Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Digest

Article excerpt

German is beaten after gay rights conference

A German man who took part in a gay rights conference suffered life-threatening brain injuries when he was severely beaten in downtown Belgrade, Serbia, on Saturday, police and gay activists said.

The identity of the 27-year-old man had not been released.

Jovanka Todorovic, from the Labris gay and lesbian group, said that the man was attacked early morning by a group of young men who beat him with a glass ashtray and shouted: "We don't want foreigners in Belgrade!"

Doctors at Belgrade's emergency hospital said the man suffered internal bleeding and head injuries.

Serbia, which has a long history of attacks by far-right groups against gay activists, has repeatedly pledged to protect human rights as it seeks European Union membership.

Iraq takes steps to protect civilians * Iraq's new prime minister said Saturday that his nation's warplanes would no longer attack areas where civilians are present, a step meant to ease tension between the Shiite Muslim-dominated central government and the Sunni Muslim minority.

"I have ordered the Iraqi air force to halt shelling of civilian areas even in those towns controlled by ISIS," Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on his official Twitter account, using a common acronym for the extremist Islamic State group.

The Iraqi government is waging a wide-scale military campaign against the al-Qaida breakaway faction, which has overrun large parts of Iraqi territory. The campaign has included airstrikes and artillery bombardment targeting largely Sunni zones under Islamic State control, including the cities of Tikrit, Fallujah and Mosul.

Human rights groups and Sunni leaders have said scores of civilians have been killed and others injured in the assaults.

Floods force evacuations in Balkans * Croatian authorities say about 2,000 people need to be evacuated from fresh floods that have hit the Balkans. …

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