WORLD: Obama: Role of West remains in world events

Obama: Role of West remains in world events

LONDON — Offering reassurance and resolve, President Barack Obama stood in the historic grandeur of Westminster Hall and served notice to England and the world that the growing influence of countries like China, India and Brazil in no way dictates a diminished global role for America and its European allies.

‘‘The time for our leadership is now,’’ Obama declared to members of Parliament, who for the first time gave an American president the honor of addressing them from the 900-year-old hall where great and gruesome moments in British history have played out.

‘‘If we fail to meet that responsibility, who would take our place, and what kind of world would we pass on?’’ the president asked.

Yemen leader won’t leave

SANAA, Yemen — Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh vowed Wednesday he would not step down or allow his impoverished nation to become a ‘‘failed state’’ even as urban combat between government troops and armed tribesmen engulfed parts of the capital.

Both sides raised the specter of civil war as the three-day death toll rose to at least 69. The latest violence comes just days after a failed Arab mediation effort to end the three-month uprising and ease Saleh from power.

UN takes aim at Syria violence

UNITED NATIONS — Key European nations circulated a draft United Nations resolution Wednesday that would condemn Syria for its crackdown on peaceful protesters and appeal for an end to the violence, U.N. diplomats said.

Britain, France, Germany and Portugal sent the draft text to all other members on the 15-nation Security Council.

Brazil delays anti-homophobia campaign

SAO PAULO — Brazil’s president suspended an anti-homophobia campaign Wednesday that had been planned to begin at schools this year because she thought the videos and pamphlets weren’t appropriate for children.

Presidential secretary Gilberto Carvalho met with legislators representing religious groups that have opposed the campaign and emerged to say the leader decided to delay the program.