Around the world

2013-04-24T00:00:00Z Around the worldFrom Wire Reports From Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
April 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

France

Gay-marriage protest becomes violent

PARIS - France legalized gay marriage on Tuesday after a wrenching national debate that exposed deep conservatism in the nation's heartland and triggered huge demonstrations that tapped into intense discontent with the Socialist government. Within hours, fiery clashes broke out between protesters and riot police.

Legions of officers stayed late into the night, and a protest against the measure turned violent near the Invalides complex of museums and monuments. Protesters threw glass bottles, cans and metal bars at police, who responded with tear gas.

The issue galvanized the country's faltering right, which had been decimated by infighting and their election loss to President Francois Hollande. France is the 14th country to legalize gay marriage nationwide -and the most populous.

Afghanistan

Taliban: Captives are in good shape

KABUL - A group of foreign civilians captured in eastern Afghanistan when their helicopter made an emergency landing are in good health, the Taliban said on Tuesday, as increased violence was reported around the country.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told The Associated Press that the 11 captives were "being investigated," and denied reports that negotiations were underway for their release.

The civilians have been tentatively identified as eight Turks, an Afghan translator and two pilots - one from Russia and the other from Kyrgyzstan. They were captured by insurgents on Sunday after their civilian cargo helicopter had to land in a remote part of eastern Logar province because of bad weather.

Cuba

More medics assigned to Gitmo feedings

The number of hunger strikers at Guantanamo held at just over half the prisoners Tuesday as the Southern Command said it was sending additional military medical forces to help out the 100-member Navy medical staff carrying out forced feedings.

The Southern Command asked the Pentagon for about 40 additional military medical staffers more than a month ago, while they planned for the April 13 raid at Guantanamo that put dozens of rule-breaking prisoners under lockdown, Army Col. Greg Julian said Tuesday morning.

Medical military staff listed 84 of the 166 captives as hunger strikers, authorities said, the same count as the day before.

But the number of captives receiving liquid nutritional supplements through tubes was 17 on Tuesday, up from 16 on Monday.

Libya

3 hurt in car bombing at French Embassy

TRIPOLI - A car bomb exploded Tuesday outside the French Embassy in Tripoli, wounding three people and setting the building partially on fire in the worst attack on a diplomatic mission in the North African nation since the U.S. ambassador was killed last year.

The attack in the heart of the capital put new pressure on Libya's new leaders to rein in the lawlessness that has gripped the country since 2011, when rebels ousted Moammar Gadhafi in a civil war and then refused to lay down their arms.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion fell on the militias and the extremists in their ranks that are fighting the central government in Tripoli for control. Some Libyans blamed Islamic militants seeking to avenge France's military intervention in Mali to dislodge al-Qaida-linked forces from the northern part of the West African country.

Mexico

House OKs easing of foreign land buys

MEXICO CITY - The lower house of Mexico's congress voted Tuesday to ease longstanding restrictions on foreigners buying property along the coast and the nation's borders, a proposal that drew stiff criticism from some quarters.

The measure, which passed 356-119 in the Chamber of Deputies, still needs approval from the Senate and a majority of the country's 32 state legislatures to become law.

For decades, foreigners have had to use real-estate trusts or Mexican front companies to buy beachfront properties, because Article 27 of the constitution prohibits non-Mexicans from directly owning land within 31 miles of the coast and 62 miles of the nation's borders. The trusts and front companies have provided a lucrative income for banks, lawyers and notaries who are required to operate them, and the extensive paperwork has discouraged many foreigners from buying.

Wire reports

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