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World in brief

Saudi Arabia tells of antiterror moves

By Times Wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 13, 2003

WASHINGTON - The government of Saudi Arabia said Thursday that it has fired several hundred Islamic clerics and suspended more than 1,000 others for preaching intolerance, part of a broader campaign against terrorism.

At a news conference held one month to the day after terrorist bombs killed more than 30 people in Riyadh, the Saudi government also announced that it has implemented new regulations intended to prevent the flow of Saudi money to terrorist groups overseas.

Saying that last month's bombings had "galvanized" his government, Adel al-Jubeir, a senior foreign policy adviser to Crown Prince Abdullah, asserted that Saudi Arabia has done more than any other country to ensure that its money does not "get used for evil."

MORE MONEY FOR PORT SECURITY: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, visiting one of the nation's busiest seaports Thursday, announced some $300-million in new funding for port security projects from Alaska to Florida.

Ridge also announced new initiatives to expand use of security technology and increase cooperation with government agencies at ports in three Muslim countries: Turkey, Malaysia and Dubai.

Lawmakers want to drop same-sex wedding ban

TORONTO - A powerful Parliament committee - by a one-vote margin - issued a nonbinding call Thursday for the Canadian government to drop legal challenges of court rulings that allow same-sex marriages.

The 9-8 vote by the House of Commons Justice Committee was the latest to prod Prime Minister Jean Chretien's government to change the legal definition of marriage or to stop challenges to court rulings that allow other than heterosexual unions.

Elsewhere . . .

IMMUNITY EXTENDED: In the face of polite but firm opposition from the European Union, the U.N. Security Council on Thursday approved a one-year renewal of a 2002 measure exempting U.S. peacekeepers from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. The vote was 12-0 as France, Germany and Syria abstained.

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