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story.lead_photo.caption Patients suffering from cholera symptoms wait at a hospital in Harare on Tuesday. A cholera emergency has been declared in Zimbabwe’s capital after 21 people died.

Cholera-hit Zimbabwe city bans crowds

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwean police said Wednesday that "public gatherings" will be banned in Harare to curb a cholera outbreak that has killed 21 people.

Police spokesman Charity Charamba said in a statement Wednesday that the ban aims to alleviate "the continuous spread" of cholera in the capital, where the government has declared an emergency.

Zimbabwean law broadly defines a public gathering as "a public meeting or a public demonstration."

Health Minister Obadiah Moyo said Wednesday that the number of infections has risen to 3,067, up from just over 2,000 that were reported Tuesday.

Recent deaths include a school headmaster and two schoolchildren in Glen View, a poor suburb that has been identified as one of the epicenters of the outbreak. Moyo said a school in the suburb has been closed.

More than 4,000 people died in a cholera outbreak at the height of the southern African country's economic problems in 2008. Since then, water and sanitation infrastructure has been collapsing.

The government has adequate stocks of medicine and is taking steps "to ensure that we do not go back to the 2008 situation," Moyo said.

68 Afghan protesters die in suicide blast

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The death toll in a suicide bombing among people protesting a police commander in eastern Afghanistan has risen to 68, up from 32, provincial officials said Wednesday.

Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, said 165 others were wounded in the attack a day earlier.

The bombing happened when a group from the district of Achin went to Momandara district to block the main highway between the capital, Jalalabad, and the Torkham border with Pakistan.

The Taliban denied any involvement. No other group immediately claimed responsibility.

A local affiliate of the Islamic State group has emerged in recent years and carried out brazen and increasingly deadly attacks, most often targeting civilians and the country's minority Shiite Muslims, who it views as apostates. The Taliban and the Islamic State affiliate are enemies and have attacked each other's forces.

Missile strike shuts down Libya airport

BENGHAZI, Libya -- Missiles were fired at Libya's capital, Tripoli, including the city's only functioning airport, forcing authorities to divert flights to another airport to the south, government and airport officials said Wednesday, less than a week after the U.N. brokered a cease-fire among rival armed groups.

The source of Tuesday's missile attack was unclear and there were no casualties reported, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief journalists.

Mitiga International Airport posted on its Facebook page late Tuesday that the airport was closed and all flights were being diverted to Misrata International Airport.

Pilots were called Tuesday night to fly planes out of Tripoli to Misrata so they would not be hit, said one official.

"This was the only option to make sure they were not destroyed after the missiles landed on the airport grounds," he said.

Also Wednesday, the U.N. envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, met with the head of the U.N.-backed government, Fayez Sarraj, and military commanders in the western town of Zawiya to discuss a "Tripoli security arrangement," according to the U.N. mission in Libya.

Salame was set to meet with diplomatic missions and ambassadors to Libya later Wednesday to "discuss the latest cease-fire violations and those behind them."

Marriage measure advances in Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania -- Romanian senators approved a measure that aims to pave the way for the constitution to be changed to explicitly state that marriage is a union of a man and a woman.

Senators on Tuesday voted 107-13 with seven abstentions to allow a referendum that could change the constitution, which currently states that marriage is a union between "spouses." The vote comes after Parliament's Chamber of Deputies last year overwhelmingly approved the same measure.

The vote comes after 3 million Romanians signed a petition demanding that the constitution be changed to redefine marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Social Democrat chairman Liviu Dragnea has indicated Romania will hold a referendum on the issue in October.

A senator for the ruling Social Democratic Party, Serban Nicolae, said the vote was on religious grounds: "we've been a Christian nation for 2,000 years."

Accept, a Romanian group that fights for equality for same-sex couples, condemned the vote, accusing the Senate of "raising homophobia to state value and sacrificing constitutional protection for many families."

A girl takes part in a protest Tuesday against proposed changes to the constitution that would prevent future recognition of samesex marriages in Bucharest, Romania.

A Section on 09/13/2018

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