In brief: Ukraine opposition leaders reject invitation for talks
Kiev, Ukraine – Opposition leaders in Ukraine rejected President Viktor Yanukovych’s offer of talks Wednesday, saying they will not sit down with him until he fires his government and releases all arrested demonstrators.
That stance reflected their growing confidence after the abrupt withdrawal of riot police from parts of Ukraine’s capital early Wednesday raised protesters’ hopes that weeks of demonstrations have eroded police support for Yanukovych and his government.
Yanukovych issued an invitation late in the day to political, religious and civil figures to join a national dialogue. But it gave no details about a proposed date for the talks – and could have been merely an attempt to buy time and mollify Western officials.
Homosexuality ban reinstated in India
New Delhi – In a reversal that surprised many gay activists and flew in the face of changes seen in some other countries recently, India’s Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned a lower-court ruling, in effect making homosexuality a crime again.
The nation’s top court overturned a 2009 Delhi High Court decision that decriminalized homosexual sex between consenting adults. In Wednesday’s ruling, the top court argued that the lower court had overstepped its mandate and had no right to augment the law.
“It is up to parliament to legislate on this issue,” said Justice G.S. Singhvi, who headed the two-judge Supreme Court bench. Wednesday was his last day before retirement.
Given the slow pace of lawmaking in India, an upcoming election and polls suggesting the conservative Bharatiya Janata Party could unseat the ruling Congress Party in national elections, it’s likely the ban introduced under British colonial rule will remain in place for the foreseeable future.