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PANDA RING SNARED: Police in northwestern China have confiscated three skins from endangered giant pandas and arrested 12 people peddling them, the government news agency reported Tuesday. Only about 1,000 giant pandas remain in the wild, mostly in the bamboo forests of mountainous southwestern China. China has previously executed panda poachers.

CHICKEN SURVIVES: Six Egyptians, including four from the same family, drowned when they jumped into a well to save a chicken, the newspaper al-Ahram reported Tuesday. The daily said the chicken fell into a farmer's well in the village of Nazlet Emara in Sohag province. The farmer's 18-year-old son quickly dived in to try to save it but slipped and drowned. His two brothers and sister, aged 20, 16 and 14 respectively, jumped in one after the other to save the bird but all met the same fate, the paper added. Two neighbors who came to the rescue also drowned. A police team that removed the corpses from the well found the chicken alive.

Across the nation

LIBRARIAN FINED: A longtime librarian with sticky fingers was fined $2,500 for stealing 5,000 books, magazines and videotapes from a library in Upper Arlington, Ohio. Carol Van Swearingen, 52, pleaded guilty Monday, saying books overran her life. In addition to the fine, Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Dale Craw-ford ordered her to complete 160 hours of community service and two years' probation in addition to continued psychological counseling.

PEPSI RECALL: Pepsi-Cola Co. recalled several batches of soft drinks in Southern California after metal was found in a can from its plant in Torrance. The Food and Drug Administration notified Pepsi on Thursday that a "metal object" was found in the can, company spokesman Jeff Brown said Monday. Consumers were urged to return cans of Pepsi and Strawberry Slice bearing these codes: 1800 FW 071154 to 2359 FW 071154 and 0000 FW 071254 to 0400 FW 071254.