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The French parliament early on Saturday backed a reform of the country's prostitution law that will impose a 1,500-euro fine on anyone paying for sex. The bill will give France some of the toughest legislation on prostitution in Europe, similar to that of Sweden. Previously, buying and selling sex for money was not illegal in France but the act of soliciting was, as was pimping. Movie stars like Catherine Deneuve, who played a middle-class housewife who chooses to prostitute herself in the 1960s film "Belle de Jour", is one of several dozen celebrities who have signed a petition against the law.
By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has put a diplomatic rift with China over the Dalai Lama behind it and Prime Minister David Cameron has no plans to meet Tibet's spiritual leader again, a senior source in his office said ahead of a visit by the British leader to Beijing. Instead, Cameron will use a three-day visit to China next week, his first since the Dalai Lama rift, to focus on deepening trade ties with the world's second largest economy, taking with him a delegation of around 100 business people. We have turned a page on that issue," said the source when asked whether Cameron would raise the issue of Tibet during his trip. "It's about shifting UK relations up a gear and looking to the future." Foreign trips often pose a public relations problem for the British leader as he has to balance his policy of helping Britain win what he calls the global economic "race" with speaking out about any human rights concerns.
Ahmad Maher, a symbol of the popular uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, turned himself in to the authorities on Saturday after an order for his arrest was made for defying a tough new law restricting demonstrations. The army deposed elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on July 3, following mass protests against his rule, and the country has seen widespread unrest since. On Thursday police arrested activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, also renowned for his role in the anti-Mubarak uprising. Both Abdel Fattah and Maher were issued arrest warrants after they joined demonstrations outside parliament to defy the protest law.
By Abdi Sheikh MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somalia's parliament begun on Saturday debating a no-confidence motion against the prime minister who has fallen out with the president. Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid has said he welcomed parliament's intervention to settle the disagreement with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. Saaid has not disclosed any details of the dispute but legislators say it is over the composition of a new cabinet. ...
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The weekly meetings of Mouthing Off!, a group for students at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, always start the same way. Members take turns going around the room saying their names and the personal pronouns they want others to use when referring to them — she, he or something else.