Anti-gay marriage rallies as NY ceremonies begin

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Thousands of opponents of gay marriage have

held several protests in New York as the first weddings were held

in the state.

The National Organization for Marriage held rallies Sunday

afternoon in New York City, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo.

Opponents say Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers redefined marriage

without giving voters a chance to weigh-in, as they have in other

states. Protesters chanted "Let the People Vote!

The first gay marriages in New York were performed just after

midnight and continued through the day at municipal offices that

opened for special weekend hours.

New York became the sixth and largest state to recognize

same-sex weddings in a close state Senate vote on June 24 after

strong lobbying by Cuomo and advocates.


Pope on Norway attacks: Renounce hatred

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) - Pope Benedict has called on the

international community to renounce hatred in the face of the

"deep sorrow" felt over the terror attacks in Norway.

The pope urged people to pray for the dead, the wounded and

their loved ones. He spoke to pilgrims and tourists from the

balcony of his summer palace in Castel Gandolfo near Rome.

A day earlier, the pope sent a condolence message to Norway's

king in which he denounced the "senseless violence." His envoy in

Norway decried the terror attacks as "madness."


Lawyer: Norway suspect wanted anti-Muslim crusade

OSLO, Norway (AP) - Norway's King Harald V and his wife Queen

Sonja and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg joined mourners on Sunday

at Oslo Cathedral.

The pews were packed, and the crowd spilled into the plaza

outside the building. The area was strewn with flowers and candles,

and people who could not fit in the grand church huddled under

umbrellas in a drizzle.

The king and queen both wiped tears from their eyes during the

service for "sorrow and hope."

After the service, people sobbed and hugged one another in the

streets as they streamed out of the cathedral. Many lingered over

the memorial of flowers and candles.


Suspected gunman allegedly sought sectarian violence

OSLO, Norway (AP) - The man blamed for attacks on Norway's

government headquarters and a youth retreat that left scores dead

allegedly said he was motivated by a desire to bring about a

revolution in Norwegian society.

That's according to Anders Breivik's lawyer. A manifesto that he is believed to have written ranted

against Muslim immigration to Europe and vowed revenge on

"indigenous Europeans" who he accused of betraying their



APNewsBreak: Extra security at UK mosques

LONDON (AP) - Some Muslim community leaders in Britain say

mosques are adding extra security in the wake of the terrorist

attacks in Norway.

According to the Ramadan Foundation, one of Britain's largest

Muslim organizations, there have been recent anti-Muslim incidents.

A pig's head was left at a mosque outside of Oxford, while there

have been repeated attacks on women wearing headscarves and

full-face coverings.

Muslim groups say they have long warned Britain's police of

increasing hostility from far-right groups.


Catholic teachers to undergo training about Holocaust,


WASHINGTON (AP) - Catholic school educators from Washington,

D.C., Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina will undergo training

in Washington this week about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.

The five-day training session is a collaboration between the

Anti-Defamation League, the United States Holocaust Memorial

Museum, the Archdiocese of Washington, the National Catholic

Educational Association and the United States Conference of

Catholic Bishops.

ADL spokesman Sophie Dornstreich says the

courses will be taught by Catholics and Jews, and will be presented

through the context of current prejudices and bigotry.


Maine diocese supports 'Day of Prayer'

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland,

Maine, says it supports the Day of Prayer and Fasting.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has issued a proclamation recognizing

Aug. 6 as a "Day of Prayer and Fasting for Our Nation."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has invited people from every

state to come to his state for a giant prayer gathering in Houston.

The Maine Legislative Prayer Caucus urged Mainers to participate in

that event by gathering in communities, houses of worship and

homes. They've also asked church leaders to help organize regional

and local events throughout Maine.

Maine's Catholic Bishop Joseph Malone is urging parishioners to

participate in prayer and fasting on Aug. 6.


Ancient bell found in Jerusalem Old City sewer

JERUSALEM (AP) - A tiny golden bell pulled after 2,000 years

from an ancient sewer beneath the Old City of Jerusalem has been

shown by Israeli archaeologists.

The small orb, about one-half inch in diameter, has a small loop

that appears to have been used to sew it as an ornament onto the

clothes of a wealthy resident of the city two millennia ago.

Archaeologists unveiled it Sunday. It has a faint metallic sound

that is something between a clink and a rattle. The relic was found

last week and is believed to be from the Second Temple period, and

as such was a "very rare" find. The Second Temple stood from

about 515 B.C. until A.D. 70.

The biblical Book of Exodus mentions tiny golden bells sewn onto

the hem of the robes of Temple priests, along with decorative


(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-07-25-11 0333EDT