Pullout opponents abandon march
JERUSALEM — Opponents of Israel’s pullout from the Gaza Strip abandoned their efforts to stage a thousands-strong protest march in support of Jewish settlers late yesterday. As the demonstrators headed home, the anti-pullout movement appeared increasingly chaotic with the withdrawal less than a month away.
About midnight, at the end of a third hot day of fruitless negotiations with police and the military, organizers told the marchers that buses were waiting to take them home, marking an end of the demonstration.
The protesters were seeking to block the abandonment of 21 settlements in the Gaza strip and removal of 8,500 settlers. They had marched to Kfar Maimon, 12 miles from the Gaza Strip, before Israeli security forces blocked their way and kept them penned up and away from the Gaza frontier.
Same-sex ‘marriage’ becomes legal
TORONTO — Canada legalized homosexual “marriage” yesterday, becoming the world’s fourth nation to grant full legal rights to same-sex couples.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin signed the legislation into law, hours after it was approved by the Senate late Tuesday night despite strong opposition from the Conservative Party and religious leaders.
The bill gives homosexual couples the same rights as those in traditional unions between a man and a woman, something already legal in eight of Canada’s 10 provinces and in two of its three territories.
The Netherlands, Belgium and Spain are the only other nations that allow same-sex “marriage” nationwide.
U.S. Embassy warns of terror attacks
RIYADH — The U.S. Embassy warned Americans yesterday that terror attacks were being planned in Saudi Arabia, and Saudi security forces said they had uncovered a cache of bomb-making materials, including chemicals and more than two tons of fertilizer.
Police discovered the materials in a hide-out in a residential area of al-Kharj city, 50 miles southeast of Riyadh, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. It said the arrest of terror suspects last month led police to the site.
Riot-control ray gun spurs safety concerns
LONDON — Scientists are questioning the safety of a Star Wars-style riot-control ray gun scheduled to be deployed in Iraq next year.
The “active-denial system” weapon, classified as “less lethal” by the Pentagon, fires a 95-gigahertz microwave beam at rioters to cause heating and intolerable pain in less than five seconds. The idea is that people caught in the beam will try to move out of it rapidly and therefore break up the crowd.
But New Scientist magazine reported yesterday that during tests carried out at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, participants playing the part of rioters were told to remove glasses and contact lenses to protect their eyes.
Police detain suspect in Bush grenade attack
TBILISI — Georgian police yesterday detained a man suspected of throwing a grenade during a speech by President Bush in May, the Georgian Interior Ministry said.
Police raided a property in the Vashlijvari suburb of Tbilisi where the suspect was hiding, but he got away after a gunfight in which one policeman was killed, a ministry spokesman said. Police combed a nearby wood and found the suspect covered in blood, a witness said.
From wire dispatches and staff reports