Chuck Hagel is stepping down from his position as Defense Secretary, The New York Times reports:
The president, who is expected to announce Mr. Hagel’s resignation in a Rose Garden appearance on Monday, made the decision to ask his defense secretary — the sole Republican on his national security team — to step down last Friday after a series of meetings over the past two weeks, senior administration officials said.
The officials described Mr. Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ. A Republican with military experience who was skeptical about the Iraq war, Mr. Hagel came in to manage the Afghanistan combat withdrawal and the shrinking Pentagon budget in the era of budget sequestration.
The paper adds Michèle Flournoy, the former under secretary of defense; Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Ashton B. Carter, a former deputy secretary of defense are at the top of the list for potential replacement candidates.
Watch a CNN report on the breaking news, AFTER THE JUMP...
Google has removed a game from its Play store that tasks players with hunting and killing gays after news began spreading online about the offensive app.
The game, Ass Hunters, stated in the description:
Play and do not be gay! Legendary game where you are hunter and your mission is to kill gays as much as you can or escape between them to the next level. Gays may be hidden in bushes and unexpectedly catch you. Remember when they catch you they will do with you whatever they want
Although its unknown exactly when the game first appeared on Google Play, Metro UK reports the game is actually several years old and was downloaded 10,000 times over the past two days.
Applications on Google Play must adhere to the developer program policies, which ban content depicting sexually explicit material, violence and bullying, or hate speech.
Towleroad has reached out to Google for comment.Sphere: Related Content
The Idaho Republican Party has hired former U.S. Senator Larry Craig as its financial chair of its executive committee, the Associated Press reports.
The news is somewhat surprising, considering Craig was ordered last month to pay the U.S. treasury almost $250,000 for improper use of campaign funds defending his infamous 2007 Minneapolis airport restroom cruising.
No word yet on whether the job offer was communicated to Craig via a game of bathroom footsie.
Check out the The Washington Post's recreation of the stall incident, filmed at the actual scene of the "crime", AFTER THE JUMP...
Last year we showed you Irish artist Hozier's music video called "Take Me To Church", which took a very stark, brutal look at the violence and bigotry enacted upon LGBT citizens, in Russia in particular. Artist Mister Chase was clearly touched by the piece, and in a statement to Towleroad Mister Chase told us the impact that his church had on him growing up, and how meaningful Hozier's song was to him:
I grew up in a fundamentalist Pentecostal church, where proselytizing men and women were sitting in every pew. Some of these are the same people that, amidst the barrage of advertising images and rush hour mayhem on the subway, they hand you a pamphlet on God or sin and how you will burn in hell. I’m sure many of you can relate. I was born into this God corporation.
When I started to come out as gay I was taken to a room directly behind the altar where the board of the church - seven adults - doused me with holy water praying at me as if I were a demon. Scary shit. I was 13.
So, when I heard Hozier’s song “Take Me To Church”, it touched me on a deeper level and I wanted to share it. Children should not be made to feel ashamed of themselves on any level, and LGBT kids in particular are easy targets.
Mister Chase made a studio cover of the song to share its message, which you can watch AFTER THE JUMP...
And in related news, Hozier himself is helping bring marriage equality to Ireland - tweeting the below photo to his fans encouraging them to register to vote ahead of next year's referendum on same-sex marriage.
AFER's Matt Baume reports on new additions to the marriage equality map, Alabama using discredited anti-gay researcher Mark Regnerus' study to defend its gay marriage ban, NOM's financial troubles, and more.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
One Direction took home the top prize at last night's American Music Awards - beating out Iggy Azalea, Eminem, Imagine Dragons, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Lorde, John Legend, and Luke Bryan for the Artist of the Year award.
The British boy band also won favorite band and favorite album in the pop/rock category.
Watch 1D's "Night Changes" performance and their big win, AFTER THE JUMP...
Fellow Brit Sam Smith also managed to nab an award last night in the favorite pop/rock male artist category.