LANSING
State Supreme Court hears arguments in A2 benefits case

The Michigan Supreme Court again heard arguments yesterday in a lawsuit challenging the Ann Arbor school district’s same-sex benefits policy.

But the justices didn’t focus on the constitutionality of providing health insurance and other benefits to workers’ gay partners.

The case involves whether 17 taxpayers followed the proper procedure to stop Ann Arbor Public Schools from offering benefits to gay couples.

The high court first heard the case in October and scheduled full oral arguments on whether the taxpayers had standing, or the legal right to sue.

RAMALLAH, West Bank

Fatah stages anniversary rally, urges unity

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told a large rally of his Fatah movement yesterday that he won’t allow fighting with their Hamas rivals to continue and called on opposing factions to respect each other.

Thousands of Fatah supporters waved the movement’s yellow flags and chanted slogans against the Islamic Hamas group and its Iranian backers. Several Fatah activists briefly carried Abbas on their shoulders. “Go, go, until liberation,” they chanted. Others fired in the air

The rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah was organized as a show of Fatah’s strength against Hamas but Abbas aides said the moderate Palestinian leader would also give coalition talks with Hamas another chance.

WASHINGTON

Intelligence chief: Al-Qaida greatest danger to U.S.

Al-Qaida poses the gravest terrorist threat to the United States and an emboldened Hezbollah is a growing danger, the U.S. intelligence chief said yesterday.

In his annual review of global threats, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte highlighted an increasingly worrisome assessment of Hezbollah – backed by Iran and Syria – since its 34-day war with Israel last year.

“As a result of last summer’s hostilities, Hezbollah’s self-confidence and hostility toward the United States as a supporter of Israel could cause the group to increase its contingency planning against United States interests,” Negroponte told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

GUANTANAMO, Cuba
Peace activists protest U.S. camp in Cuba

Cindy Sheehan marched with the mothers of a Guantanamo prisoner, a New York firefighter killed on 9/11 and other peace activists yesterday to demand the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay be closed five years after the first terror suspects arrived.

The protest in Cuba came as demonstrators in Washington and London, as well as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, called for the prison’s closure.

“What I’ve read happens in this prison makes me sick to my stomach,” the 49-year-old Sheehan said outside the post where Cuban officials stopped the dozen protesters from entering the Cuban military territory to reach the U.S. base’s main gate.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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