World briefs: Mandela kin's bodies exhumed exhumed

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JOHANNESBURG -- A squabble between Nelson Mandela's eldest grandson and more than a dozen other family members over the bodies of three of his children intensified Wednesday as police broke down the gates surrounding the burial site to fulfill a judge's order that the bodies be exhumed and returned to a village where the ailing Mr. Mandela himself is to be buried.

Earlier in the day, a judge in the Eastern Cape High Court in Mthatha, near the rural villages where Mr. Mandela was born and raised, ordered the grandson, Mandla Mandela, to return the bodies from the small village of Mvezo, where Nelson Mandela was born, to the nearby village of Qunu, where he was raised and where he has said he wishes to be buried.

Mandla Mandela is not opposed to the bodies' exhumation, his spokesman, Freddy Pelusa, said in a statement after the ruling, but pursued the case only because he thought he had not been treated properly by the court.

Portugal teetering

LISBON, Portugal -- Portugal pitched European financial markets into turmoil Wednesday as the coalition government came close to collapse in a dispute over austerity measures before stepping back from the brink, reminding investors that the eurozone's debt crisis is not over.

The two governing parties found common ground late in the day when the junior coalition party, the Popular Party, agreed to hold urgent talks with the senior Social Democratic Party to resolve their differences and save the government.

Free-trade talk hobbled

BERLIN -- European countries agreed Wednesday that talks on a free-trade deal with the United States should start in parallel with discussions about NSA surveillance -- addressing concerns raised by France.

French President Francois Hollande insisted after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders in Berlin that the trade talks can start only "at the same time, at the same date" as talks with the U.S. on concerns over its intelligence activities.

That raises questions as to whether the launch of the trade talks will go ahead as originally scheduled early next week. France had called earlier Wednesday for a two-week delay.

Putin mayoral foe arrested

MOSCOW -- The popular mayor of Yaroslavl, an anti-corruption activist who is one of the few opposition figures in Russia to hold a major public office, was arrested late Tuesday and charged with bribery and extortion in a case that immediately set off accusations against the Kremlin of political intimidation.

The mayor, Yevgeny Urlashov, scored a stunning landslide victory in April 2012 against a Kremlin-backed candidate and transformed Yaroslavl, a city of 600,000 about 165 miles northeast of Moscow, into a symbol of hope for Russia's political opposition. At the time, the opposition was struggling to sustain its series of big street protests against Vladimir Putin.

Also in the world ...

Iran's president-elect, the moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani, on Wednesday said the Islamic Republic's powerful clergy needs to do more to address the needs of Iranian citizens and regain their trust. ... Belgian King Albert II, 79, announced Wednesday that he will relinquish the throne on July 21, allowing his eldest son, Prince Philippe, 53, to take over as monarch.

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