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Active-duty troops, veterans take part in San Diego gay pride parade

Los Angeles ‘Carmageddon’ fears unfounded Interstate 405 was completely free of traffic in preparation for the demolition of the Mulholland Drive bridge early Saturday morning. It was clear throughout the day that many had heeded the call of politicians and transportation officials to steer clear of the massive highway project, with traffic light in a usually bustling city. “It’s going smooth because people are not getting into their cars,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told reporters.

Associated Press

Los Angeles ‘Carmageddon’ fears unfounded Interstate 405 was completely free of traffic in preparation for the demolition of the Mulholland Drive bridge early Saturday morning. It was clear throughout the day that many had heeded the call of politicians and transportation officials to steer clear of the massive highway project, with traffic light in a usually bustling city. “It’s going smooth because people are not getting into their cars,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told reporters.

Turkey

14 are charged with plot against U.S.

A court has charged 14 suspected al-Qaida militants for allegedly planning to attack the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital. The charges — which were filed by an Ankara court late Friday — come as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visits Turkey's cultural capital of Istanbul for a meeting on religious tolerance. The 14 suspects were captured just before Clinton's arrival. A 15th suspect was released. "We were very grateful that Turkish authorities broke up an al-Qaida plot that was aimed at American targets in Ankara just a few days ago," Clinton said in Istanbul on Saturday.

CAPE CANAVERAL

Astronauts haul gear for last shuttle flight

Astronauts kept busy fixing and hauling gear aboard the linked Atlantis and International Space Station on Saturday, as the last shuttle flight drew closer to an end. Atlantis' pilots got a jammed storage locker open and retrieved air purifiers for the space station. They also brought back online a computer that abruptly stopped working two days earlier. NASA wants to run more diagnostic testing, but so far the computer seems to be working fine, officials said. Atlantis will return to Earth on Thursday — the very last landing by a space shuttle.

MEXICO

Americans in border city are warned

The U.S. consulate in a Mexican border city warned that a drug cartel may be targeting its facilities or other U.S. entry points and urged Americans there to be vigilant. The U.S. consulate-general in Ciudad Juarez said information of a possible attack came after the recent capture of key members of cartels active in the city across the border from El Paso, Texas. It encouraged Americans residing or traveling in Chihuahua, where Juarez is located, to join the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

Elsewhere

Frontier cancels more flights: Frontier Airlines announced it was canceling a total of 96 flights Saturday, today and Monday after a hailstorm at Denver International Airport took almost a third of its Airbus fleet out of service.

Hunt for bank robber: Law enforcement officials hunted Saturday for the bank robber of a TD Bank branch in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., at least the third Horry County bank robbery in four days.

Nuclear reactor to shut down: Kansai Electric Power Co. in Japan said Saturday it would halt the operation of a nuclear reactor at its Oi power plant in Oicho, Fukui prefecture, due to a problem with a tank used to store water for emergency reactor-cooling functions.

About 200 active-duty troops and veterans wearing T-shirts advertising their branch of service marched Saturday in San Diego's gay pride parade with American flags and rainbow banners, in what is believed to be the first time a U.S. military group has taken part in such an event

Many of the active-duty troops said they were moved to come out because it is time to end the military's ban on openly gay troops. The march came a day after a federal appeals court reinstated "don't ask, don't tell" but with a caveat that prevents the government from investigating or penalizing anyone who is openly gay.

National Guard member Nichole Herrera, 31, said she didn't think twice about marching, even though the policy is back on the books. She said she was "choked up" several times as she walked down a main thoroughfare in San Diego, a major Navy port.

"This is one of the proudest days in my life. It's time for it (the policy) to be gone," Herrera said.

The crowd roared as the group waving military flags and holding placards identifying their military branch walked past the thousands.

Times wires

Active-duty troops, veterans take part in San Diego gay pride parade 07/17/11 [Last modified: Sunday, July 17, 2011 12:01am]

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