Share this article

print logo

AROUND THE WORLD

> FRANCE

Hollande, Sarkozy both seek far-right vote

HIRSON, France (AP) -- Francois Hollande reached out Tuesday to millions of supporters of a far-right candidate who have become pivotal in France's presidential race, insisting he hears their "anxiety" and "anger" over high joblessness amid bleak economic prospects in many parts of Europe.

Hollande, 57, a Socialist, is leading conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy in polls for the May 6 election finale that will determine the next leader of a nuclear-armed nation at the heart of the European Union.

Both are seeking the support of the 6.4 million people -- many working-class and rural -- who voted for anti-immigration candidate Marine Le Pen in Sunday's first-round vote.

-----

> SYRIA

Troops shell suburb; no weapon withdrawal

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian troops heavily shelled a suburb of the capital Tuesday as satellite imagery showed that Syria has failed to withdraw all of its heavy weapons from populated areas as required by a cease-fire deal, an official said.

The shelling came hours after rebels seeking to topple President Bashar Assad killed three regime officers in separate attacks around Damascus, activists and state media said, the latest violence targeting the security forces used by the government to quash dissent.

A bomb hidden in an army truck also exploded in the capital, wounding several people.

The persistent bloodshed has tarnished efforts by a U.N. team of observers to salvage a truce that started to unravel almost as soon as it began on April 12.

-----

> BRAZIL

U.S. Marines punished for injuring prostitute

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -- Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Tuesday three Marines on a U.S. Embassy security team and one embassy staff member were punished for allegedly pushing a prostitute out of a car in Brasilia late last year after a dispute over payment.

The incident is similar, but unrelated, to the recent scandal involving Secret Service agents at the Summit of Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, before President Obama arrived.

Panetta said the Marines were pulled out Brazil and their ranks were reduced. He said he had "no tolerance for that kind of conduct."

"Where it takes place you can be sure that we will act to make sure that they are punished and that that kind of behavior is not acceptable," he said.

A senior defense official said the woman broke her collarbone when she was pushed from the car in late December; the embassy tracked her down and paid for her medical expenses. But in the wake of the Cartagena scandal, she has hired an attorney and is suing the embassy.