Canada Foils Train Terror Plot

Canada Foils Train Terror PlotCanadian authorities have arrested two men accused of planning to carry out an al Qaeda-supported attack against a passenger train traveling between Canada and the United States, a U.S. congressman told CNN on Monday.

‘Support from Al Qaeda elements’

The news follows an announcement earlier in the day by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that they had arrested Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed Jaser, 35. The two men are charged with “receiving support from al Qaeda elements in Iran” to carry out an attack and conspiring to murder people on a VIA railway train in the greater Toronto area, Assistant Police Commissioner James Malizia said.

Despite the allegation of links to al Qaeda in Iran, there was no evidence to suggest the planned attacks were state-sponsored, Malizia said. Iran vehemently denied the allegations that al Qaeda was operating inside its borders.


‘Devastating results’

Essenghaier has been a doctoral student at the National Institute of Scientific Research at the University of Quebec since 2010, Julie Martineau, the university spokeswoman, said. He was conducting research on nanosensors, which are primarily used for medical treatments or to build other nanoproducts, such as computer chips, she said.

Al Qaeda has long studied the possibility of attacks on railroad systems — seeing them as cheap, relatively easy to carry out and with potentially devastating results.

Could this foiled terror plot be truly linked with the Al Qaeda? Do you think this is also linked with the Boston Marathon bombings or not?

Source: Chelsea J. Carter, CNN

Image: Yahoo News

New Zealand Approves Gay Marriage

New Zealand Approves Gay MarriageNew Zealand’s parliament has legalised same-sex marriage, the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so. Lawmakers approved the bill, amending the 1955 marriage act, despite opposition from Christian lobby groups. The bill was passed with a wide majority, with 77 votes in favour and 44 against.

‘More divided’

Some opinion polls have suggested that about two-thirds of New Zealanders support the reform, although others polls suggest the public are more divided.

Parliamentarians were allowed a conscience vote, and, crucially, the reform had the backing of both the Prime Minister John Key and leader of the opposition David Shearer, the BBC’s Phil Mercer in Sydney reports.


‘Traditional concept of marriage’

Same-sex civil unions have been legal in New Zealand since 2005. However, Conservative Party leader Colin Craig said there were many people who disagreed with the bill. Bob McCoskrie, founder of the lobby group Family First, said the bill undermined the traditional concept of marriage.

New Zealand becomes the 13th country to legalise same-sex marriage. Other countries include the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Argentina and Uruguay. No other country in the Asia-Pacific region allows gay marriage.

Are you in favor of same-sex marriage? Why or why not? Feel free to voice out your opinions and justify your vote via the comment box below!

Source: BBC News

Image: Channel News Asia