- - Wednesday, April 4, 2012

AFGHANISTAN

KABUL A suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed three American soldiers and four Afghan police officers at a park in a relatively peaceful area of northern Afghanistan on Wednesday, part of an increase in violence at the start of the spring fighting season.

At least three other people were killed and about 20 wounded, a police spokesman said.

The Taliban, which claimed responsibility for the attack, are targeting Afghan and NATO security forces as they fight to assert their power and undermine U.S. efforts to try to build up the Afghan military, who will take the lead in combat responsibility over the next couple of years.

NATO said three troops died in the attack, and a U.S. official confirmed they were Americans.

GUYANA

Public opinion sought on controversial laws

GEORGETOWN Guyana is launching a national debate on whether to eliminate its death penalty and overhaul laws that discriminate against gays and transgender people.

Town-hall-style meetings will be held across the socially conservative South American country as part of a promise that Guyana made to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

The government plans to analyze public opinion before deciding whether it will submit any bills to revise current laws.

“Government has no line or position on the gay-rights issue,” presidential adviser Gail Teixeira told the Associated Press. “We will hold the consultations, and if the recommendation is to change the laws, then that will be taken into consideration.”

The death penalty is common across the Caribbean, as are laws against cross-dressing and gay sex.

The government said officials also plan to meet with leaders from Christian, Hindu and Islamic communities who represent Guyana’s most prominent religions. Many religious leaders in the country oppose legalizing homosexuality.

FRANCE

Police nab 10 suspects in sweep of suspected Islamists

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