government says Aristide can return
The Haitian government has agreed to issue a diplomatic passport to former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, his lawyer said Monday, potentially dropping a major hurdle that has prevented Aristide from returning home after seven years in exile in Africa. The lawyer, Ira Kurzban, said he sent a letter to authorities requesting that Aristide's passport be "issued immediately." Aristide was ousted from power twice, and there was speculation he would seek to return after former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier made his surprise return home two weeks ago, ending 25 years in exile.
Governor signs civil unions law
Gov. Pat Quinn, saying it was a "day of history," signed legislation Monday legalizing civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, making Illinois one of about a dozen states that extend significant legal protections to same-sex couples. About 1,000 people crowded into the Chicago Cultural Center to watch Quinn, a Democrat, sign the measure that supporters call a matter of basic fairness and opponents decry as a threat to the sanctity of traditional marriage.
Foreign adoptions by Americans fall
The number of foreign children adopted by Americans fell by 13 percent last year, reaching the lowest level since 1995 due in large part to a virtual halt to adoptions from Guatemala because of corruption problems. China remained America's No. 1 source of adopted children, accounting for 3,401, according to figures released by the State Department on Monday for the 2010 fiscal year. Ethiopia was second, at 2,513, followed by Russia at 1,082 and South Korea at 863. Guatemala was the No. 1 source country in 2008, with 4,123 adoptions by Americans.
Whitman spent $178M in failed bid
Campaign finance reports released on Monday show Democrat Jerry Brown spent about $36.5 million in his successful bid to become governor of California, a fraction of the $178.5 million spent by his GOP opponent, billionaire Meg Whitman. Whitman, the former eBay chief executive, tapped $144 million from her personal fortune.
100 dogs killed in business move
An organization that fights animal abuse is calling the slaughter of 100 sled dogs by an outdoor adventure company in British Columbia a bloodbath and police were investigating on Monday. Vancouver radio station CKNW reported that Outdoor Adventures Whistler expected more sledding business in an anticipated post-Olympics tourism boom. But the boom never materialized and the sled dogs were killed in April.
Pakistan: At least six people were killed and more than a dozen wounded Monday by a pair of bombs in northwestern Pakistan that were aimed at security forces, officials said.
Belarus: The United States and the European Union on Monday imposed sanctions against President Aleksandr Lukashenko and scores of other officials for a crackdown on the opposition after the fraudulent presidential election late last year.