KABUL, Afghanistan

Taliban’s upcoming surge won’t face NATO opposition

The Taliban said Wednesday their spring offensive will begin this week, the first time the insurgents’ annual campaign against the Afghan government will take place without NATO troops on the battlefield.

In past years, spring and the melting of snow on the mountains along the border with Pakistan marked an upsurge in the fighting between the Taliban and NATO forces along with their local allies. This spring, the insurgents will face just Afghan forces after the withdrawal of most international combat troops at the end of last year.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark

Bestiality now punishable by fines, prison sentence

By 91-75 vote, Danish lawmakers have outlawed bestiality, putting the small Scandinavian country in line with several European neighbors, including Germany, Sweden and Norway.

As of July 1, a person found guilty of having had sexual relations with an animal faces fines or prison terms.

SANTIAGO, Chile

Southern region evacuated after volcano finally erupts

The Calbuco volcano erupted for the first time in over 42 years, billowing an ash cloud over a sparsely populated, mountainous area in southern Chile.

Authorities ordered the evacuation of the 1,500 inhabitants of the nearby town of Ensenada, along with residents of two smaller communities.

The National Mining and Geology Service issued a high alert, barring access to the area around the volcano, which lies a little more than 620 miles south of Chile’s capital, Santiago.

– From news service reports