LGBT groups blocked from UN meeting
UNITED NATIONS • A group of 51 Muslim states has blocked 11 gay and transgender organisations from attending a high-level meeting at the United Nations next month on ending Aids, sparking a protest by the United States, Canada and the European Union.
Egypt wrote to the president of the 193-member General Assembly on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to object to the participation of the 11 groups. It did not give a reason in the letter.
Cuban migrants stuck at Panama border
BOGOTA • Some 250 people, mostly Cubans who entered Colombia illegally, are stranded near Panama, which has shut its border crossings in an attempt to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants, the authorities said.
Thousands of Cubans are leaving their island, typically by flying to Ecuador or other countries in South America to make a long overland trek through Central America and Mexico to try to get to the United States.
France crippled by rail, port workers' strikes
PARIS • Strikes by French railway and port workers halved train services and prompted the cancellation of ferry links to Britain yesterday as labour unions sought to force President Francois Hollande's government into retreat on labour law reforms.
After weeks of protests in which hundreds of their people have been hurt, police also held a rally of their own to vent frustration over the stresses of near-daily clashes with violent youths on the fringes of the anti-reform movement.
The rail strikes are set to run until tomorrow morning.