NEW ZEALAND: MPs voted overwhelmingly for a Bill legalising same-sex marriage today, virtually assuring it becomes law.
MPs supported the Bill 77 to 44 in the crucial second vote. The third vote, which could be taken as early as next month, is largely a formality.
Civil partnerships are already open to gay New Zealanders.
SPAIN: Unions have called off a planned third round of strikes at airline Iberia after a compromise deal on layoffs today.
Most of the unions at Iberia accepted a mediator's proposal reducing the number of redundancies by 666 to 3,141.
The latest four-day strike was due to begin on Monday.
INDIA: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today that Italy's failure to send back two marines accused of murdering two fishermen in Kerala was "unacceptable."
Italy had previously promised to return the men who shot dead the fishermen in February 2012, saying they mistook them for pirates.
BAHRAIN: Six people have been arrested over the last few days for allegedly defaming the king on Twitter, prosecutors said today.
Dozens have faced charges for greater political rights for messages on social media.
SUDAN: Amnesty called for an immediate halt to amputations today after Deputy Chief Justice Abdul Rahman Sharfi threatened to train judges to carry out the punishment which breaches international law.
Mr Shafri also threatened to prosecute doctors who refuse to carry out amputations, saying 16 have been done since 2001.
Amnesty Africa director Netsanet Belay said: "This cruel and inhuman treatment, which is banned under international law, needs to be abolished immediately."
ZIMBABWE: Scores of independent observers have vowed to boycott monitoring a referendum on the new constitution unless the government stops harassing and banning their colleagues.
At least four rights and observations groups have been raided by police looking for subversive materials.
The Crisis Coalition said none of the activists have been found guilty in a competent court of law.
SYRIA: EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton paid tribute today to an official killed in a rocket attack in Damascus.
EU policy officer Ahmad Shihadeh was killed on Tuesday while providing humanitarian help.
The UN reiterated calls today for foreign governments to unlock funds to help more than a million refugees who have fled the conflict.
AFGHANISTAN: A suicide bomber blew himself up today, killing seven people as they finished watching a game of traditional sport buzkashi.
Among the dead were four relatives of parliament speaker Abdul Raouf Ibrahimi.
Buzkashi is akin to polo, but players on horseback use a headless goat carcass instead of a ball.
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