May 10, 2012 in Nation/World

In brief: New coalition talks fall apart in Greece


Athens, Greece – A second round of talks to form a coalition government collapsed Wednesday, with Greece’s future in the euro and commitment to its international bailout deal in the balance and the specter of new elections looming ever larger.

Sunday’s election threw the country’s political scene into turmoil after voters angered by years of Europe’s harshest austerity program hammered mainstream politicians, but left no party with enough seats in Parliament to govern alone.

Alexis Tsipras, head of the runner-up Radical Left Coalition, or Syriza, met with heads of parties across the political spectrum as he tried and failed to win support for Greece’s first left-wing-led government in four decades of democratic rule.

“We saw that our proposal enjoys broad social support, but weak parliamentary backing,” Tsipras, 38, told a meeting of party lawmakers. “We can’t make our dream come true, and form a left-wing government.”

Gender rights law passes in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina – Adults who want sex-change surgery or hormone therapy in Argentina will be able to get it as part of their public or private health care plans under a gender rights law approved Wednesday.

The measure also gives people the right to specify how their gender is listed at the civil registry when their physical characteristics don’t match how they see themselves.

Senators approved the Gender Identity law by a vote of 55-0.

President Cristina Fernandez threw her support behind the law and is expected to sign it. She has often said how proud she is that Argentina became Latin America’s first nation to legalize gay marriage two years ago.

For many, gender rights were the next step.

Any adult will now be able to officially change his or her gender, image and birth name without having to get approval from doctors or judges – and without having to undergo physical changes beforehand, as many U.S. jurisdictions require.

Severed heads found in tourist area

Mexico City – Police found 18 dismembered and beheaded bodies inside two vans in an area frequented by tourists near the city of Guadalajara in western Mexico, authorities said Wednesday.

Jalisco state Prosecutor Tomas Coronado said earlier police found 15 severed human heads in the vans a few miles from Lake Chapala and his office confirmed later that three more heads had been found along with the other body parts.

Coronado said authorities received a phone call alerting them to the presence of two minivans on a dirt access road near Lake Chapala, which is popular with tourists and American retirees.

The area has been the scene of bloody turf battles between the Jalisco New Generation gang, allied with the Sinaloa cartel, and the Zetas drug cartel.

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