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Around the world

RESCUERS STOPPED: Fear of deadly gases stopped rescuers from entering a coal mine Monday where 11 men were trapped by an explosion 850 feet underground in central Brisbane, Australia. Rescuers wouldn't enter the Moura mine until Tuesday morning at the earliest, mine officials said Monday. Crews were boring toward a tunnel where the men were trapped to determine if it contained poisonous or explosive gases. There had been no contact with the miners since the explosion late Sunday.INAUGURAL: Colombian President Ernesto Samper challenged other countries to do more in the war on cocaine trafficking, saying in his inaugural speech that Colombians have grown weary of drug violence. "We feel alone when we see how international drug consumption is rising," said Samper, who faces accusations his campaign took millions of dollars from the Cali cocaine cartel.

BANNED: South Korea is trying to reduce waste by banishing wooden toothpicks from restaurants. The proposal is meant to increase the use of leftovers as animal feed. Animals have been injured, and sometimes killed, by inadvertently swallowing toothpicks mixed in with the food. The new regulation also would limit the use of vinyl wrap on all items excluding meat, fish and vegetables.

Across the nation

SHOOTING: A woman depressed over her family's poverty is charged with shooting her 5-year-old daughter in the head and killing the child's 8-year-old playmate as the girls lay in bed. She turned the .22-caliber rifle on herself, but her husband woke and wrestled it away from her, deputies in Orlando, Fla., said. "I think she knew what she had done, but she was incoherent," sheriff's spokesman Carlos Espinosa said. "She was very confused."

In Washington

INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: Attorney General Janet Reno is expected to seek the appointment this week of an independent counsel to complete a government investigation of Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy's contacts with an Arkansas poultry producer, Justice Department officials say. The documents requesting a special panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington to make the appointment have been awaiting Reno's signature for a couple of days, according to officials, who spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity.