India

Rape of 7-year-old protested

Hundreds of people on Saturday blocked streets and shut down businesses in parts of central India to protest the rape of a 7-year-old girl. The protesters demanded the death penalty for two suspects arrested on suspicion of raping the girl and trying to slit her throat with a knife on Tuesday in Mandsaur, a town in Madhya Pradesh state. The girl was allegedly abducted while waiting to be picked up from school by her parents. She is in a stable condition in a hospital, police officer Manoj Kumar Singh said. Crimes against women in India have been rising despite tougher laws. India has been shaken by a series of sexual assaults since 2012, when a college student was gang-raped and killed on a moving bus in New Delhi.

Syria

U.N.: 160,000 displaced

More than 160,000 people have fled their homes in a Syrian government assault in the country’s southwest, the United Nations said, as negotiations for rebel capitulation in the region and to avoid clashes that could embroil Jordan and Israel broke down Saturday. Calling on the same playbook it used to subdue other rebel enclaves, the Syrian government and its Russian backers have made quick gains in the southwestern province of Deraa.

Mexico

Voters welcome quiet

Mexicans indulged Saturday in a much-needed break from the political propaganda that has engulfed them for months leading up to elections that could usher in big changes. Mexican law dictates that candidates and parties must cease their campaign activities three days before elections so that voters can reflect on their options. Mexicans will cast votes on Sunday for posts at every level of government, including the presidency. Authorities in Mexico City said that as of Saturday they had removed over 10 tons of roadside propaganda.

Britain

Health service cuts costs

Britain’s National Health Service has proposed cutting back on operations including breast reductions and anti-snoring treatments as part of plans to save money and reduce “unnecessary or risky procedures.” National Medical Director Stephen Powis said the health agency could save an estimated $264 million a year by tightening the criteria for treatments where the risks could outweigh the benefits. The list of 17 treatments under consideration to be halted or reduced includes tonsil removals and procedures for carpal tunnel, hemorrhoids and varicose veins.

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires