• Directory of Taiwan

In Brief

In Brief

Neo-Nazi group rallies at Toledo City Hall


Members of a neo-Nazi group staged a rally at City Hall on Saturday, two months after plans for an earlier march set off a four-hour riot in which a mob attacked businesses and police.

Hundreds of officers stood guard to make sure there was no repeat of the October melee as about 60 white supremacists shouted at counterdemonstrators and held placards, including one reading: "White race, stand up and take back your neighborhood."

Nearly 200 others showed up in the freezing weather to protest against the members of the National Socialist Movement.

After speaking for an hour, the neo-Nazis left in a caravan of cars, escorted by several police cruisers. Authorities reported only minor arrests and no violence.

Custody battle


A five-day custody hearing provided an exhaustive look into a list of alleged abuses by a couple accused of harming their 11 adopted children, including making some of them sleep in wooden cages. Now a judge must decide whether the couple abused or neglected the special-needs children.

Juvenile Judge Timothy Cardwell is expected to make a decision in two weeks.

If the allegations are not proven, Michael and Sharen Gravelle, who have not been charged with any crime and deny abusing the children, could regain custody.

"They're about upbeat as you can possibly be," their attorney, Kenneth Myers said Saturday. "This was a very rough week for everybody.

Joining forces

PARIS, France

France, Spain and Switzerland are joining together in efforts to persuade Colombian rebels to release their hostages, the French Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

"The three countries intend to work with discretion and in total independence," the French ministry said in a statement.

The three countries will eventually make proposals to Colombia's government and its main rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, "to encourage direct talks between their delegates," the statement said.

The 12,000-strong FARC has been fighting the Colombian government for 41 years with the aim of sparking a social revolution. The rebels are holding dozens of hostages, including Colombian-French politician Ingrid Betancourt, who was kidnapped while campaigning for presidential elections in 2002.

Forced to resign


A college professor who drew sharp criticism for comments deriding Christian fundamentalists over "intelligent design" said he was forced out as chairman of the university's religious studies department.

Paul Mirecki, who remains a professor at the University of Kansas, said he had no choice when he signed the resignation letter.

"The University penalized me and denied me my constitutionally protected right to speak and express my mind," he said in a written statement Friday for the Lawrence Journal-World. He said his career had been ruined and his speaking engagements canceled.