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Archive for Saturday, December 13, 2003

Briefly

December 13, 2003

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WASHINGTON, D.C.

Mrs. Bush, dog Barney visit children's hospital

First lady Laura Bush and dog Barney entertained sick children Friday with a storybook reading and a screening of a video featuring the black Scottish terrier.

Children in robes and bandages, some of them in wheelchairs, listened with rapt attention at Children's Medical Center as Mrs. Bush read "Olive the Other Reindeer," a tale of a dog that thinks she's a reindeer.

Barney allowed himself to be petted and held by the children after the debut of his video, "Barney Cam II: Barney Reloaded." Like last year's video, "Barney Reloaded" provides a dog's eye view of the White House at Christmas.

Mrs. Bush, a former librarian who has focused on literacy and education since her husband was elected president, brought books, kaleidoscopes and art kits for children at the hospital.

Iowa

In oversight, judge grants lesbian divorce

A county judge approved a divorce for a lesbian couple who obtained a civil union in Vermont, saying he didn't realize he was signing a settlement for a same-sex couple, but ultimately decided to let his decision stand.

Iowa is one of 37 states that ban same-sex marriage.

State Sen. Neal Schuerer accused Judge Jeffrey Neary on Thursday of "judicial activism at its worst."

"The judge was wrong. He should have backed away and sent them back to Vermont," said Schuerer, a Republican. "If judges want to flaunt the law like this, I can guarantee you we will move to recall them."

Neary, a district judge for Woodbury County, said he routinely signed divorces and didn't check the parties' genders.

MINNEAPOLIS

Suspect in terror case identified as Canadian

The man arrested in Minneapolis on suspicion of associating with al-Qaida has been identified as a Canadian citizen and college student of Somali descent, a newspaper reported.

The man arrested Tuesday was Mohammed A. Warsame, the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune reported in Friday editions, citing law enforcement officials who requested anonymity.

Warsame is suspected of having knowledge of some of the activities of Zacarias Moussaoui -- who is accused of being a Sept. 11 conspirator -- when he was in Minneapolis.

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