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AROUND THE WORLD

Bar group supports birthright citizenship

TORONTO (AP) -- The American Bar Association passed a resolution Tuesday urging the U.S. Congress to reject any changes to the Constitution that would eliminate automatic citizenship for anyone born in the United States.

About 400 members of the lawyers group, at its annual meeting here, passed the resolution in a voice vote.

Some Republican lawmakers have called for legislation to repeal birthright citizenship and have proposed a constitutional amendment.

Outgoing American Bar Association President Stephen Zack, the first ABA president of Hispanic origin, said in an interview that racism is underlying the call to change the Constitution. He said the Constitution must be respected.

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U.S. envoy attends Nagasaki memorial

TOKYO (AP) -- The United States on Tuesday sent a representative for the first time to the annual memorial service for victims of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Nagasaki, one of two such attacks that led Japan to surrender in World War II.

The Aug. 9, 1945, bombing of Nagasaki killed about 80,000 people. Three days earlier, the U.S. had dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing up to 140,000.

U.S. Charge d'Affaires James P. Zumwalt joined Nagasaki's residents and mayor in observing a moment of silence at 11:02 a.m. -- the moment the bomb dropped on the city. Six days later Japan surrendered.

Zumwalt said President Obama hoped to work with Japan toward his goal "of realizing a world without nuclear weapons" -- a commitment Japan has made repeatedly since the war.

Obama last year sent Ambassador John Roos to the 65th anniversary of the bombing in Hiroshima, according to the U.S. Embassy in Japan.

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President proposes law favoring civil unions

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Chile's conservative president proposed civil unions legislation Tuesday that would give unmarried partners many of the rights now enjoyed only by married couples in the South American nation.

Gays and lesbians lauded Sebastian Pinera's signature on the proposal that he is sending to Congress as a big step toward equality.

But the leaders of Pinera's center-right coalition were so upset that they refused to attend the signing ceremony.

Pinera insists the initiative doesn't change the concept of marriage in Chile, which only recognizes marriages between a man and a woman. But all couples "deserve respect, dignity and the support of state," he said.

If the bill is approved by both houses of congress, then couples who sign "agreements to life as a couple" before a notary or at the civil registry would be able to resolve legal problems with inheritances, social welfare issues and health care benefits.