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Immigration law foes rally in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala.

Immigration law foes rally in Alabama

Hundreds of advocates for immigrants gathered outside Alabama's state Capitol on Saturday to call for the repeal of a controversial law they say harkens back to the state's segregationist past. Protesters waved signs saying "One Family One Alabama" on the statehouse grounds before marching to the governor's mansion. The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the immigration law and GOP Gov. Robert Bentley signed it this year. Parts of the law took effect in late September amid court challenges, but other parts were blocked by federal courts after lawsuits by the Obama administration, immigrant rights groups, religious organizations and others.

SAN FRANCISCO

Volunteers set bell-ringing record

After ringing his hand bell to solicit donations for 51 hours without food or sleep, Salvation Army volunteer Marcelino Soriano had reached his limit Saturday. "My legs are hurting, and I'm feeling a little lightheaded," the 44-year-old said as he rang his bell for the last few times outside a Macy's store in San Francisco's Union Square. He was among 15 Salvation Army volunteers around the nation who broke the charitable organization's 36-hour record for continuous hand bell ringing. That record was set last year by a Salvation Army captain in Spokane, Wash.

JAKARTA, Indonesia

Migrant ship sinks; over 200 missing

Rescuers searched for survivors today after a wooden ship carrying about 250 asylum seekers, many of them from the Middle East, sank off Indonesia's main island of Java. Only 33 people had been rescued, an official said. Lt. Alwi Mudzakir, a maritime police official who was heading the rescue operation, said the passengers were attempting to reach Australia. Police told Indonesia's official Antara news agency that the vessel appeared to have been carrying more than twice its capacity.

ANKARA, Turkey

French genocide bill angers Turkey

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday sharply criticized France for a bill that would make it a crime to deny the World War I-era mass killing of Armenians was genocide, and said France should investigate what he said was its own "dirty and bloody history" in Algeria and Rwanda. Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks as their empire collapsed, an event France recognized as genocide in 2001. Turkey says the toll is inflated, that there were deaths on both sides and that those killed were victims of civil war.

Elsewhere

Caracas, Venezuela: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez paid tribute to 19th century independence leader Simon Bolivar on Saturday by unveiling a new coffin adorned with gold, pearls and diamonds.

Nigeria: Police fired bullets and fired tear gas at people protesting against toll roads on Saturday, injuring at least one person.

Times wires

Immigration law foes rally in Alabama 12/17/11 [Last modified: Saturday, December 17, 2011 10:59pm]

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