President stands ground
President Mohammed Morsi refused Thursday to call off a referendum on a disputed constitution that has sparked Egypt’s worst political crisis in two years, drawing chants of “topple the regime!” from protesters who waved their shoes in contempt. The Egyptian leader’s uncompromising stand came a night after thousands of his supporters and opponents fought pitched battles outside his Cairo palace, leaving at least six dead and 700 injured. Speaking in a nationally televised address, Morsi accused some in the opposition of serving remnants of Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian regime and vowed he would never tolerate anyone working for his own overthrow.
Typhoon toll rises to 420
Hard-hit villagers set about rebuilding Thursday even with bodies still lying under the mud following Typhoon Bopha. The death toll rose to at least 420, with most of the victims killed in a steep valley that includes New Bataan, a town crisscrossed by rivers and cleared from lush hillsides by banana, coconut, cocoa and mango farmers in 1968. Flooding was so widespread there that places people thought were safe, including two emergency shelters, became among the deadliest. Nearly 400 people were missing.
Ruling on gay marriage
A unanimous ruling by the Mexican Supreme Court overturning a state law against same-sex marriage has opened the way for the eventual legalization of gay marriage across Mexico, legal experts say. The court ruled unconstitutional a law in southern Oaxaca state that defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. The decision came in favor of three gay couples who sued Oaxaca state on grounds the law violated the principle of equal treatment for all citizens. Still, there won’t be any quick changes. Under Mexican law, two more cases from Oaxaca must be decided in the same way before a precedent is established allowing gay marriage — and only in that state. For each of Mexico’s 30 other states, five separate cases would have to be decided that way to establish precedent for gay marriage.
Compiled from wire reports.