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Speaker Rebecca Kadaga told The Associated Press that the bill, which originally mandated death for some gay acts, will become law this year.

Ugandans “are demanding it,” she said, reiterating a promise she made before a meeting Friday of anti-gay activists who spoke of “the serious threat” posed by homosexuals to Uganda’s children.

Some Christian clerics at the meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, asked the speaker to pass the law as “a Christmas gift.”

The anti-gay activists paraded in front of Ms. Kadaga, with parents and schoolchildren holding up signs saying homosexuality is “an abomination.”

The speaker then promised to consider the bill within two weeks, declaring that “the power is in our hands.”

Uganda’s penal code criminalizes homosexuality, but in 2009, a lawmaker with the ruling party said a stronger law was needed to protect Uganda’s children from homosexuals.

Parliamentarian David Bahati charged at the time that homosexuals from the West were “recruiting” poor children into gay lifestyles with promises of money and a better life.

Somalia

Parliament approves smaller Cabinet

MOGADISHU | In a sign Somalia’s government may be willing to move away from its corrupt past, the parliament on Tuesday approved a smaller, 10-member Cabinet in a vote that serves as an important victory for the country’s new prime minister.

Parliamentary speaker Mohmed Sheik Osman Jawari said 219 parliamentarians endorsed the Cabinet in a vote Tuesday. Three voted against and three abstained. The Cabinet, formed by Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, is expected to be sworn in next week.

The naming of the smaller Cabinet is the latest change undergone by the government this year.

A new interim constitution has been passed, a new parliament has been seated, and a new president has been voted in.

The U.N. representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, hailed the naming of two female ministers: the minister of foreign affairs, who also serves as deputy prime minister, and the minister of development and social services.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports