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The ruling in the northeastern state of Queensland stunned hotel and motel owners, who thought they had a right to decide what sort of businesses would operate from their premises.

The prostitute, identified as G.K., had taken her discrimination case against the Drovers Rest Motel in the coal-mining town of Moranbah to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal after management refused to rent her a room.

The 31/2-star motel’s lawyer, David Edwards, said Wednesday that the court notified him this week that it had upheld the prostitute’s claim of discrimination. Mr. Edwards confirmed that she is seeking damages, which the newspaper the Australian reported to be $32,000.

The tribunal’s reasons for its decision have not yet been made public. Prostitution is legal in Queensland, and discrimination based on lawful sexual activity is outlawed.


Ukraine adopts Russian-language bill

KIEV — Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed legislation that will allow officials in Russian-speaking regions of the country to use the language while speaking at public events and in documents.

Opponents say the law could upset Ukraine’s fragile linguistic balance by upgrading Russian and removing incentives for millions of Russian-speaking Ukrainians to learn and speak Ukrainian.

Critics fear the law will push Ukraine closer to Russia and away from the West, and they call the law a cheap ploy by Mr. Yanukovych to win votes in the Russian-speaking east ahead of October’s parliamentary election.


Belarus tells Sweden to close embassy

STOCKHOLM — Belarus on Wednesday ordered Sweden to close its embassy in Minsk by the end of the month, a move that came just days after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko effectively expelled the Swedish ambassador.

The dispute is the latest in a series of diplomatic spats between Belarus and Western nations, especially nations of the European Union that have taken steps against the ex-Soviet country and its longtime autocratic leader over the stifling of human rights.

EU spokesman Sebastien Brabant reiterated the 27-member bloc’s “grave concern” about the earlier decision to bar Swedish Ambassador Stefan Eriksson and said it is “urgently seeking clarification” over Minsk’s latest move.

Sweden said Belarus expelled Mr. Eriksson earlier this month because he had met with the country’s opposition and because Sweden had provided a university in Belarus with books containing material about human rights issues. Belarus said it merely chose not to extend the envoy’s accreditation but added that his activities were aimed at the “destruction” of Belarusian-Swedish relations.

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