Human rights and civil liberties
DENVER - A Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony is defending his decision.
An attorney for Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver says the baker has a right not to spread a message with which he disagrees.
But a lawyer representing a gay couple argued that the baker's faith doesn't give him a right to discriminate.
BAMAKO, Mali - A mass grave containing 21 skulls has been discovered near the Kati military barracks, formerly the fief of the country's military strongman, Mali's chief prosecutor announced Wednesday.
The remains are believed to be of soldiers who opposed the leader's rise to power and their discovery paves the way for Gen. Amadou Haya Sanogo to be charged with murder, said prosecutor Daniel Tessougue.
HONOLULU, Hawaii - Same-sex marriages began in the state of Hawaii on Monday with six couples at a Waikiki resort exchanging vows side-by-side in front of a few hundred guests.
GENEVA - A growing body of evidence collected by U.N. investigators points to the involvement of senior Syrian officials, including President Bashar Assad, in crimes against humanity and war crimes, the U.N.'s top human rights official said Monday.
LONDON - Britain's spy agencies will face a criminal investigation into claims that intelligence shared with Moammar Gadhafi's regime led to the torture or rendition of two Libyan men and their families, authorities announced Thursday.
DAMASCUS, Syria - Syrian President Bashar Assad joined thousands of his supporters Wednesday in an extremely rare public appearance, telling a pro-regime rally in the capital that the "conspiracy" against his country will fail.
Dressed more casually than usual in a jacket but no tie, the president told the cheering crowd that he wanted to draw strength from them. Security guards surrounded him as supporters waved his portrait and raised Syrian flags.