It was the sort of confession that a decade ago might have been scribbled in a teenager's diary, then quietly tucked away in a drawer: "Somewhat recently," wrote a boy who identified himself only as Zach, 16, from Tennessee, on his personal Web page, "I told my parents I was gay." He noted, "This didn't go over very well," and "They tell me that there is something psychologically wrong with me, and they 'raised me wrong.' "
But what grabbed the attention of Zach's friends and subsequently of both gay activists and fundamentalist Christians around the world who came across the entry, made on May 29, was not the intimacy of the confession. Teenagers have been outing themselves online for years, and many of Zach's friends already knew he was gay. It was another sentence in the Web log: "Today, my mother, father and I had a very long 'talk' in my room, where they let me know I am to apply for a fundamentalist Christian program for gays."
A working draft of Iraq's new constitution would cede a strong role to Islamic law and could sharply curb women's rights, particularly in personal matters like divorce and family inheritance.
The document's writers are also debating whether to drop or phase out a measure enshrined in the interim constitution, co-written last year by the Americans, requiring that women make up at least a quarter of the parliament.
The draft of a chapter of the new constitution obtained by The New York Times on Tuesday guarantees equal rights for women as long as those rights do not "violate Shariah," or Koranic law.
The Americans and secular Iraqis banished such explicit references to religious law from the interim constitution adopted early last year.
Investigators probing the London terror bombings are focusing on an elusive British Muslim suspect who may have connections to previous plots to blow up landmarks in the United Kingdom and to set up a terrorist training camp in rural Oregon, according to Western law-enforcement and counterterrorism officials.The rest of the story is here: Worldwide Conspiracy?
A U.S. law-enforcement official confirmed to NEWSWEEK on Wednesday that the FBI is also seeking a man believed to be the same suspect, Haroon Rashid Aswad, as part of a New York-based terror investigation. That individual has been widely cited in press reports this week as the subject of an intense manhunt by security forces in Pakistan.
Some news agencies earlier this week reported that Aswad had been arrested during a roundup of 150 militants in the eastern city of Lahore. But Pakistan’s information minister denied those reports Wednesday and some U.S. law-enforcement officials say they are uncertain whether Aswad is currently in custody or still at large.
British Muslim leaders have issued a fatwa, or religious declaration, against suicide bombing and last night attended a political summit at 10 Downing Street with Tony Blair and other party leaders.Moderates' fatwa defies extremists
The fatwa, condemning the London bombings as un-Islamic, will be read out at mosques across the country on Friday as the Prime Minister and mainstream Muslim leaders try to mobilise the country's 1.6 million Muslims to battle extremism.
Two weeks after suicide attacks on subway stations and a bus, police said explosions occurred at three subway stations and on a double-decker bus Thursday.
Only one person was reported wounded, but the explosions during the lunch hour caused major disruption in the city and were hauntingly similar to the July 7 bombings in which 52 people and four suicide attackers were killed.
Police also said an armed police unit had entered University College hospital. Press Association, the British news agency, said they arrived shortly after an injured person was carried in.
Police in chemical protection suits were seen preparing to enter the Warren Street Underground station. Unspecified incidents also were reported at the Shepherds Bush and Oval stations.
The bodies of young women began to appear in Basra six weeks ago. First there was a group of three, then two, and last week the corpses of six were found, each victim riddled by gunshots and left on the street to die in pools of blood. The Iraqi police say they have no strong leads. But it is an open secret in the port city why they died.
They worked as prostitutes and their killers are widely believed to be one of the city's armed militias. In recent months they have become increasingly violent in their campaign to enforce a strict interpretation of the social code of Islam.
No one wanted to talk about the details of the murders. "I do not want to be killed," one man said. But another told how he had been in a house of "belly dancers" recently in order to drink alcohol - an illicit activity in Basra - when a dozen masked men broke down the front door.
"They started hitting the girls and shooting against the walls and breaking the furniture," he said. "They bought boxes of vodka and beer outside to smash them. One of the girls ran outside and she had stones thrown at her. "Everyone in the place was too frightened to help."
The British, who are responsible for the security of the sector, have refused to intervene, saying that it is a domestic matter of political and law and order issues. Political parties have been largely silent.British keep out of Basra's lethal Islamic take-over