Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Bulgaria ties Hezbollah to bombing of Israelis Japan protests China's radar use Obama planning visit to Israel British House OKs gay marriage Iran president visits Egypt
SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Hezbollah was behind a bus attack that killed five Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last year, investigators said Tuesday, describing a sophisticated bombing carried out by a terrorist cell that included Canadian and Australian citizens.
Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said two of the suspects had been living in Lebanon for years -- one with a Canadian passport and the other with an Australian one. He said investigators had traced their activities back to their home countries.
"We have well-grounded reasons to suggest that the two were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah," Tsvetanov said after a meeting of Bulgaria's National Security Council.
Hezbollah, a Shiite militant group and political party in Lebanon that emerged in response to Israel's 1982 invasion, has denied involvement in the Bulgaria bombing.
The bomb exploded as the Israeli tourists made their way from the airport to their hotel in the Black Sea resort of Burgas. The investigators found no links to Iran, which Israel had accused of playing a role in the attack.
TOKYO -- Japan on Tuesday accused Chinese navy vessels of locking a weapons-targeting radar on a Japanese destroyer and helicopter amid escalating territorial disputes between the Asian powers.
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera accused Chinese navy vessels of using the weapons radar in two incidents last month, on Jan. 19 and Jan. 30. He said it happened in the East China Sea, suggesting it was near disputed islands controlled by Japan but also claimed by China. He did not give an exact location.
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama will visit Israel in the spring, the White House said Tuesday, marking his first visit to the staunch U.S. ally since becoming president. Obama will also visit the West Bank and Jordan.
Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the visit to Israel in late January, when Obama congratulated Netanyahu on his success in Israel's recent election. The White House has not released the date of Obama's trip, but Israel's Channel 10 reported that a visit had been scheduled for March 20.
LONDON -- British lawmakers on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage championed by Prime Minister David Cameron, despite strong opposition from within his Conservative Party.
In a first House of Commons vote, lawmakers voted 400 to 175 in support of the legislation. There was majority support from the left-leaning Labour Party and Liberal Democrats party, but around half of the Conservative lawmakers rejected the proposals or abstained.
The bill will have to go through more detailed parliamentary debates and a vote in the House of Lords, where a vote in favor is likely given the strong support Tuesday.
CAIRO -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussed the crisis in Syria with his Egyptian counterpart Tuesday in the first visit by an Iranian leader to Cairo in more than three decades, marking a historic departure from years of frigid ties between the regional heavyweights.