Nation/World

In brief: Mother of boy killed by sign at airport still unconscious

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – As airport officials tried to figure out how a 300-pound arrival-departure panel fell off the wall and onto a family, the mother of a boy who was killed by the sign lay in a hospital with her own injuries, still unaware of what happened.

Heather Bresette and two of her other sons were seriously hurt when the panel fell Friday at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. She had surgeries for broken ankles and a crushed pelvis over the weekend, but she was still in intensive care and unconscious.

“She does not know that her baby is dead,” said the family’s priest, the Rev. Don Farnan.

The Bresettes, a family of seven, took a weeklong spring break vacation to Destin, Fla., and were about to fly home to Overland Park, Kan., when the flight information panel fell.

Luke Bresette, 10, the middle of five children, was killed. His brother, 5-year-old Tyler, suffered a concussion. His 8-year-old brother, Sam, had a broken leg and nose. Tyler was released from a children’s hospital Sunday; Sam was still there.

The boys’ father, Ryan Bresette, and an older son and daughter were at the airport when the sign fell but not hurt.

Heather Bresette’s condition improved to serious on Sunday, University Hospital spokeswoman Nicole Wyatt said.

After the sign fell, it took six people to lift the large board and a dozen people to hold it up while first responders administered aid. Officials were investigating how the sign fell at the newly renovated airport and took down an identical billboard on Saturday.

Violence breaks out at massive anti-gay marriage protest

PARIS – Paris police used tear gas and batons to fight crowds who pushed their way onto the landmark Champs-Elysees avenue and toward the presidential palace as part of a huge protest against a draft law allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.

Hundreds of thousands of people – conservative activists, schoolchildren with their parents, retirees, priests – converged on the capital Sunday in a last-ditch bid to stop the bill, many bused in from the French provinces.

The violence took protesters and police by surprise, and suggested that the anti-gay marriage protests have become outlets for anger and disappointment in Francois Hollande’s presidency.

The lower house of France’s parliament approved the “marriage for everyone” bill last month with a large majority, and it’s facing a vote in the Senate next month.

The first few hours of the protest were peaceful. But as it was meant to be winding down, about 100 youths tried to push past police barricades onto the Champs-Elysees, a tree-lined avenue that cuts through central Paris and draws throngs of tourists daily. In an indication of the sensitivity of the issue, protesters had been barred from marching on the Champs.

Police officers wrangled with the youths, some with shaven heads and others wearing hoods or masks, and fired tear gas to force them back.



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