Religious leaders fight ‘marriage’ bill
OTTAWA — Days before the Canadian Senate votes to pass same-sex “marriage” legislation, religious leaders — including the highest-ranking Vatican official in the country — made a last-ditch effort yesterday to scuttle the contentious bill.
Roman Catholic Cardinal Marc Ouellet, joined by representatives of the Islamic Council of Imams and Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, begged lawmakers not to pass the legislation because, he said, it threatens religious freedoms, despite assurances by lawmakers to the contrary.
Nukes-free Korea called goal of Kim
BEIJING — North Korean leader Kim Jong-il told a visiting Chinese diplomat yesterday that his country seeks a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.
Xinhua also paraphrased Mr. Kim as saying he hoped six-party international talks could be an important platform for realizing that goal.
Two convicted on terror charges
ROME — A judge convicted two North Africans yesterday of belonging to an extremist cell reported to have planned attacks in Italy, including one against Milan’s subway.
A third suspect was convicted of a lesser charge, while a fourth was acquitted.
The verdicts, handed down in Brescia in Northern Italy east of Milan, were only the second under Italy’s international-terrorism law, enacted after the September 11 attacks in the United States and allowing for stiffer sentences.
Moroccan Mohamed Rafik was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison and Tunisian Kamel Hamraoui to three years and four months, defense lawyer Ilaria Crema said.
Police arrest teen after finding explosives
AMSTERDAM — Dutch police arrested a 17-year-old on Monday evening after finding homemade explosives in his parents’ home, the prosecution service said yesterday.
It said the teenager had emerged as a suspect during an investigation into the so-called “Hofstad group” of radical Islamists, which had contacts with the man accused of killing of filmmaker Theo van Gogh.
From wire dispatches and staff reports