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In brief: Circus performers protest Mexico City ban on animals

Mexico City – More than 1,000 acrobats, clowns and other circus employees marched through downtown Mexico City on Tuesday to protest a new ban on animals in circuses.

There can be no lions or tigers or bears – not even dogs or horses – in circus rings under a law passed without opposition by the city legislature Monday. Penalties include fines ranging from $45,000 to $60,000. Circus performers say the law will leave both animals and humans unemployed.

Holding signs reading “Mexico wants circuses with animals!” and “Circuses love their animals,” ranks of clowns lined up while acrobats performed on truck-drawn trampolines and scantily clad female performers sauntered along in feathered headdresses.

They paraded plastic animal statues on flatbed trucks, to show what the circus would look like without live animals.

Leader orders routes for civilian evacuation

Kiev, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday ordered government security agencies to help civilians escape separatist fighting and relocate to safety, his office announced.

The order to create civilian evacuation routes out of areas where at least 200 people have died in more than two months of fighting coincides with an escalation in the intensity of clashes and what appear to be more concerted efforts by Ukraine’s beleaguered government forces to roll back the gains of the pro-Russia separatists.

Poroshenko, who was inaugurated Saturday, has vowed to end the fighting between government forces and the pro-Russia separatists by the end of this week.

Chinese cult members rounded up after death

Beijing – China has announced the roundup of hundreds of alleged cult members following a deadly attack in which a group of adherents beat a woman to death in a McDonald’s restaurant.

The official Xinhua News Agency said today that slightly more than 1,500 cult members had been detained and prison terms handed out to at least 59. It wasn’t clear when the arrests took place.

Those detained were allegedly members of the Church of Almighty God and the Disciples Sect, groups drawing on an unorthodox reading of Christian Scripture. Six members of the Church of Almighty God are accused of beating a woman to death at a McDonald’s in the eastern city of Zhaoyuan last month after she refused to tell them her phone number as part of a recruitment drive.


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