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WORLD NEWS BRIEFS

RUSSIA / Man blows himself up at market

A man who apparently was distraught after an argument with his wife blew himself up near a Moscow supermarket, killing himself, ITAR-Tass news agency reported. No other injuries were reported. The wife of the man told police that her husband had quarreled with her about three hours earlier, after which he grabbed a gun and left their home, police spokesman Anatoly Lastovetsky was quoted as saying by ITAR-Tass. There were no indications the act was intended as terrorism. But the explosion initially sparked fears in a city where a suicide bomber killed 37 people last month at Domodedovo airport, the country's busiest.

VATICAN CITY / Pope: Shield women from abortion

Pope Benedict XVI has urged doctors to protect women from the deceptive thought that an abortion might be a solution to social or economic difficulties or health problems. Benedict reaffirmed the Catholic Church's firm opposition to abortion in a speech Saturday to members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Vatican's bioethics advisory board. The pontiff argued that women are often convinced, sometimes by their own doctors, that abortion is a legitimate choice and in some cases even a therapeutic act to prevent their babies from suffering.

EGYPT / Panel: Open up presidential race

A constitutional reform panel on Saturday recommended opening Egypt's presidential elections to competition and imposing a two-term limit on future presidents - a dramatic shift from a system that allowed the ousted Hosni Mubarak to rule for three decades. The changes are among 10 proposed constitutional amendments that are to be put to a popular referendum. The proposals appeared to address many of the demands of the reform movement that help lead the 18-day popular uprising that forced Mubarak to step down on Feb. 11. But some Egyptians worry that the proposed changes don't go far enough and could allow the old guard to maintain its grip on power.

BELGIUM / Boy, gay parents reunited

A baby trapped more than two years in Ukraine by bureaucratic hurdles has arrived in Brussels with his parents, a pair of legally married Belgian men. Samuel Ghilain, now 2 years and 3 months, arrived with his parents, Peter Meurrens and Laurent Ghilain, about 10 p.m. local time Saturday. Samuel was born to a surrogate mother in Ukraine in November 2008, after which Meurrens and Ghilain saw him several times. The hurdles persisted until this week when the Belgian Foreign Ministry, following a court decision, issued Samuel a passport.

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