Nation joins CERN
Israel has become an associate member of the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), opening the way for full membership in 2013, a foreign ministry spokesman said yesterday. “The association agreement, valid for two years, was signed on Friday by the director-general of CERN, Rolf Heuer, and the ambassador of Israel to the United Nations agencies in Geneva Aharon Leshno-Yaar,” spokesman Jonathan Rosenzweig said. Israel previously held special observer status at the organization, which is best known for its “atom-smasher,” the so-called Large Hadron Collider, which lies in a tunnel straddling the French-Swiss border.
Gay marriage mulled
The government has drawn up plans to introduce same-sex civil marriages before the next election in 2015, Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said on Saturday. “I am delighted to announce today that in March, this government will begin a formal consultation on how to implement equal civil marriage for same-sex couples,” she told her Liberal Democrat party’s annual conference in Birmingham Civil partnerships for same-sex couples were introduced in Britain in December 2005, giving them similar rights to married heterosexual couples. However, the partnerships cannot legally be referred to as marriages.
Charges filed in boat deaths
Four people have been charged with negligence over last week’s boat accident off the tourist haven of Zanzibar which killed 203 people, a prosecutor said on Saturday. Boat captain Said Adallah Kinyanyite, who is still at large, his assistant Abdallah Mohamed Ali, one of the boat owners Yusuf Suleiman and Silima Nyange Silima, a Zanzibar port official were charged on Friday. Zanzibar prosecutor Ramadhan Nassib said they were charged with “causing death by negligence.” The suspects will reappear in court today. The MV Spice Islander capsized early on Saturday last week, but rescuers saved 619 passengers of the more than 800 on the severely overloaded boat.
Royal couple go down under
Crown Prince Frederik and his Australian-born wife, Crown Princess Mary, are to return to her homeland in November for their first official visit in six years, the Australian government said yesterday. The Danish royals will visit Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra during their tour from Nov. 19 to 26, which Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said would be hosted by the government. “I look forward to welcoming the Crown Prince and Princess to Australia,” Gillard said in a statement. “This is their first official visit to Australia since 2005.” Since then, the pair have been to Australia twice in a private capacity. US President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit earlier the same week.
Air show death toll raised
Reno police say a total of nine people died in the crash of a World War II-era plane during an air race. The deaths include seven who were killed on the tarmac, including the pilot, and two others who died at hospitals. The new death toll was announced at a briefing with local and federal investigators. Investigators say they are examining the site, gathering information and are encouraged by the large number of photos and videos available to them. They have not speculated on a cause but organizers pointed to a possible mechanical failure.