Mexico court upholds same-sex marriages

MEXICO CITY — Mexico's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a law allowing same-sex marriages in Mexico City is constitutional, rejecting an appeal by federal prosecutors who argued it violated the charter's guarantees to protect the family.

The justices' 8-2 ruling handed a legal victory to hundreds of same-sex couples who have been married in Mexico's capital since the landmark law took effect March 4. When approved last December , it was the first law in Latin America explicitly giving gay marriages the same status as heterosexual ones, including adoption.

South Korea begins naval maneuvers

ABOARD THE ROK DOKDO — South Korean troops fired artillery and dropped sonar buoys into the Yellow Sea as naval drills kicked off near the spot where a warship sank four months ago.

Some 4,500 South Korean troops aboard more than 20 ships and submarines as well as about 50 aircraft were mobilized Thursday to take part in the five days of naval exercises off the west coast.

Banned gambler can't collect his winnings

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A man who won $44,000 playing poker at an Auckland casino was refused the jackpot because he had banned himself from the premises for gambling too much.

Sothea Sinn, 28, won the prize at Auckland's Skycity Casino on Wednesday but casino staff refused to pay, saying he was banned at his own request.

Sinn said that in 2004 he demanded the casino ban him and his girlfriend because he was gambling too much. He said he thought the ban had expired, but casino staff said he had agreed to undergo counseling before readmission and had not done so.