Bishop seeks protest probe
The Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh has called on Carnegie Mellon University to address a female student’s half-naked march to pass out condoms while dressed as the pope during a parade organized by the school’s arts department.
University spokesman Ken Walters told The Associated Press on Tuesday that officials do not dispute Bishop David Zubik’s description of what happened, including that the woman had her pubic hair shaved in the shape of a cross.
Beyond confirming the details of the April 18 incident, however, Walters reiterated a statement first issued Monday: “We are continuing our review of the incident. If our community standards or laws were violated, we will take appropriate action.”
Zubik told The Associated Press on Tuesday he’s not spoiling for a fight and trusts that the university will address the issue responsibly.
Militia shows up in force
Gunmen swooped in on trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns and surrounded Libya’s Justice Ministry on Tuesday, cutting off roads and forcing employees of the building in the latest instance of powerful militiamen showing their muscle to press their demands on how Libya should be run more than a year after Moammar Gadhafi’s ouster.
Over the past three days, militiamen stormed the headquarters of the Interior Ministry and state-run TV and besieged the Foreign Ministry while publicly calling for the removal of Gadhafi-era officials from government posts and the passage of the so-called “isolation law,” which would bar from political life anyone who held any position —even minor— under the ousted autocrat’s regime.
However, analysts and democracy advocates believe militiamen are using the isolation law as a way to get rid of Prime Minister Ali Zidan, who has vowed to restore the authority of the state and disband the armed groups that have become a power unto themselves in Libya. Many of the militias have an Islamist ideology, while Zidan is seen as more secular and liberal.
Musharraf banned from run
A Pakistani court on Tuesday banned former military ruler Pervez Musharraf from running for public office for the rest of his life, the latest blow since he returned from exile last month to make a political comeback.
The ban came as Pakistan’s powerful army chief pledged in a rare speech that the military would do everything in its power to ensure the parliamentary election is held as scheduled on May 11, despite the Taliban’s attempt to disrupt the vote by attacking candidates.
One of Musharraf’s lawyers, Saad Shibli, said he would go to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling against his client, claiming the former leader should not be singled out for punishment for his actions while in power since others were involved.
Dutch queen abdicates
With an exchange of smiles and the flourish of a pen, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated the throne and her son Willem-Alexander took her place Tuesday to become the country’s first king in more than a century.
In a simple morning ceremony in Amsterdam’s royal palace, Beatrix, 75, signed the document that ended her 33-year reign. Willem-Alexander added his name a few seconds later. Mother and son then clutched hands and smiled, their status transformed at a stroke from queen and crown prince to princess and king.
Willem-Alexander, who turned 46 on Saturday, is the first male monarch to reign over the Netherlands since 1890, a 123-year span that has seen three women ascend to the throne and resign in turn in favor of the next generation.