- The first openly gay Episcopal bishop, who became a symbol for gay rights far beyond the church while deeply dividing the world's Anglicans, plans to divorce his husband.
Bishop Gene Robinson announced the end of his marriage to Mark Andrew in an email sent to the Diocese of New Hampshire, where he served for nine years before retiring in 2012.
Robinson would not disclose details about the end of their 25-year relationship but wrote yesterday in The Daily Beast that he owed a debt to Andrew "for standing by me through the challenges of the last decade."
"It is at least a small comfort to me, as a gay-rights and marriage-equality advocate, to know that like any marriage, gay and lesbian couples are subject to the same complications and hardships that afflict marriages between heterosexual couples," Robinson wrote. "All of us sincerely intend, when we take our wedding vows, to live up to the ideal of 'til death do us part. But not all of us are able to see this through until death indeed parts us."
BELFAST, Northern Ireland
- Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams was released without charge yesterday after five days of police questioning over his alleged involvement in a decades-old IRA killing of a Belfast mother of 10, an investigation that has driven a dangerous wedge into Northern Ireland's unity government.
Addressing reporters and supporters at a Belfast hotel, Adams said he wanted his party to provide help to the children of Jean McConville, 37, a widow taken from her home by the Irish Republican Army in 1972, killed and dumped in an unmarked grave. He also rejected claims by IRA veterans in audiotaped interviews that he had ordered the killing.
Adams, 65, has led Sinn Fein since 1983 and won credit for steering the IRA toward cease-fires and compromise with Northern Ireland's Protestant majority. Police said that they have sent an evidence file to Northern Ireland prosecutors for potential charges later.
- Hundreds of pro-Russian demonstrators stormed police headquarters in Odessa yesterday and won the release of 67 people detained after deadly clashes in the Ukrainian port city.
More than 40 people died in the riots two days earlier, some from gunshot wounds, but most in a horrific fire that tore through a trade-union building.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who hinted strongly that he saw Moscow's hand in the unrest spreading through southeastern Ukraine, visited Odessa yesterday to try to defuse the mounting tensions.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates
- Etihad Airways, a fast-growing Mideast carrier, laid out plans to offer passengers who find first-class seats a bit too tight a miniature suite featuring a closed-off bedroom, private bathroom and a dedicated butler.
It is the latest salvo in the worldwide battle among airlines for well-heeled customers. Their willingness to spend big on premium seats can make a big difference to an airline's bottom line.
Etihad boss James Hogan conceded that offering what the airline says is the first-of-its-kind multiroom suite helps generate buzz, but that ultimately it is a serious effort to bring in more cash. The carrier already woos the flying elite with perks including first-class onboard chefs and in-flight nannies.
- Coca-Cola is dropping a controversial ingredient from its Powerade sports drink, after a similar move by PepsiCo's Gatorade last year.
The ingredient, brominated vegetable oil, had been the target of a petition by a Mississippi teenager, who questioned why it was being used in a drink marketed toward health-conscious athletes. The petition on Change.org noted that the ingredient is linked to a flame retardant and is not approved for use in Japan or the European Union.
In response to customer feedback, PepsiCo said last year that it would drop the ingredient from Gatorade. At the time, Coca-Cola declined to say whether it would remove the ingredient from the two flavors of Powerade that contain it as well.