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News Briefs

Attorney General Rejects Romney’s Bid To Halt Gay Marriages

The Boston Globe --

Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly Monday night rejected Governor Mitt Romney’s bid to seek a Supreme Judicial Court order to delay implementation of its gay marriage ruling, creating a major roadblock in the governor’s plans to block same-sex marriages from taking place in May.

Reilly said that he informed Romney shortly after the Legislature approved a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage that the governor’s legal arguments have no validity since the SJC has twice ruled in favor of gay marriage.

Reilly’s decision, which he delivered personally to Romney in a phone conversation just before the governor went on live television to announce his plans, creates a major legal -- and political hurdle -- for the governor, who is intent on blocking the May 17 implementation of the court ruling.

The governor and the attorney general are potential rivals in the 2006 race for governor, but Reilly, a Democrat, insisted Monday night that his decision is solely based on the legal issues -- namely he is convinced that Romney argument has no validity in light of the strong language in the SJC rulings.

Nineteen Killed As Terrorists Strike In Uzbekistan

The New York Times -- MOSCOW

Nineteen people were killed and at least 26 were wounded in a series of terrorist incidents in the Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan, the prosecutor general said Monday.

The prosecutor, Rashid Kadyrov, told reporters in Tashkent, the capital, that the deaths involved two bombings, two attacks on police officers and an explosion that killed 10 people at a building where bombs were being assembled.

He blamed Islamic militants, who have been the target of crackdowns in Uzbekistan, where the United States has an important military base near the border with Afghanistan.

“These were terrorist acts,” Kadyrov said. “There is reason to believe they were prepared over a long period and coordinated from a center, possibly abroad. All the terror acts are interconnected, according to our preliminary investigation.”

The U.S. Embassy cautioned Americans in Uzbekistan to be on “highest alert” and said, “Other terrorists are believed still at large and may be attempting additional attacks.”

Nationalists Drop Opposition To Election Results In Taiwan

The New York Times -- TAIPEI, Taiwan

The opposition Nationalist Party on Monday publicly dropped its demand that the Taiwan military be allowed to vote again after a disputed presidential election a week ago, making it nearly certain that President Chen Shui-bian will be sworn in on May 20 for another four-year term.

The stock market here soared as nine days of political turmoil appeared to have ended with the main political parties reaching an understanding on many, though not all, of the issues that have divided them since a shooting incident involving the president less than 19 hours before the election.

The market jumped 5.6 percent, as many stocks leaped the maximum 7 percent allowed by the rules. The Taiwan currency also rebounded, while the prices of government bonds fell as investors decided that they no longer needed such investments as calm returned.