California is aiming to become the first state to allow a child to legally have more than two parents. Democratic San Francisco senator Mark Leno has proposed a bill that would eliminate the two-parents-requirement. According to Leno, surrogate births and same-sex parenthood have created a new environment that has paved the way for non-traditional households.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has entered the same-sex marriage debate in Washington State. A referendum is coming up to ban gay marriage and Gates has given a $100,000 contribution to help defeat it. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also made the same six-figure contribution.
The province of Alberta may change a controversial provision of the Education Act that protects the influence of the catholic faith in schools. It involves allowing non-Catholics to run school boards across the province. Under the system now, non-Catholics cannot vote in Catholic school trustee elections or run for office as a trustee. And it's the same in the public system: Catholics can't vote or run for office, even if financially supporting the system. But the provision is up in the air now as the new education minister, Jeff Johnson, tweaks the education bill before its reintroduction this fall. Separate schools have constitutional status in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan.
At least 17 Christians were killed in two simultaneous grenade attacks on churches in northern Kenya. Another 60 are reported to have been wounded. Masked gunmen opened fire and launched grenades at two congregations in Garissa; which is a largely Muslim town with a significant ethnic Somali population. It is used as a base for operations against al Qaeda-linked terrorists. Police say they suspect al-Shabaab.
A senior Kenyan government official says two Iranian nationals detained in Nairobi were in the advanced stages of planning a terror attack. The suspects were arrested last month and led police to a stash of explosives hidden at a Mombassa golf club.
The interest rate fixing scandal at one of the world's largest banks is heating up. London's Barclays Bank CEO Bob Diamond and his COO have resigned. Their move comes after Barclay's was fined 450-million dollars by British and US regulators for purposely under-reporting its interest rates as part of the London Interbank Offered Rate. Analysts fear Diamond's resignation could encourage others. Barclays was the first of 15 banks that are under investigation for manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate. Diamond now says his bank had been unfairly singled out and explains why he left.
Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will visit Israel this summer to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other top officials. Dates are not officially set yet, but the trip will draw attention to his foreign policy credentials and to his narrative that he will be a better friend to Israel than President Obama. Romney and Netanyahu have a friendly relationship dating back to the 1970s, when both men worked for the Boston Consulting Group.
Toronto has been deemed to rank in the top 10 livable cities in the world, listed as number 8. The Economist Intelligence Unit based the rankings on factors things like green space and pollution. Toronto is the only North American city in the top 10. The next in line was Washington DC, in 14th place. The ranking rated Hong Kong as the number one city, followed by Amsterdam.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is a sponsor of one of the Olympic torch runs to shine a light on children's health. The President of the Academy was chosen for a very special honor. Bob Block is an Oklahoma pediatrician who will be headed for England next week to run the torch through the oxford area, en route to the opening ceremonies. He'll be using a ten-pound weight to train for the brief run.