- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 17, 2003

CANADA

Law to change to allow gay ‘marriage’

TORONTO — Canada will change its law to allow homosexual “marriage,” joining Belgium and the Netherlands as the only countries where same-sex couples can legally wed, Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced yesterday.

Mr. Chretien said the law would be drafted within weeks, submitted to the Supreme Court for review and then put to a vote in Parliament.

The announcement means the government decided against appealing recent court rulings that declared as unconstitutional the nation’s definition of marriage, which specifies the union of man and woman.

IRAQ

U.S. setting up war-crimes court

BAGHDAD — The U.S.-led administration ruling Iraq said yesterday that it will set up a special court to try the country’s most serious offenders in the war and plans to purge the judiciary of officials with ties to Saddam Hussein.

L. Paul Bremer, the top American official in Iraq, said at a news conference that the Central Criminal Court will be used for trials of Saddam loyalists who are suspected of committing crimes against occupying U.S. and British forces.

“It could evolve into a tribunal to try people for crimes against humanity. That is a decision that the [future] Iraqi government should make,” he said.

MALAYSIA

Victory over SARS declared at WHO meeting

KUALA LUMPUR — The chief of the World Health Organization declared yesterday that SARS has been “stopped dead in its tracks” — contained less than 100 days since the sounding of a global alert.

“We have seen SARS stopped dead in its tracks,” the U.N. agency’s director general, Gro Harlem Brundtland, told more than 1,000 international researchers, officials and health experts meeting in Kuala Lumpur to discuss lessons learned from the outbreak.

PAKISTAN

Court upholds no-liquor law

PESHAWAR — A Pakistani court yesterday upheld the cancellation of liquor licenses by the Islamist-led government in the North West Frontier Province.

The two-judge bench of the Peshawar High Court declared that “liquor cannot be sold or purchased by a Muslim or a firm owned by a Muslim.”

The court dismissed a petition by a local hotel after the provincial government, led by a six-party Islamic coalition, early last month canceled liquor permits of two hotels in Peshawar that are popular among foreign tourists.

GERMANY

Whaling nations block new sanctuaries

BERLIN — Whaling countries yesterday beat off attempts to set up two Southern Hemisphere whale sanctuaries that their supporters said were essential to safeguarding populations of the mammal.

Both bids won the approval of most delegates at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Berlin but could not muster the three-fourths majority required to pass.

It was a victory for Japan, Iceland and Norway after anti-whaling countries won a hotly disputed vote Monday to boost whale protection.

BRITAIN

Ex-minister questions motives for war

LONDON — Britain went to war against Iraq with questionable information on its purported weapons of mass destruction, former Foreign Minister Robin Cook said yesterday at the start of a parliamentary inquiry.

Mr. Cook stopped short of accusing Prime Minister Tony Blair of lying to justify the invasion of Iraq but said a dossier published last year on Iraq contained no new evidence that Baghdad had biological, chemical or nuclear weapons.

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