Briefs, January 13, 2013

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 January, 2013, 5:47am

Porn producer sues over condom rule

LOS ANGELES - A top adult film producer has sued Los Angeles County over a voter-approved measure requiring porn actors to wear condoms, saying the law infringes on their First Amendment rights and was driving the industry out of southern California. Vivid Entertainment claims the mandate is both an unconstitutional prior restraint on freedom of expression and a financial burden that studios could not bear. Reuters


Now that's a classy way to run away from home

ROME - A 13-year-old boy ran away from his adoptive parents in Italy, taking his father's Mercedes and driving 1,000 kilometres towards his native Poland before being stopped in Germany. The boy - a go-kart enthusiast - managed to pass motorway toll booths and cross two international borders in his two-day drive across northern Italy, Austria and half of Germany. The boy was said to miss Poland and wanted to see his biological sister. AFP


Firefighters battle scores of blazes

SYDNEY - Firefighters were battling scores of fires raging in Australia, as the record-breaking heatwave continued. In the eastern state of New South Wales, 1,000 firefighters were attempting to douse 94 wildfires, about a dozen uncontained, while fires were also burning in Victoria and Queensland states. And in the southern island state of Tasmania, known for its cooler temperatures, residents were returning to the burnt-out homes they fled a week ago when flames raced through villages on the Tasman peninsula. The bushfires, have flared during extreme summer temperatures that have topped 45 degrees Celsius. AFP


Violence rages on over N Ireland flag furore

CARRICKFERGUS - Police in Northern Ireland fired plastic bullets and water cannon as pro-British loyalists furious over restrictions on flying the British flag torched a bus and hurled petrol bombs at officers. Violence also flared in towns outside Belfast as loyalists - the Protestant community's working-class hardcore - blocked roads around the province to express their anger. Northern Ireland has been swept with a wave of sometimes violent protests since December 3, when Belfast City Council voted to restrict the number of days the British flag is flown at City Hall to 18 a year. AFP


Greeks face another round of tax grief

ATHENS - Greece's parliament approved a new tax bill, part of the latest batch of fiscal reforms tied to the country's next slice of EU loans. The legislation, criticised by the opposition as another serious blow to middle-class incomes in the midst of a recession, was supported by 162 deputies from the governing three-party coalition in a vote held after midnight in the 300-strong parliament. AFP