Briefly: Bolivia polls natives on jungle highway

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Christine Assange is in Ecuador to meet with officials about her son’s political asylum request. Ecuadorean officials have said they will not announce a decision until after the London Olympics end in mid-August.

The mother told an Ecuadorean TV station that her son is under extreme psychological stress because of his cramped living conditions in the embassy and his inability to exercise.

The activist who published secret U.S. documents took refuge in the embassy on June 19 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about allegations of sexual misconduct.

PUERTO RICO

With record murders,penal code updated

SAN JUAN — An updated penal code signed into law Monday by the Puerto Rican governor increases prison sentences for homicide, assault and other offenses, as the U.S. island territory struggles to contain crime and the widespread perception that violence is out of control.

The new penal code establishes fixed sentences on a range of offenses that are substantially higher than those that have been in place since the last time the laws were updated in 2004, Gov. Luis Fortuno said.

Puerto Rico had a record number of homicides last year and the island has been struggling with rising crime for several years, largely as a result of the island’s role as a transshipment point for South American drugs bound for the U.S. mainland.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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