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Sal Gentile

Multimedia Web Editor

Sal writes about politics and international news for Need to Know. He also co-produces Need to Know’s regular web series on the 2012 election, “Presidentiality,” and has produced podcasts for the Climate Desk. Before coming to Need to Know he covered New York politics, reported on-air for Baltimore’s public radio station and contributed analysis to The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC. He proudly edited his award-winning college newspaper, Johns Hopkins News-Letter. Follow him at twitter.com/salgentile and salgentile.tumblr.com.

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Senate confirms Elena Kagan, as same-sex marriage debate looms

The Senate confirmed Elena Kagan, only the fourth woman in history to serve on the Supreme Court. But the moment was overshadowed by Wednesday’s ruling on same-sex marriage.

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Judge overturns ‘Prop 8,’ ban on same-sex marriage in California

A federal judge in California has rejected the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, setting the stage for a lengthy and hard-fought appeals process that may well reach the Supreme Court.

Video: White House and WikiLeaks founder discuss release of records

Julian Assange, the elusive founder of WikiLeaks, defended his organization’s release of more than 91,000 confidential military documents on the war in Afghanistan.

Readers: Help us sift through the WikiLeaks files on Afghanistan

Need to Know is inviting readers to help us in our investigation of the WikiLeaks documents and sort through the database for new details that we or other news organizations may have missed.

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Secret reports posted by WikiLeaks paint grim portrait of Afghan war

Confidential military records obtained by the group WikiLeaks paint a more complex and, in many cases, bleaker portrait of the war in Afghanistan than U.S. officials have publicly maintained.

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Gary Shteyngart on Facebook, literacy and the end of America

Need to Know talks to author and satirist Gary Shteyngart, whose new dystopian, darkly humorous novel “Super Sad True Love Story” foretells the ruinous decline of literacy in America.

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Israel releases new video of flotilla raid, but Turkey remains defiant

Israelis were largely indifferent to a military probe of a deadly raid that killed nine activists. As one observer put it: “Here, more people are focused on the World Cup results.”

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In Kagan hearings, one case takes center stage: Little Guy v. Big Guy

In four days of confirmation hearings, senators seemed to want to talk most about a case that doesn’t actually exist — but which may nonetheless define the Supreme Court for years.

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Why the Republicans are grilling Kagan: the midterm elections

If GOP leaders have promised not to filibuster Elena Kagan’s nomination, why are they grilling her so thoroughly in her confirmation hearings this week? The answer is simple: the midterms.