2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 20, 2004
law on gay
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - After
sanctioning more than 2,800 gay mar-
riages in the past week, the city said
yesterday it is suing the state of Cali-
fornia, challenging its ban on same-sex
marriages on constitutional grounds.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera said
he planned to file the suit by late after-
noon."The city and county of San
Francisco is going on the offensive
today to protect the mayor's action"
allowing gay marriage, Herrera said.
Two judges already are considering
challenges from conservative groups
seeking to halt the marriage spree that
began last Thursday. The city's lawsuit
asks that those cases be consolidated
Mayor Gavin Newsom said he
doesn't regret giving out marriage
licenses before the city filed a legal
challenge to the state's marriage laws,
but added that he's glad the question
is now in the courts.
"I think what we have done is affirm
marriage here in San Francisco," New-
som said. "We affirmed it because we
are celebrating people coming together
in their unions. I feel affirmed as a
married man by what's happened here
in San Francisco."
A lawyer for a group trying to halt
the gay marriages described the city's
move as a delaying tactic.
"This is as much a maneuver to keep
this in court and keep the issue alive as
it is anything else," said Benjamin
Bull, an attorney with the Alliance
The city is asking Superior Court
Judge James Warren to declare uncon-
stitutional three sections of the Cali-
fornia Family Code that define
marriage as a union between a man
and a woman.
City officials want the judge to
determine if barring same-sex couples
from marrying violates the equal pro-
tection and due process clauses of the
NEWS IN BRIEF
HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Former Enron CEO Skilling indicted
Former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeffrey Skilling was brought to court in
handcuffs yesterday, charged with fraud, insider trading and other crimes in
the highest-reaching indictment yet stemming from the energy trader's colos-
Skilling is accused of participating in widespread schemes to mislead govern-
ment regulators and investors about the company's earnings. He pleaded not
guilty to all 35 federal counts against him, and posted his $5 million bond with a
Skilling's indictment leaves former chairman Kenneth Lay as the only major
Enron executive not charged. It's unclear whether the latest charges make an
indictment against Lay more likely; many close to the Enron case doubt Skilling
would agree to cooperate with an investigation into Lay or anyone else in
exchange for leniency.
"Skilling's been a pretty cool customer. I don't think so," said James Finberg,
an attorney who represents former Enron shareholders.
The indictment was handed up Wednesday and unsealed yesterday.
Portraits of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah All Khamenei, left, and the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini gaze down onto
central Tehran, Iran, yesterday. Only conservative Iranians are expected to go to the polls for today's national parliamentary elections.
Hard-liners likely to take
orncontrol o rnlegislature
U.S. still plans for June 30 Iraq turnover date
The top U.S. administrator in Iraq insisted yesterday there are many ways to
choose a new Iraqi government, but a June 30 deadline for handing over power
remains firm. Hours later, the United Nations backed Washington's claims that a
direct vote before then is impossible.
The U.N. judgment on elections throws open the debate over how to transfer
sovereignty and end the U.S. occupation - though not the U.S. military pres-
ence - among Americans, Iraq's Governing Council and powerful Shiite Mus-
lim clerics, who derailed U.S. plans by demanding an early direct vote.
Iraqi leaders have largely turned against the original American plan to use
regional caucuses as the basis for the new government. The Bush administration
hopes that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will now endorse an alternative
that would expand the Governing Council and hand it power to rule until elec-
tions, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.
Support is growing within the U.S.-appointed council for expanding the body,
several members said yesterday.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Hard-liners appear almost certain
to retake control of Iran's legislature in parliamentary elec-
tions today after hundreds of reformist candidates were dis-
qualified. In the latest sign of the conservatives' boldness,
they padlocked shut the capital's last major pro-reform
The silencing of the two dailies - Yas-e-nou and Sharq
- yesterday was part of relentless pressure on media criti-
cal of the Islamic establishment. But it carried an added
blow just before the elections, which most reformist politi-
cians and supporters plan to boycott.
Judiciary agents also searched and closed an election
monitoring office of the main reformist party, the Islamic
Participation Front, said a member of the group, speaking
on condition of anonymity. The group's headquarters contin-
ued to operate.
Many liberals saw the closures as a show of force and
confidence by conservatives despite widespread accusations
they have hijacked the vote.
The ruling theocracy has barred more than 2,400 candi-
dates who sought greater political and social openness -
effectively sending the 290-seat parliament back under the
wing of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the
powerful clerical ranks he commands.
