Briefs, February 13, 2013

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 February, 2013, 7:53am

French lawmakers vote for gay marriage bill

PARIS - France's lower house of parliament has approved a bill to legalise gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt children. The measure, approved in a 329-to-229 vote yesterday, comes despite an array of demonstrations in recent weeks by opponents of the "marriage for all" bill. Polls show most French support legalising gay marriage, though that backing softens when children come into play. The overall bill now goes to the Senate, which is also controlled by the Socialists and their allies who have pushed for the bill. AP


Police-killings accused changes plea to guilty

LONDON - A British man admitted murdering two policewomen in a gun and grenade attack that shocked the country. In a dramatic change of plea, 29-year-old Dale Cregan told Preston Crown Court in northwest England that he killed unarmed constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, after luring them to a house last September, in Tameside, near the northwestern English city of Manchester. AFP


Italian spies jailed for cleric's abduction

MILAN - A court jailed Italy's former military intelligence chief for 10 years yesterday for the kidnapping of an Egyptian Muslim cleric in an operation organised by the United States. Imam Abu Omar was snatched from a Milan street in 2003 and flown to Egypt for interrogation during the US "war on terror". Appeals court judges sentenced Niccolo Pollari, former head of the Sismi military intelligence agency, to 10 years and jailed his former deputy Marco Mancini for nine years. Reuters


Luxury cruise line adrift in Gulf of Mexico

TEXAS - Fire has left a luxury cruise liner powerless and drifting in the Gulf of Mexico with more than 4,000 people aboard. The operators of the Carnival Triumph said the vessel had drifted so far north of its original position that they planned to tow it to Mobile, Alabama, instead of their original destination of Progreso, Mexico. Carnival Cruise Lines chief executive Gerry Cahill said the ship should arrive in Mobile tomorrow, which would allow for less-complicated re-entry for passengers without passports. The passengers had limited access to toilets, food and hot drinks as they waited for tugs to arrive. AP


'Zombie' news report the work of hackers

GREAT FALLS, Montana - A Montana television station's regular programming was interrupted by news of a zombie apocalypse. The Montana Television Network said hackers broke into the Emergency Alert System of Great Falls affiliate KRTV and its CW station on Monday. KRTV says on its website the hackers broadcast that "dead bodies are rising from their graves" in several Montana counties. The alert claimed the bodies were "attacking the living". AP