News Brief

Gay marriage ban divides SenateGOP
WASHINGTON (AP) – Short on votes and beset by internal divisions,Senate Republicans struggled Tuesday to salvage a respectabledefeat for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, anissue that President Bush pushed toward the top of theelection-year agenda. “This issue is not going away,” MajorityLeader Bill Frist of Tennessee said in a virtual concession thatthe measure would fall short of the 60 votes needed to advance pasta Wednesday test vote. “Will it be back? Absolutely, yes,” headded.

Firefighters battle five-alarmfire
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – More than 100 firefighters battled afive-alarm fire in a Portland neighborhood Tuesday, which wiped outseveral buildings under construction before it was contained. Noone was injured in the fire, after fire officials stopped it fromspreading to nearby apartment buildings and homes.

Fighting the blaze proved particularly difficult because thesite lacks fire hydrants, Lt. Allen Oswalt of the Portland FireBureau, told KGW-TV. Officials with the Portland Fire Bureau saidthe cause of the fire is under investigation, but did not appear tobe arson.

CDC ships ‘chem-packs’ forpreparation
WASHINGTON (AP) – The government is quietly shipping stocks ofantidotes against chemical weapons to states under a long-awaitedprogram to boost response to a potential terrorist attack. New Yorkand Boston, sites of the upcoming political conventions, are amongthe first areas to receive the “chem-packs.”

Woman kidnapped, raped and left fordead
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The abduction and brutal rape of aMcMinnville woman this week is just the latest in a rash ofviolence against women in Oregon. Over the weekend, Ilaben Patel,45, disappeared from the Portland motel where she lived and worked.Her body was found Sunday in a blackberry thicket. An autopsy wasunable to determine the cause of her death. On May 24, BrighamYoung University student Brooke Wilberger was apparently abductedfrom a Corvallis apartment building and has not been found since.Lt. Ron Noble of the Corvallis Police Department said it was hardto tell whether there was actually an increase in violent crimesagainst women or whether they were just getting more publicity,making people more aware of them.

Red Cross fears U.S. hiding terror detaineesaround the world
GENEVA (AP) – The international Red Cross said Tuesday it suspectsthe United States is hiding detainees in lockups across the globe,though the agency has been granted access to thousands of prisonersin Iraq and elsewhere. Terror suspects reported by the FBI ascaptured have never turned up in detention centers, and the UnitedStates has failed to reply to agency demands for a list of everyoneit’s holding, said Antonella Notari, spokeswoman for theInternational Committee of the Red Cross.