World Briefs: Afghanistan defense minister steps down

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In Germany, same-sex couples have been able to register civil partnerships that legally fall short of formal marriage since 2001. Heterosexual married couples can, unlike same-sex couples, reduce their tax burden by filing joint income-tax returns, thus paying less than single taxpayers.

The partnerships were introduced by a previous center-left government.


Shanghai, eastern Chinabrace for Typhoon Haikui

BEIJING — Shanghai and nearby coastal areas rushed Tuesday to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people and order ships to port as China prepared for its third typhoon in less than a week.

The China Meteorological Administration issued a red alert for Typhoon Haikui, the highest so far this year.

It said the storm was strengthening and was likely to hit between the coastal cities of Ningbo and Wenzhou late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Authorities said it would bring heavy rains and strong winds for 48 hours.

Shanghai, which has 23 million people and is the country’s financial hub, banned all outdoor group activities, closed all city parks and suspended summer classes. It also stopped all outdoor construction.

The city was evacuating 200,000 people, and the adjoining province of Zhejiang already had evacuated 130,000 people, the official Xinhua News Agency said. It said more than 30,000 ships had been called back to shelter in ports.

China is still recovering from typhoons Damrey and Saola, which hit over the weekend. The flooding and landslides from those storms killed 23 people and left nine missing, Xinhua said Tuesday.


Egyptians bury soldiersslain in border attack

CAIRO — Egypt held a military funeral on Tuesday for 16 soldiers killed in an attack over the weekend by suspected Islamist militants in Sinai near the borders with Gaza and Israel.

The ceremonies were disrupted by hecklers who chanted against Egypt’s new Islamist leaders, who have condemned the attack but may yet face a backlash against their plans to relax restrictions on Gaza border crossings. Gaza is ruled by the Islamist Hamas group.

The military has said that 35 gunmen attacked an Egyptian border post, killing the 16 before commandeering an armored vehicle they later used to try to storm across the border into Israel. It has accused Palestinians from Gaza of aiding the gunmen, by firing mortar shells at a nearby border crossing just as the gunmen were attacking.

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