- - Tuesday, December 11, 2012

JOHANNESBURG — Military doctors are treating former President Nelson Mandela for a recurring lung infection, an ailment the 94-year-old remains susceptible to because of his age and his 27 years in prison.

Government officials acknowledged for the first time Tuesday that the illness forced soldiers to admit Mr. Mandela to a military hospital on Saturday, though they said anti-apartheid leader was responding to treatment.

Mr. Mandela fought off a similar infection in 2011 and once contracted tuberculosis while imprisoned.

Medical specialists say respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia striking a man his age are a serious matter that require care and monitoring.

CHINA

Eighth Tibetan child self-immolates, activists say

BEIJING — A teenage girl set herself on fire on the grasslands of an ethnic Tibetan region in western China, becoming the eighth child to self-immolate to protest Chinese rule over the region, rights groups said.

Wangchen Kyi, 17, self-immolated and died in China’s western Qinghai province Sunday evening after calling for the long life of the Tibetan people and their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, according to the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet.

The group cited reports from exiled Tibetans in contact with people in the area.

Activists say more than 90 people have set themselves on fire in Tibetan areas since February 2009, with an upsurge in recent weeks. The vast majority have been in their late teens and 20s.

Activists say the self-immolations show growing desperation over what the protesters see as the marginalization of Tibetan culture and religion under heavy-handed Chinese rule.

China maintains it protects Tibetans’ rights and that the region has enjoyed “leapfrog” economic development in recent decades.

GREAT BRITAIN

Legislation prepared for same-sex marriage

LONDON — The British government announced Tuesday that it will introduce a bill next year that would legalize gay marriage but ban the Church of England from conducting same-sex ceremonies.

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