MEXICO

Biden reassures officials

Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that some U.S. campaign rhetoric about Mexico and immigrants has been “dangerous, damaging and incredibly ill-advised” and is out of step with most Americans’ attitudes. Speaking in Mexico City at Cabinet-level talks on boosting economic and commercial ties with one of the United States’ top trading partners, Biden reassured Mexican officials that such talk does not reflect the countries’ bilateral relations. Without naming names, Biden was critical of Republican candidates, and stated ‘‘they do not represent the view of the vast majority of the American people.”

IRAQ

Bombers kill 15 people

Suicide bombers hit a Shiite religious building and a military checkpoint in a Shiite-majority neighborhood of Baghdad Thursday, killing 15 people, an Iraqi security official said. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks, which took place in Baghdad’s Shula district. In one attack, a bomber detonated an explosive belt among people leaving a Shiite place of worship, killing 10 and wounding 34, Brig. Gen. Saad Maan said. Another bomber hit the checkpoint at the entrance to Shula, killing five people — three of them soldiers — and wounding 14.

ITALY

Civil unions to be recognized

Italy’s Senate voted Thursday to grant legal recognition to civil unions, as the last holdout in Western Europe took a compromise step to give some rights to gay couples after a bitter, years-long debate. Premier Matteo Renzi described the passage of the bill Thursday as “historic.” But gay and lesbian groups denounced the watered-down legislation as a betrayal because Renzi’s Democratic Party sacrificed a provision to allow gay adoption in order to ensure passage.

New uniform for gondoliers

The gondoliers who have been plying Venice’s canals for centuries now have an official uniform adorned with a logo of authentication. While tradition and city code have for centuries mandated a striped shirt, dark trousers and straw cap, one of the new gondoliers association’s first acts was to award an exclusive license to Venetian clothier Emilio Ceccato to unify the gondoliers and raise money for new Grand Canal crossings. Ceccato turned over the first royalty check on Thursday.

Compiled from wire reports