displayed for sale in Hong Kong's Shueng Wan district on March 21, 2010. China, Japan and Russia have helped defeat a proposal at a UN wildlife trade meeting held on March 17 that would have boosted conservation efforts for sharks. A bowl of shark fin soup can cost $100 US, with a single fin being worth more than $1,300. Photo: Dale de la Rey/AFP/Getty Images

Making News Federal Judge Upholds Gay Judge's Ruling Striking Down Prop 8 7 MIN, 20 SEC

There was a ruling today in the case of federal Judge Vaughn Walker, who threw out California's ban on same-sex marriage before he disclosed his ten-year relationship with another man. Supporters of Proposition 8 said he should have disclosed his relationship beforehand. Judge James Ware said today they were wrong. Maura Dolan is legal reporter for the LA Times.

Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times (@mauradolan)

Main Topic Save the Sharks, Ban the Soup? 18 MIN, 55 SEC

In May of this year, by a vote of 62 to 8, the State Assembly agreed to ban the sale of the fins used to make shark fin soup. Today, the State Senate held a crowded hearing with witnesses on both sides. One supporter was Michael Sutton, Vice President of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, who helped write the legislation.

Michael Sutton, Monterey Bay Aquarium
Mike Eng, California State Assemblyman (D-San Gabriel Valley)
Eddie Lin, exotic food writer (@deependdining)

Main Topic A Debate in Name Only 26 MIN, 45 SEC

At St. Anselm's College in New Hampshire last night — and on cable TV -- seven Republicans spent two hours denouncing Barack Obama. There was no question that the target for six other Republican candidates was Democratic President rather than front-runner Mitt Romney. How did the candidates distinguish themselves from each other? Did they narrow the field or will other candidates see a chance to jump in?



Other candidates in last night's debate or mentioned in this discussion include:
Herman Cain
John Huntsman
Michele Bachmann
Newt Gingrich
Rick Santorum   
Ron Paul
Tim Pawlenty

Rich Galen, Mullings.com (@richgalen)
Gary Langer, Langer Research Associates and ABC News (@garylanger)
Jay Newton-Small, Time magazine (@JNSmall)
Mark Meckler, Tea Party Patriots
Dante Scala, University of New Hampshire (@graniteprof)
David Yepsen, journalist (@DavidYepsen)

Stormy Weather

Dante J. Scala

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