The World Today

French president legalizes same-sex marriage


PARIS — France will see its first gay weddings within days, after President Francois Hollande signed a law Saturday authorizing marriage and adoption by same-sex couples and ending months of nationwide protests and wrenching debate. ­Hollande’s office said he signed the bill Saturday morning, a day after the Constitutional Council struck down a ­challenge to the law and ruled it in line with France’s ­constitution. Hollande, a ­Socialist, had made legalizing gay marriage one of his campaign pledges last year. While polls for years have shown majority support for gay marriage in France, adoption by same-sex couples is more controversial. (AP)


Gunmen abduct 8 as attacks kill 16

BAGHDAD — A string of attacks killed at least 16 people in Iraq on Saturday, while gunmen abducted eight police officers guarding a post on the country’s main highway to Jordan and Syria, the latest in a wave of violence to grip the country. The shootings and bombings follow three days of attacks that killed 130 people in both Shi’ite and Sunni areas, in scenes ­reminiscent of retaliatory attacks between the two groups that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006 to 2007. The spike in bloodshed in recent weeks has raised fears the country may be heading ­toward a new round of sectarian conflict. (AP)


64 climbers scale Mount Everest

KATMANDU — Mountaineering officials said 64 climbers, including a Saudi Arabian woman, have scaled Mount Everest from Nepal’s side of the mountain. Tilak Padney of ­Nepal’s Mountaineering ­Department said 35 foreigners accompanied by 29 Nepalese Sherpa guides reached the 29,035-foot peak on Saturday morning after climbing all night from the highest camp on South Col. All were reported to be safe. Among them was Raha Moharrak, who became the first Saudi Arabian woman to scale the world’s highest peak. (AP)