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September 2005





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U.N. Murder Investigation Closes in on Syria

Belgium: No waffling on gay marriage



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U.N. Murder Investigation Closes in on Syria

Smiling children hold up a poster of their leader.

Children display a poster of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad during a pro-Syrian rally earlier this year.

The bomb site had a familiar feel. Shards of glass littered streets. Shop fronts and apartment windows were completely blown out. Dazed residents picked through overturned furniture and broken kitchenware by candlelight. Outside, the charred frames of several cars still smoldered, marking the site where two bombs had been planted on a side street just before midnight, this past Friday, September 17.
The attack was the 12th bombing in Lebanon since the February car bomb assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. I've been to seven of the bomb sites so far. Like most previous attacks, this one targeted a Christian neighborhood, the working-class Beirut neighborhood of Jeitaoui.

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Belgium: No waffling on gay marriage

Two men leave the Church after getting married.

Alain De Jonge and Olivier Pierret became one of the first gay couples to marry in Belgium.

Stepping from the town hall into bright sunlight, Olivier Pierret raised his hand in triumph. It was his wedding day, and celebrations lay ahead. First was a vin d'honneur drinks reception among the airy rooms of an art gallery, then an elaborate dinner and finally, a surprise speech from his father, a taciturn 74-year-old who seldom displays emotion.

"You've envisaged and built your life along a different emotional track from that of your parents,"Pierret's father told his son and 73 wedding guests. "That's your right and above all your choice, and I respect and accept it with sincerity and joy."

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