Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NY Senate stuck on gay marriage

N.Y. Senate stuck on gay marriage

Protesters for and against the same-sex marriage bill crowd a stifling hot hallway Monday at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y.
Protesters for and against the same-sex marriage bill crowd a stifling hot hallway Monday at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. / HANS PENNINK/Associated Press
Hundreds of protesters for and against gay marriage in New York chanted, sang and sought out TV cameras Monday while the state Senate again came to no resolution on the issue in a closed-door session that barely touched on the nationally divisive topic.
Two Republican senators said the gay marriage issue that has sharply focused the efforts of opponents and advocates was only briefly discussed in the caucus. Instead, Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos is negotiating with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on religious exemptions that could be enough for Republican senators -- most of whom oppose gay marriage -- to send the issue to a floor where a bipartisan effort could pass it.
Democratic Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a Bronx minister who has led the opposition, said he now considers the legalization of same-sex marriage inevitable at some point in New York. He said, however, he's unsure how the Senate will vote, noting that Cuomo is exerting unprecedented pressure to get Republicans to approve his bill.
On Monday, groups led by clergy opposed to same-sex marriage sang hymns such as "Victory is Mine" and prayed in small circles while pro-same-sex marriage advocates countered with "God Bless America" and "This Little Light of Mine" and lined the halls and parlor outside the Senate chamber.
State troopers were called to the Senate chamber floor as the two groups started to merge and talk with each other, but there was no escalation in the jammed marble hallways that turned stifling hot from the people and TV cameras.
On Facebook, Twitter

Activists in Egypt: End sex harassment

Social-networking sites and blogs were flooded with hundreds of messages Monday as activists in Egypt launched a campaign to end sexual harassment.
Several weeks ago, activists had called for a day to "End Sexual Harassment" and urged people to use Twitter, Facebook and blogs to speak out against the widespread problem in Egypt and suggest ways to combat it.
Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem in Egypt, although many women are in the work force and women were equal participants in the weeks of protests that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February.
Drug cartels

Official: Submarines may be carrying cocaine

Latin American cocaine traffickers may be using submarines to move the Europe-bound drugs across the Atlantic Ocean, a top official said Monday during a conference aimed at stemming the flow of the drugs through Africa.
Alexandre Schmidt, the head of the west African branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, said drug cartels are known to have already used submarines off the South American and Caribbean coast. Even though no submarines have been seized in west African waters, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest they are in use there as well, he said.
Have you seen them?

FBI ad aims to land Boston mob boss, girlfriend

FBI agents on the trail of James (Whitey) Bulger are turning to TV ads aimed at women and hoping to exploit his longtime girlfriend's vanity as they try to bring the Boston mob boss to justice after 16 years on the run.
On Monday, the agency announced a publicity campaign and accompanying public service ad that asks people, particularly women, to be on the lookout for Catherine Greig, 60. The 30-second ad is to start running today during programs popular with women about Greig's age.
She and Bulger have been on the run since 1995. Bulger, 81, is wanted in connection with 19 murders; Greig is accused of harboring a fugitive.

Quick hits

Plane crash: Russian news agencies reported that 44 people were killed Monday night in a passenger jet crash in northwestern Russia. Officials said the plane crash-landed on a highway, a few hundred yards short of the runway. Eight people were hospitalized in critical condition.read more.

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