Around the world

2013-07-16T00:00:00Z Around the worldFrom Wire Reports From Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
July 16, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Britain

Gay marriage bill clears House of Lords

LONDON - Britain's gay marriage bill has cleared its last major hurdle, passing through the House of Lords and prompting celebrations from campaigners outside Parliament.

Supporters of the bill in Parliament's upper house wore pink carnations Monday as the Lords agreed to send it back to the House of Commons, where lawmakers will review government amendments before it becomes law.

That is expected to go without a hitch, as the House of Commons earlier passed the bill 390 to 148.

The bill will enable gay couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies in England and Wales, though the Church of England, which is divided on the issue, is barred from offering same-sex ceremonies.

Canada

More tests for cause of Monteith's death

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - With no obvious cause of death for "Glee" star Cory Monteith, the British Columbia Coroners Service says it will do further testing to determine how the 31-year-old died.

The autopsy was taking place Monday, but the coroners' service said it could take several days before toxicology test results are in.

Vancouver police have ruled out foul play.

Sgt. Randy Fincham said there's nothing to indicate Monteith's death was due to illicit drug use.

Police said that when Monteith's body was found Saturday in a Vancouver hotel, he had been dead for several hours.

Russia

Putin: Snowden is a dubious present

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday characterized National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden's long stay at a Moscow airport as an unwelcome present foisted on Russia by the United States.

In comments reported by Russian news agencies during a meeting with students, Putin noted that Snowden flew to Moscow on June 23 "without invitation," intending only to transit to another country.

But Putin said the United States intimidated other countries against accepting Snowden, effectively blocking him from flying farther.

Putin rides craft to bottom of sea

MOSCOW - Vladimir Putin's latest media event was modest by the stunt-happy Russian leader's standards - a half-hour trip to the bottom of the Gulf of Finland to see a shipwreck.

Putin on Monday rode a small submersible craft 200 feet down to see the remains of the naval frigate Oleg, which sank in 1869, Russian news reports said.

Spain

PM Rajoy resists resignation demands

MADRID - Spain's prime minister on Monday brushed off demands he should resign after text messages emerged showing him comforting a political party treasurer under investigation over a slush fund and secret Swiss bank accounts. The spectacle of alleged greed and corruption has enraged Spaniards hurting from austerity and sky-high unemployment.

As Mariano Rajoy told reporters he would not step down, former Popular Party treasurer Luis Barcenas testified in Madrid, telling a judge investigating the slush fund allegations that he gave tens of thousands of euros in secret cash payments to Rajoy and party secretary general Maria Delores de Cospedal between 2008 and 2010 while they were key opposition leaders.

Rajoy declined to comment on specifics, while Cospedal slammed Barcenas' declarations as "new slander and lies" from a criminal suspect and said she never received cash from him.

The Associated Press

On StarNet: See more of Vladimir Putin's adventures at azstarnet.com/gallery

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