- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 23, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS | Minnesota authorities said Friday they were turning to an international law enforcement agency for help finding a woman and her 13-year-old son on the run from court-ordered cancer treatment for the boy.

Interpol, which coordinates police investigations across national borders, was joining the effort to find Colleen and Daniel Hauser. The FBI and other agencies were already involved.

Mrs. Hauser and Daniel, who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, left Minnesota after a court-ordered X-ray on Monday showed his cancer was growing. The most recent confirmed sighting of the pair was Tuesday morning in Southern California. Investigators suspect they might have headed to one of a number of alternative cancer clinics in northern Mexico.

Doctors say Daniel has a cancerous tumor growing in his chest that’s likely to kill him without chemotherapy, but the Hausers prefer natural healing methods inspired by American Indian traditions.

State court to rule on gay marriage

SAN FRANCISCO | The California Supreme Court will rule Tuesday on the validity of a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, a decision that will end months of speculation over whether gay couples can resume marrying in the state.

The high court announced the pending opinion on its Web site Friday morning.

Justices are considering a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn a constitutional amendment approved by voters in November that overruled a 4-3 court decision that briefly legalized same-sex unions in the state. The suits claim Proposition 8 was put on the ballot improperly.

The court also will decide whether to uphold the marriages of an estimated 18,000 gay couples who wed before Proposition 8 passed. The election came after a contentious $83 million campaign that made it the most expensive ballot measure on a social issue in the nation’s history.

First death logged under suicide law

OLYMPIA, Wash. | A 66-year-old woman with terminal cancer has become the first person to die under Washington state’s new assisted suicide law, an advocacy group said Friday.

Linda Fleming, of Sequim, died Thursday night after taking drugs prescribed under the “Death with Dignity Act” that took effect in March, said Compassion & Choices of Washington.

The organization said Mrs. Fleming was diagnosed last month with advanced pancreatic cancer. By law she had to have been diagnosed by two doctors as terminal in order to qualify for assisted suicide.

The group said Mrs. Fleming died at home with her family, her dog and her physician at her bedside.

“The pain became unbearable, and it was only going to get worse,” Mrs. Fleming said in a statement released by the organization.

A physician prescribed the medication, but under the law, patients must administer the drugs themselves.

Storms delay shuttle landing

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. | Thunderstorms raking NASA’s spaceport kept Space Shuttle Atlantis in orbit an extra day Friday, giving the crew unwanted downtime as they aimed for a landing the next day.

After passing up two opportunities to land Friday at Kennedy Space Center, Mission Control thanked the seven astronauts for their patience.

The astronauts, fresh off successful repairs of the Hubble Space Telescope’s sophisticated instruments, intended to spend part of their day off watching DVDs. But when they tried to play the movies, they found their laptops didn’t have the proper software.

There are three Saturday landing opportunities at both Kennedy Space Center and Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The shuttle has enough supplies to stay in orbit until Monday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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