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India, Pakistan discuss joint project, Kashmir

UNITED STATES

NEW YORK -- The leaders of India and Pakistan yesterday hailed a new era in often-fraught relations between the two nuclear rivals and agreed to study a joint pipeline project and pursue solutions to the Kashmir conflict. The one-hour private meeting between President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India on the fringes of the UN General Assembly produced no apparent breakthroughs, but there was considerable upbeat rhetoric. (Reuters)

CANADA

Nova Scotia courtallows gay marriage

OTTAWA -- Nova Scotia yesterday became the fifth of Canada's 10 provinces to allow gay couples to marry when the provincial Supreme Court ruled that banning same-sex unions was unconstitutional. The CBC television network showed film of people inside the Halifax court applauding after Judge Heather Robertson announced her decision. Ottawa did not seek to challenge the ruling. (Reuters)

AUSTRIA

Archdiocese cites dropin church membership

VIENNA -- Austrians disgusted by a summer of scandal involving child pornography at a seminary and a prominent priest accused of sexual abuse are leaving the Roman Catholic Church in significant numbers, church leaders said yesterday. Applications to withdraw from parishes in the Archdiocese of Vienna rose by 36 percent in July and by another 40 percent in August, the church said. As of Aug. 31, 10,709 people had left the church, it said. Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Austria's top churchman, said he couldn't blame people for wanting out after the discovery in July of 40,000 lurid images, including child pornography, on computers at the seminary just west of Vienna. (AP)

Atom agency demandsend to N. Korea effort

VIENNA -- The UN nuclear watchdog agency demanded yesterday that North Korea end its nuclear weapons program and urged the country to allow agency inspectors to police the scrapping of its arms programs. In a separate resolution, the 137-nation meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency also called for the Middle East to become a nuclear weapons free zone. The text of the resolution was seen as obliquely critical of Israel, the only country in the region believed to possess fully developed nuclear arms. The conference has no authority to enforce resolutions. (AP)

UNITED STATES

Alleged bin Laden aideboycotts review hearing

SAN JUAN -- Osama bin Laden's alleged accountant boycotted a review hearing to evaluate his legal status, and his attorney was barred from attending the proceedings at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi, 44, is one of four prisoners charged with war crimes at the US naval base on Cuba's eastern tip. The United States says al Qosi, of Sudan, worked as Al Qaeda's chief accountant, paymaster, and supply chief. Defense attorneys have criticized the review hearings as a sham. (AP)

INDONESIA

US Embassy criticizesdetention of executives

JAKARTA -- The US Embassy criticized Indonesian authorities yesterday for detaining executives of a US-based mining company over allegations that one of its mines dumped hazardous waste into a local bay and suggested the action could harm the country's efforts to attract investment. Police questioned Richard Ness, director of Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp.'s local subsidiary, Newmont Minahasa Raya, for a second time over the allegations. Five other Newmont employees, including the American site manager, Bill Long, were being held at the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta, police spokesman Kasan Mulyono said. (AP)

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