August 18 2004 



Last week the California Supreme Court ruled that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom exceeded his authority when he granted permission for same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses in February.

The 5-2 ruling voided 4,000 gay and lesbian marriages.

In its ruling, the court clarified that the issue in the case was whether or not Newsom had the power to authorize gay marriages, not the constitutional issue of gay marriages.

"To avoid any misunderstanding, we emphasize that the substantive question of the constitutional validity of California's statutory provisions limiting marriage to a union between a man and a woman is not before our court in this proceeding, and our decision in this case is not intended, and should not be interpreted, to reflect any view on the issue," the ruling reads.

Two justices dissented on the issue of the couple's status, saying the court should refrain from ruling on the marriages before it decides whether the marriage law is constitutional. ( Newcenter)


With natural gas production declining in the Midwest and in the Gulf of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains are slated to become the next field of dreams for natural gas production.

That was the message about 2,000 oil and gas executives and geologists heard at the Rocky Mountain Natural Gas 2004 conference which took place earlier this month in Colorado.

"In 2010--some people say by 2012--Rockies gas production will actually exceed production coming out of the Gulf Coast," said Peter Dea, president and CEO of Denver-based Western Gas Resources Inc., meeting moderator according to the Denver Business News.

According to Fred Meissner, a geologist, adjunct professor at the Colorado School of Mines, the reason is simple.

"This section [the Rockies] is one of the coal-iest sections in the worlds. We've known that for years," Meissner said. "And coal is a good producer of gas. It's nothing more than a giant gas machine."



Nineteen people are dead in Florida after Charley, a Category 4 hurricane pummeled the state's Gulf Coast on Friday, August 13. Over 2,000 people are staying in shelters and thousands more are living in hotels or with family or friends.

About 640,000 people remained without power Tuesday, state officials said, estimating it could take weeks to get electricity fully restored. At least 150,000 were without local phone service.

Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte were among the hardest hit areas, and 25 of Florida's 67 counties were designated federal disaster areas.

Officials estimate Charley caused $11 billion in damage to insured homes alone.


"A 'sensitive war' will not destroy the evil men who killed 3,000 Americans."

--Vice President Dick Cheney commenting on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry for his promise to fight a more sensitive war. To date nearly 1,000 Americans and over 10,000 Iraqis have died in Iraq since March 2003.


U.S. CASUALTIES: As of Tuesday, August 10, 930 U.S. service members have died since the war in Iraq began in March 2003: 692 in combat and 238 from noncombat-related incidents and accidents. Over 790 soldiers have died since President Bush declared "mission accomplished" aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003. (Note: the DoD has not updated its casualty reports since Aug. 10).

Source: U.S. Department of Defense

IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS: Estimated between 11,609 and 13,591.


COST OF IRAQ WAR: $128,040,000,000.


--Compiled by Cynthia Sewell

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