Women on front line by 2016: British PM
LONDON • Prime Minister David Cameron told The Sunday Telegraph newspaper he wanted to see female British soldiers training to fight on the front line next year.
Mr Cameron has asked the Ministry of Defence to be ready to post women in ground close-combat roles by the end of next year after Washington announced this month its military will open all positions, including front-line combat roles, to women.
Female troops make up around 10 per cent of Britain's armed forces. Women are currently banned from ground combat units where the primary role is to be "close with and kill the enemy", but a review found "no compelling evidence to prove women impair effectiveness in close combat situations", Defence Minister Michael Fallon said.
New Zealand okays Pastafarian nuptials
WELLINGTON • Colander-wearing members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster could soon be legally married in New Zealand after the church was approved to hold "Pastafarian" marriage ceremonies.
Church adherents, who wear colanders on their heads, revere pirates and believe the universe was created by a flying noodle, have been recognised in New Zealand as a bone fide organisation.
Their right to nominate marriage celebrants was approved on Dec 10.