- - Thursday, June 7, 2012

CAIRO — Egypt’s political parties agreed Thursday on the formation of a commission tasked with drafting a new constitution, capping a row that lasted nearly three months, officials said.

The agreement was struck at a meeting between representatives of the political parties, including Islamists who dominate parliament, and Egypt’s military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the sources said.

At the end of the meeting Marshal Tantawi called for a joint meeting of the lower and upper houses of parliament to take place Tuesday to elect the 100 members who will sit on the constitutional panel.

According to delegates who attended the meeting, it was agreed that 39 seats will be allocated to representatives of the political parties within the People’s Assembly, or lower house of parliament.


Parliament approves gay weddings in church

COPENHAGEN — Denmark's Parliament has approved a law allowing same-sex couples to get married in formal church weddings instead of the short blessing ceremonies that the state’s Lutheran Church currently offers.

Lawmakers voted 85-24 on Thursday to change Denmark’s marriage laws.

The law takes effect June 15, and will put Denmark on par with Iceland and Sweden that allow full wedding ceremonies for homosexual couples.

In 1989, Denmark became the first country to allow the registration of gay partnerships. Since 1997, gay couples in Denmark can be wed in a special blessing ceremony at the end of a regular church service.


U.S. puts sanctions on family of most-wanted man

MEXICO CITY — The U.S. Treasury Department announced Thursday that it is placing financial sanctions on a wife and son of Mexico’s most-wanted man, Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

The department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said that it had designated Maria Alejandrina Salazar Hernandez and Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, 26, under the U.S. Kingpin Act, which bars U.S. citizens from dealing with them and allows authorities to freeze their assets in the U.S.

Guzman escaped prison in 2001 and has evaded authorities ever since, moving from hideout to hideout as he directs the operations of his powerful cartel.

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