h Putin, Yushchenko meet
MOSCOW -- President Vladimir Putin, right, and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko meet at the Kremlin. A day after taking office as Ukraine's president, Viktor Yushchenko arrived in Russia on Monday to smooth relations with the Kremlin. Yushchenko also named his fiery, populist ally as prime minister Monday. Yushchenko's office announced in Kiev that Yulia Tymoshenko, 44, would be the next prime minister -- a troubling choice for Russia. Tymoshenko, a firebrand opposition leader. In Russia, prosecutors want her for questioning on accusations of bribing Russian defense officials, and have issued an international arrest warrant for her. Tymoshenko says the charges are politically motivated.
U.N. marks Holocaust
UNITED NATIONS -- With calls of "never again," the U.N. General Assembly commemorated the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps with a special session Monday, a stark change for a body that has been reluctant to address the extermination of the Jews during World War II. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, a Nobel peace prize winner, joined world leaders in confronting a question that has long haunted the United Nations: whether its member states have the will to stop future genocide.
Royal travel flap
LONDON -- Reports that Prince Andrew spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for airborne transportation during the course of a year -- including taking a helicopter flight to lunch -- have triggered a royal flap in Britain. Buckingham Palace defended the travel costs Monday, but eyebrows were raised by the expenditure of nearly $5,600 for a 50-mile helicopter flight to attend a lunch in Oxford. The same trip by train would have cost $182, the audit report said.
Ban on gay marriage
WASHINGTON -- Senate supporters of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage said Monday they intend to press for passage in the new Congress, brushing aside mixed signals from the White House on the issue's importance at the start of President Bush's second term. "Who's to say whether we have enough votes or not," said Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., noting that the new two-year Congress has just begun. He said he expects GOP leaders to call for a vote before the 2006 elections
Counting the homeless
WASHINGTON -- Dozens of communities across the country are counting the homeless this week as part of a census that could determine how roughly $1.4 billion in federal assistance is distributed. The Housing and Urban Development Department issued guidelines for the first time about how to count homeless residents. The agency also asked communities to conduct their tallies during one day this week -- a cold-weather period.
Guns and race
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A study of California's weapons registration law found that blacks were far more likely to be charged with a felony than whites, who were more often charged with a misdemeanor for the same offense. The study by state Attorney General Bill Lockyer prompted calls for changes from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; the lawmaker who authored the legislation defended it.
Slander a woman? Goahead, make her day
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Go ahead, call state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles a scurvy wench, a wanton strumpet, a shameless hussy. She probably won't like it, but she doesn't want you to be prosecuted for it. The Seattle Democrat is sponsoring a bill to repeal a 1909 Washington state law that makes "slander of a woman" a crime. It is not that Kohl-Welles, a women's studies lecturer at the University of Washington, wants to hear women slandered. But she believes the law is a relic of a time when men put women on a pedestal and denied them basic rights. "This is one of those old laws that is really irrelevant now," Kohl-Welles said.
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