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FAST FACT

Nova Scotia became the sixth Canadian province or territory to allow gay marriages when the provincial Supreme Court ruled Friday that banning such unions was unconstitutional. It is also allowed in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and the Yukon territory.

NOTEWORTHY

Autonomy proposed for Sudan region

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees proposed autonomy for the troubled Darfur region of Sudan _ a solution the government has resisted but said Friday it would be willing to discuss anew in an effort to end the violence that has killed 50,000 people. Also, the U.S. State Department's representative for Sudan said it would take up to two years to disarm the Arab militia blamed for the violence and secure the region so 1.4-million displaced people could return home.

THE UNUSUAL

Mystery vandals attack vineyards

Winegrowers in northeast France are puzzled over the mysterious destruction of large swaths of two vineyards in Alsace, a region along the German border known for full-bodied white wines. Saboteurs using long-handled pruning shears destroyed about 2,800 grape vines in the past two weeks by slashing their stems close to the soil, the director of the Alsace Wine Growers Association said Friday. "We don't really know who could have done this, whether it's the work of a lunatic _ or if it's a settling of scores," Jean-Paul Goulby said. "It's very strange."

THE UNUSUAL

Chinese Embassy

China will build a new embassy in Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro, to replace the one destroyed by a cruise missile during NATO's 1999 bombing campaign, Serbian authorities said Friday. The missile strike killed three Chinese and strained relations between Washington and Beijing, which claimed the attack was carried out on purpose. U.S. officials insisted it was an accident.

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