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Same-sex marriage, gay adoption allowed in France from 2013

PARIS — Gay couples in France will be allowed to get married and to adopt children from next year, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced Tuesday. “In the first half of 2013, the right to marriage and adoption will be open to all couples, without discrimination,” he told parliament, confirming an…

Ukraine clashes over controversial language law

Ukraine police on Wednesday used tear gas and several people were injured at a chaotic protest against a new language law as the president summoned the leaders of parliament to limit a growing crisis. The opposition has reacted furiously to the rushed passing by the Ukrainian parliament the Verkhovna Rada…

Shy physicist whose name lives on in Higgs boson

Forty-eight years ago, British scientist Peter Higgs had a eureka moment when he realised there could be a particle that confers mass, one of the greatest puzzles in physics. “He said: ‘Oh shit, I know how to do that!’” former colleague Alan Walker told AFP of the breakthrough as recounted…

Double amputee Pistorius to race at London Olympics

Oscar Pistorius will become the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics after being included Wednesday in the South African 4×400-metre relay team for 2012 London Games, an official said. The 25-year-old’s selection comes five days after conceding defeat in a battle to run in the 400m at the…

French army hands over key province to Afghan forces

The French military officially handed over control of the key Afghan province of Kapisa to local forces on Wednesday. The transfer is an important stage in France’s withdrawal from the war-torn country, which new President Francois Hollande has accelerated by ordering the return of troops by the end of 2012,…

Palestinians seek int’l probe into Arafat’s death

The Palestinians want an international probe into the death of former president Yasser Arafat after an investigation showed he may have been poisoned, an official told AFP Wednesday. “We call for the formation of an international investigation committee modelled on the international investigation committee set up to look into the…

Women move to centre stage in Olympic boxing debut

The duel between the best amateur male boxers from the United States and their counterparts from bitter enemies Cuba will take a backseat at the Olympics as women’s boxing enters the fray for the first time. Quite what the Marquis of Queensberry would make of it is probably unprintable but…

Concern grows over H1N1 outbreak in Bolivia

LA PAZ — An epidemic of H1N1 flu has infected almost 900 people and claimed 11 lives in Bolivia, health officials said Tuesday. Although most of the cases occurred in the last few weeks, the outbreak does not rise to the level of a national epidemic, officials said. “At the…

Chimpanzees won’t be put down after mauling American in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG — Two chimpanzees who mauled an American student in South Africa will not be killed because authorities found the animals defended their territory against a trespasser, a park director said Tuesday. Andrew Oberle, 26, lost an ear, several fingers and toes and a testicle in the attack on Thursday…

UN leader condemns lack of regulation for arms trade

UNITED NATIONS — UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday it was a “disgrace” that there is no global arms trade regulation as he opened treaty talks held up by Palestinian demands for a place in the negotiations. The 193 UN members have until July 27 to hammer out a deal…

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