All the parliament seats are up for election, but the only
real drama is how many people will vote.
Liberals have called for a mass no-show to embarrass the
Islamic leadership and weaken the credibility of the new
parliament. They have also broken a major political taboo
and directly criticized Khamenei, whose backers believe is
answerable only to God.
The powerful judiciary - controlled by Khamenei -
closed the two newspapers after they published portions of a
statement from pro-reform lawmakers that attacked the
supreme leader and said freedom was being "trampled in the
name of Islam."
But some reformers saw the crackdown in broader terms:
a possible pre-emptive strike in anticipation of a low voter
turnout and a hint of strong-arm tactics to come.
"Banning papers is essential for those who plan to com-
mit a parliamentary coup," said Hamidreza Jalaeipour, a
columnist for Yas-e-nou and editor of three other newspa-
pers that were banned earlier.
The Paris-based group Reporters Without Borders demand-
ed the immediate reopening of the papers and condemned the
"censorship measures" to "silence the reformist press."
Israeli man accused
of nuclear marketing
An Israeli businessman accused of
being a middleman in the nuclear black
market worked to supply not only Pak-
istan but also its archrival India, court
South Africa-based Asher Karni
faces felony charges of exporting
nuclear bomb triggers to Pakistan.
But court files in the case also
include e-mail exchanges between
Karni and an Indian businessman who
was trying secretly to buy material for
two Indian rocket factories. "Be careful
to avoid any reference to the customer
name," warned one message from
Karni's Indian contact, Raghavendra
"Ragu" Rao of Foretek Marketing
The messages offer a rare glimpse
into such dealings. Federal prosecutors
filed them in court as part of their
attempts to persuade a judge to keep
Karni behind bars before his trial.
Poll: Most people
favor do-not-call list
The government's do-not-call reg-
istry is a resounding success, according
to an Associated Press poll that found
three-quarters of the people who signed
up reported fewer telemarketing calls.
The news was not so good for the
government's efforts to reduce unwanted
e-mail. The poll found few people
noticed any difference in the six weeks
since a law against "spam" took effect.
More than 57 million phone num-
bers have been placed on the do-not-
call list since it was established in
October, according to the Federal
Trade Commission. Because many of
the numbers may be cell phones or
multiple phones within the same
household, the FTC does not claim to
know what percentage of the popula-
tion has registered.
Opt imsm may help
people feel better
Just thinking a medicine will make
you feel better actually may - even if
it's fake, according to new research
examining the placebo effect.
One region of the brain is activated
by the expectation of pain relief,
researchers said. This, in turn, leads to a
reduction of activity in the portion of
the brain that senses pain.
In a second study, researchers showed
that some of the brain regions involved in
feeling physical pain become activated
when someone empathizes with another's
pain. Botl studies were published in
today's edition of the journal Science. In
the placebo study, volunteers put inside
MRI machines had either electric shocks
or heat applied to the arm.
- Compiledfrom Daily wire reports
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CHICAGO (AP) - Paramedics are
testing an experimental blood substi-
tute on severely injured patients with-
out their consent in an unusual study
under way or proposed at 20 hospitals
around the country.
The study was launched last month
in Denver and follows similar research
that was halted in 1998, when more
than 20 patients died after getting a dif-
ferent experimental blood substitute.
Supporters say the current product,
PolyHeme, made by Northfield Labo-
ratories of Evanston, Ill., is safer and
could save many of the nearly 100,000
people who die of bleeding injuries
each year nationwide.
"It could revolutionize how we take
care of resuscitation in the United
States and across the world," said lead
investigator Dr. Ernest Moore, chief of
trauma surgery at Denver Health Med-
The research is part of a race to find
what doctors call the holy grail of
emergency medicine: a product that
works like human blood to save vic-
tims of car crashes, shootings or other
trauma but could be carried in ambu-
lances and given to people of any
Patients will be randomly selected to
receive PolyHeme intravenously or
standard saline solution at the scene or
en route to the hospital.
Because severely bleeding trauma
patients often are unconscious or in
shock, they are unable to give the
consent required for experimental
treatment. As a result, the researchers
in this case are being allowed to
bypass the consent rules under a
1996 federal exemption that applies
to emergency, potentially lifesaving
The exemption requires the research
to be publicized beforehand in commu-
nities where the study will be conduct-
ed, both to let people opt out if they are
ever injured and to give the community
a chance to express any objections. In
effect, the community briefings are
used to obtain consent.
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