Jury selection to beginin Utah polygamy case
SALT LAKE CITY -- Tom Green believes it's his outspoken nature more than his polygamist lifestyle that has led to his prosecution in Utah's first high-profile bigamy case in 50 years.
"You stick your head out of the hole, the government will shoot it off," said Green, 52, who lives with his five wives and 29 children near Trout Creek, 125 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.
Green has defended his lifestyle on "Dateline NBC" and "The Jerry Springer Show," and held news conferences despite a judge's warning not to do so.
His high profile caught the attention of Juab County Prosecutor David Leavitt, who will try him on charges of bigamy and criminal nonsupport. Jury selection was to begin today. Green could get 25 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Green believes he is being singled out.
"That's been the unwritten rule for 50 years in Utah," Green said. "You'll pretend you don't exist and we'll pretend you don't exist."
Green is also facing a charge of child rape stemming from his relationship with one of his wives when she was 13. No trial date has been set in the case.
Russia plans to raiseKursk in September
MOSCOW -- A top Russian official said today that the sunken nuclear submarine Kursk would be raised in a three-month operation that will be finished by Sept. 20, Russian news agencies reported.
Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov, who heads the commission investigating the Kursk tragedy, said that an agreement would be signed between Russia and the Dutch and Norwegian firms taking part in the lifting operation on May 20 in St. Petersburg.
The Kursk was one of the Russian Naval Fleet's most modern nuclear submarines. It exploded and sank during maneuvers in the Barents Sea last summer, killing all 118 crewmen.
The government has not released any official explanation of the cause. Most foreign experts say it was most likely was an internal malfunction, such as a torpedo misfiring, that caused an explosion in a forward compartment.
However, the government has not officially ruled out the theory that the Kursk collided with another vessel, possibly a foreign submarine.
The Russian government is supposed to share the cost, estimated at $70 million, with the Kursk Foundation, an international fund-raising group.
Leaders of poor nationsmeet to discuss poverty
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- A U.N. conference on how to lift the world's most destitute countries out of crushing poverty opened today with promises of solidarity from rich nations and proposals to make better use of aid, trade and private investment.
Joining leaders from the poorest countries at the weeklong meeting were U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and French President Jacques Chirac, who decried "growing inequalities" among people and nations as a "fundamental injustice."
Despite decades of global growth and development aid, the number of countries the United Nations calls "least developed" -- those with per capita income of less than $900 a year and scarce investment in health, nutrition and education -- has nearly doubled since 1971, from 25 to 49.
More than half of the 630 million people in those countries, which are mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia but also include Haiti and some Pacific island nations, live on less than a dollar a day.
Ayers Rock closed
DARWIN, Australia -- Uluru, the giant red monolith formerly known as Ayers Rock in central Australia, has been closed to visitors for the first time after the death of the region's most senior Aborigine, the press reported today.
Aboriginal owners of Uluru have long requested that visitors do not climb the rock, which is considered one of indigenous Australians' most sacred sites, but they have never before enforced their wish.
The World Heritage listed rock, the world's largest monolith, is one of Australia's most recognizable landmarks and a magnet to thousands of tourists each year, many of whom make the exhausting climb to its summit 1,115 feet above the surrounding desert.
The Aborigine, from the Anangu tribe, died Sunday, Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio reported. The man's identity was not released, in line with Aboriginal custom.
His family asked the joint management committee of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to close the rock climb to tourists during the initial mourning period. It was not immediately clear when it would reopen.