Argentina: Gay-rights measure

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina on Monday announced its first nationwide gay-rights measure: granting same-sex couples the right to claim their deceased partners' pensions.

Couples must prove they have been living together for at least five years to receive the benefit, Amado Boudo, executive director of the national social security administration, told local television reporters.

Brazil: Picasso print found

SAO PAULO — Brazilian police said Monday they found a stolen Picasso print, the last of four artworks to be recovered following a museum heist in June.

Picasso's "Minotaur, Drinker and Women" was found wrapped in paper in a wooded area on the side of a highway near Sao Paulo, where it had apparently been abandoned by the thieves, said police inspector Aldo Galeano.

China: Bible standoff ends

BEIJING — A group of American Christians who had more than 300 Bibles confiscated by Chinese customs officials left the airport Monday after a 26-hour standoff, saying they realized officials would not change their stance.

Members of Vision Beyond Borders, who arrived in the southwestern city of Kunming on Sunday while the Olympic Games were being staged in Beijing, had previously said they would not leave the airport until the communist authorities returned the 315 Bibles, taken from their checked luggage.

But the group said Monday that the U.S. Embassy told them the Chinese would abide by a law that forbids bringing religious products into the communist nation for more than personal use.

Iraq: Election workers killed

BAGHDAD — Masked gunmen ambushed a bus carrying election workers in southern Iraq on Monday, killing two of them including an official known for resisting interference by Shiite religious extremists, authorities said.

Also Monday, a suicide car bomber blasted a police checkpoint in the western city of Ramadi, killing seven policemen, an official said.

The two incidents in widely separated parts of the country illustrate the dangers still facing Iraq despite a sharp decline in violence over the past year.

Liberia: Peace Corps returning

MONROVIA — U.S. Peace Corps volunteers will return to Liberia for the first time since civil war broke out in this West African nation nearly two decades ago, U.S. and Liberian officials said Monday.

Liberia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement the two nations signed an agreement to resume the program because of improving security.

Venezuela: No Cemex deal

CARACAS — Venezuela's government said it would seize a cement company owned by Mexico's Cemex SAB Monday night after failing to reach a deal on terms for its nationalization.

Vice President Ramon Carrizalez said that cement producers Lafarge SA of France and Switzerland's Holcim Ltd agreed to nationalization terms for their subsidiaries in Venezuela, and agreed to stay on as minority partners.

But as for Cemex, "it hasn't been possible to reach an agreement," Carrizalez said. "The period expires tonight, and the next step with this business is expropriation."