A federal ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Alabama took effect Monday. But in up to 52 of the state's 67 counties, most judges refused to go through with processing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, the International New York Times reports in its issue Tuesday.

Chief Justice Roy S. Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court ordered Alabama's judges to disobey the legalization. The Times reports that the order escalates "a legal showdown that echoed the battles over desegregation here in the 1960s."

Marriage licenses to same-sex couples were however issued "quickly" in some of the state's largest cities such as Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: The International New York Times is the global edition of The New York Times, which was founded in 1851. The global edition was formerly called the International Herald Tribune, which was originally founded in 1887 as the Paris Herald, the European edition of the New York Herald.

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Geopolitics

The New Iraq, Signs Of Hope Amid The Rubble And Reconstruction

How do you rebuild a country decimated by four decades of war and embargoes? Following the withdrawal of the U.S. military, Iraq faces many challenges, from oil revenues captured by the militias and endemic corruption to religious segregation. However, there are glimmers of hope for the country's future.

Street scene in Erbil, Iraq

Théophile Simon

BAGHDAD — With a vast office located at the top of a tower fiercely guarded by the army and a bell to call the staff, Khalid Hamza Abbas is obviously a powerful character, decked out in an impeccable suit. Abbas runs the Basra Oil Company (BOC), the national company responsible for the exploitation of the oil fields in the province of Basra, in the very south of Iraq, from which four million barrels of crude oil flow daily. It’s the equivalent of 4% of world demand and 65% of central government revenue concentrated in a region of only four million inhabitants.

As he explains the profit-sharing scheme between the world’s major oil companies and his public enterprise, the 50-year-old with thin glasses is suddenly stopped dead in his tracks by the ringing of his telephone. He tries a joke to mask his suddenly worried face: "I'm going to ask you to leave my office for a few moments. If I haven't called you back in 10 minutes, call the police."

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