- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 21, 2003


Gov. Davis signs domestic partner law

SAN FRANCISCO — Gov. Gray Davis signed a domestic partner bill that closes the legal gap — to the extent possible under federal law — that separates homosexual and heterosexual couples.

The legislation, signed Friday night, grants same-sex couples in California nearly all the same rights and responsibilities as married couples and solidifies Mr. Davis’ reputation as a champion of homosexual rights.

The new law falls short of a complete endorsement of homosexual “marriage,” but it does expand the rights of homosexual couples in areas ranging from health coverage and parental status to property ownership and funeral arrangements. It gives both partners in a relationship equal status as parents if they have or adopt a child together, and allows them to seek child support and alimony.


Rescue plane heads to South Pole

DENVER — After days of delays, a rescue flight headed to the South Pole yesterday to pick up an ailing worker at the research station there.

Snow and wind had delayed the rescue attempt for five days while the rescuers awaited at British Rothera Air Station on Antarctica, 1,346 miles from the pole.

“It left at 6:48 a.m. Mountain time with estimated time of arrival 4:48 p.m.,” said Valerie Carroll, spokeswoman for Raytheon Polar Services, the Centennial, Colo.-based company that manages the polar station.

The weather was partly cloudy at Rothera with winds of 24 mph and visibility at 12 miles. At the polar station, the temperature was 66 degrees below zero with winds of 18 mph and visibility of a mile. The forecast was for overcast skies.


Miami police arrest serial rape suspect

MIAMI — A suspect has been arrested in a string of rapes in this city’s Little Havana neighborhood, a city commissioner said yesterday.

The suspect confessed to the rapes after he was pulled over in his car in the neighborhood, Miami City Commissioner Tomas Regalado told the Miami Herald. He did not say when the suspect was arrested.

Mr. Regalado said two detectives were working on another case when they saw a car that fit the description of a vehicle believed linked to the rapes. The driver sped away and ran two stop signs before police pulled him over, Mr. Regalado said.


2 charged with extortion, kidnapping

BUFFALO — Two men have been charged with extortion for reportedly kidnapping a man and demanding a $1 million ransom from a relative of one of the men in the “Lackawanna Six” terror case.

Authorities said Brett Bigelow, 29, of Boston, N.Y., and Timothy Fisher, 26, of Angola, kidnapped a man Thursday and demanded a $1 million ransom from a close relative of Yasein Taher — one of six Yemeni-American men from Lackawanna convicted of providing material support to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network.

The Buffalo News quoted the unidentified victim as saying his captors asked him about the whereabouts of a seventh Lackawanna man, Jaber Elbaneh, a suspected terrorist who is the target of an international manhunt and a $5 million reward.

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