Nation and World briefs
Obama: Boy Scouts should allow gays
President Obama said yesterday that gays should be allowed in the Boy Scouts and women should be allowed in military combat roles, weighing in on two storied American
institutions facing proposals to end long-held exclusions.
The president’s comments in a pre-Super Bowl interview on CBS come ahead of this week’s meeting of the Boy Scouts’ national executive board. A proposal to open up the Scouts’ membership to gays is expected to be discussed and possibly voted on at the gathering in Texas.
The White House said in a statement last August that Obama opposed the gay ban.
Defense minister: We struck Syria
Israel’s defense minister strongly signaled yesterday that his country was behind an airstrike in Syria last week, telling a high profile security conference that Israeli threats to take pre-emptive action against its enemies are not empty. “We mean it,” Ehud Barak declared.
Israel has not officially confirmed its planes attacked a site near Damascus, targeting ground-to-air missiles apparently heading for Lebanon, but its intentions have been beyond dispute.
During the 22 months of civil war in Syria, Israeli leaders have repeatedly expressed concern that high-end weapons could fall into the hands of enemy Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese militants.
Taliban hint at
The Afghan peace effort is floundering, fraught with mistrust and confusion among key players even though the hard-line Taliban militants show signs of softening and their reclusive, one-eyed leader made a surprise offer to share power in a post-war Afghanistan.
The U.S. and its allies hope the peace process, which began nearly two years ago, will gain traction before most international forces withdraw from the country in fewer than 23 months.
But although the Taliban appear more ready to talk than ever before, peace talks remain elusive because of infighting among a rising number of interlocutors – all trying to get some kind of negotiations started.
2 more bodies found in oil company blast
Mexico’s state-owned oil company says it has found two more bodies amid the rubble of a headquarters building damaged by a still-unexplained blast.
The find raises the death toll of Thursday’s explosion to 35 people.
Petroleos Mexicanos operations director Carlos Murrieta had said that rescue crews were looking in the rubble for several more people reported missing and believed their bodies were in the building’s most damaged part.
The bodies of two of
the four more people reported missing by their relatives were recovered yesterday.
The Associated Press