- - Wednesday, August 15, 2012

PARIS — Gay marriage and adoption were in the spotlight in France as the Catholic Church used a religious holiday to urge politicians to protect heterosexual traditions.

Socialist President Francois Hollande has said he wants a law allowing gay marriage and adoption next year.

While polls suggest most French are in favor, this is a traditionally Catholic country. For Wednesday’s Assumption holiday, the French bishops’ conference asked priests to read a prayer calling on politicians to follow “their conscience” and resist requests by special interests, and stressing the importance of “the love of a father and a mother.”

The Sipa news agency reported that some parishes ignored the suggested prayer and that churchgoers were divided over whether the church should get involved in politics.

Town begins cleanup after youth rampage

AMIENS — The northern city of Amiens on Wednesday began a costly cleanup after two nights of rioting that left France again asking itself what to do about marginalized urban neighborhoods that have erupted into violence in the past decade.

The city’s northern quarter was calm overnight, 24 hours after rampaging youths torched cars and public buildings, hurled explosives improvised from fireworks and fired buckshot at police.

France’s Interior Ministry announced Wednesday that a heavy police presence would be maintained in the neighborhood for several days to ensure there was no repeat.

About 250 officers were deployed overnight following clashes in which 16 officers were injured, one of them seriously.


Police: Bolivian crowd lynched 2 Brazilians

LA PAZ — Police said an angry crowd in a Bolivian town bordering Brazil lynched two Brazilian men shortly after they were arrested for shooting and killing three Bolivians and wounding two others.

Police Chief Edwin Rojas of San Matias said the two men were pulled from their jail cell Tuesday night, beaten and burned alive.

The circumstances of the killings purportedly committed by the Brazilians were not immediately clear.

Town council member Claudio Rojas said that people in the town of 15,000 are tired of its lawlessness.

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