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Parliament revises limits on speech

ANKARA — Turkey’s parliament approved a long-awaited revision of a law criticized by the European Union for limiting free speech in the EU-candidate country, but writers and activists say the reform does not go far enough.

The reform to Article 301 of the penal code was approved early yesterday with 250 votes for and 65 against amid fierce criticism from the nationalist opposition.

The law has been used to prosecute hundreds of writers, including Nobel Literature laureate Orhan Pamuk, for “insulting Turkishness.”

AUSTRALIA

5 die in accident in Sydney Harbor

SYDNEY — A fishing trawler and a small boat collided before dawn today in Sydney Harbor, killing five people and injuring nine, authorities said.

The collision, which occurred in cold and dark conditions, threw all 14 people aboard the small boat into the water, said police Inspector Tony Bear.

All of the dead and injured — ages 18 to 31 — were on the small boat, which was licensed to carry eight people.

RUSSIA

Czar’s dead children identified by DNA

MOSCOW — DNA tests carried out by a U.S. laboratory prove that bone fragments exhumed last year belong to two children of Czar Nicholas II, putting to rest questions about what happened to Russia’s last royal family, a regional governor said yesterday.

Bone fragments dug up near the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg are indeed those of Crown Prince Alexei and his sister, Maria, whose remains had been missing since the family was murdered in 1918 as Russia descended into civil war.

The confirmation could end royal supporters’ persistent hopes that members of the czar’s immediate family survived the massacre.

CHINA

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