Obama says he supports same-sex marriage
WASHINGTON, May 9 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama says he has reversed his opposition to same-sex marriage and while he supports the concept, thinks states should make their own decisions.
In an interview Wednesday with ABC News, Obama said his thoughts about gay marriage evolved during conversations with his friends and family.
"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that don't-ask-don't-tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married," Obama said.
The interview is scheduled to air Thursday on "Good Morning America," ABC News said.
The president had previously voiced support for civil unions for gay and lesbian couples but had opposed defining it as "marriage."
Republican Mitt Romney, Obama's likely opponent in the November general election, declined to comment on the president's endorsement of gay marriage, The Hill reported.
Al-Qaida bomb expert poses major risk
SANAA, Yemen, May 9 (UPI) -- Al-Qaida explosives expert Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, suspected of building the bomb in the latest foiled bomb plot, is extremely dangerous, officials said.
U.S. security officials say he has tried to attack the United States three times in the past three years and is believed to have built the underwear bomb used in a failed 2009 Christmas Day attempt to take down a Northwest Airlines flight with 290 people flying to Detroit from Amsterdam.
The 30-year-old from an area of Saudi Arabia near the Yemeni border is known for having dispatched his brother on a suicide mission to kill Saudi Arabia's top counterterrorism official, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Asiri, who studied chemistry in college, was declared a wanted terrorist by U.S. officials last year.
U.S. Rep. Peter T. King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called Asiri "an evil genius," The New York Times said. "He is constantly expanding, he is constantly adjusting."
Mustafa Alani, director of security and defense studies at the Gulf Research Center in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, said Asiri has made Yemen's al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula branch a significant threat, the Times reported.
"He is highly determined and fully committed to attack America," Alani was quoted as saying by the Times. "For al-Qaida, an attack inside the U.S. is worth 11 attacks outside. It has become their obsession."
U.N. convoy triggers roadside bomb in Syria
GENEVA, Switzerland, May 9 (UPI) -- A roadside bomb exploded in Syria Wednesday near a convoy of U.N. observers heading to Daraa province, a spokesman for U.N. envoy Kofi Annan said.
There were no casualties among the observers but several Syrian soldiers suffered injuries and were taken to a hospital, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.
Annan spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said the U.N. observers experienced what the Syrian people are suffering on a daily basis and that all forms of violence must end.
Some 40 U.N. observers are on the ground in Syria to monitor the cease-fire between the government and opposition forces.
By the end of the month, 300 observers are expected to be deployed.
Image shows more activity at Iran site
WASHINGTON, May 9 (UPI) -- A satellite image of an Iran military site a U.N. watchdog suspects may house a nuclear weapons program shows signs of increased activity, weapons experts say.
David Albright and Paul Brannan of the Institute for Science and International Security, based in Washington, wrote in a report the April 9 image of the site at Parchin, about 20 miles southeast of Tehran, has raised suspicions Iran could be trying to clean out evidence of nuclear activity at the facility, CNN reported.
The image shows a stream of water coming from a building suspected of housing a chamber to conduct explosives testing for potential nuclear weapons, Albright and Brannan wrote.
The report also said items appear outside the building that were not evident in previous satellite images.
"The items visible outside the building could be associated with the removal of equipment from the building or with cleansing it. The stream of water that appears to emanate from the building raises concerns Iran may have been washing inside the building, or perhaps washing the items outside the building," Albright and Brannan wrote in their report.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, tried to visit Parchin twice last month. But Iran rejected the IAEA requests.
Susan Powell's father-in-law on trial
TACOMA, Wash., May 9 (UPI) -- Steve Powell, father-in-law of missing Utah woman Susan Powell, kept his voyeurism secret for years, a Washington prosecutor said Wednesday.
Assistant Pierce County Prosecutor Bryce Nelson told jurors in his opening statement the investigation into Susan Powell's disappearance uncovered Powell's activities, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Detectives searching his files for information on his daughter-in-law found a computer disc, "disc 12," with images of a neighbor's two young daughters taken surreptitiously while they were undressing or using the bathroom in their home outside Puyallup, Wash.
Nelson said the girls and their parents were not aware of "a secret that Steve Powell kept hidden until Aug. 25, 2011."
"The evidence will show that the defendant filmed the girls for sexual gratification," Nelson said.
Powell became notorious during the search for Susan Powell when he claimed she had come on to him sexually. One of his daughters came forward and said the opposite was true -- that her father had made overtures to Susan.
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