World briefs 3/31/06

Friday, March 31, 2006

Court bars marriage for out-of-state gay couples

BOSTON -- In a disappointment for the gay rights movement, the state's highest court ruled Thursday that same-sex couples from states where gay marriage is prohibited cannot tie the knot in Massachusetts. The Supreme Judicial Court upheld a 1913 state law that forbids nonresidents to marry in Massachusetts if their marriage would not be recognized in their home state. If the court had struck down the law, Massachusetts would have been thrown open to gay couples from across the country to get married. Then they could have returned to their home states to fight for legal recognition for those marriages.

Bush, neighbors work to keep N. American edge

CANCUN, Mexico -- With Mexican President Vicente Fox at his side, President Bush gave Congress a long-distance push Thursday to open the United States to immigrant workers who have been sneaking across the borders to fill low-paying jobs. "We don't want people sneaking into our country that are going to do jobs that Americans won't do," Bush said at the end of a private meeting with Fox, where the issue was on top of the agenda. "We want them coming in in an orderly way, which will take pressure off both our borders." The meeting between the leaders came on the first day of a two-day North American summit that also included Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The goal of the summit was to work on issues such as immigration and border security to keep ties strong among the three nations.

Prosecutors seek to move war crimes trial

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone -- Trial in Africa is too risky for a man accused of fomenting bloodshed across West Africa, international prosecutors said Thursday in requesting that Charles Taylor's trial for crimes against humanity be moved to The Hague in the Netherlands. The former Liberian president is set to become the first African head of state tried for war crimes before an international court. He has been indicted on 11 counts for allegedly supporting a brutal rebel movement in Sierra Leone, Liberia's neighbor to the north. He helped pioneer the use of child soldiers, often kidnapped from their parents and drugged, and his fighters still are believed to roam West Africa.

-- From wire reports

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