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In brief: Reporter held for months released

Tehran, Iran – Iran released a foreign Newsweek reporter on bail Saturday almost four months after he was arrested following the country’s disputed presidential election.

Maziar Bahari, a dual Iranian-Canadian citizen who was released after posting bail of $300,000, is among more than 100 prisoners put on mass trial as part of the government’s attempts to silence opposition protests that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s June 12 re-election was fraudulent.

The opposition has called the trial a “ridiculous show” and has said that confessions by defendants were obtained under duress.

Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency reported Bahari’s release. The report did not give a reason for the release, but Bahari’s wife in London, who is having a difficult pregnancy, has pleaded for his freedom.

Thousands protest abortion proposal

Madrid, Spain – A huge crowd rallied in Madrid Saturday against a bill to ease restrictions on abortion – an emotional show of how the issue remains sensitive two decades after abortion was legalized in this traditionally Roman Catholic country.

The crowd of at least tens of thousands of people waved banners, balloons and Spanish flags as it marched down a major boulevard with the slogan “Every Life Matters.”

The protest was called to denounce a bill sponsored by the Socialist government that would allow unrestricted abortion at up to 14 weeks of pregnancy and let girls aged 16 and 17 have abortions without parental consent.