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MBABANE — Swaziland will ban miniskirts in schools to try to halt the spread of AIDS, a government official said on Tuesday.


LONDON — Violent crime in Britain has risen 16 percent over the past year, statistics released on Tuesday showed — and the country's top law enforcement official blamed the increase on alcohol abuse.


HELSINKI — Finland's former President Martti Ahtisaari has declined an offer to become a candidate to be the next United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, his staff said Tuesday.


KUALA LUMPUR — The judge in the sex trial of Malaysia's former finance minister Anwar Ibrahim said Tuesday he would give his verdict Aug. 4, ending more than a year of legal battle that shook the nation's political foundations.


TEHRAN — Iran has eased the Islamic dress code for schoolgirls in Tehran, making way for "bright, happy colors" in place of the traditional black.


ISTANBUL — Kurdish guerrilla leader Abdullah Ocalan, awaiting execution in a Turkish jail, has urged his followers to lay down their arms and pick up the works of Goethe and Shakespeare.


BEIJING — China denied on Tuesday that it had barred British detectives probing the deaths of 58 illegal immigrants in a tomato truck and said it was making preparations for their arrival.


PHNOM PENH — A former Khmer Rouge rebel was acquitted on Tuesday of involvement in the kidnapping and murder of three foreign tourists, provoking an angry response from relatives of the victims.

Saudi Arabia

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia on Tuesday beheaded three Saudi men convicted of murder and two Pakistanis, including a woman, convicted of smuggling heroin.


ISLAMABAD — A severe earthquake jolted northern Pakistan and Afghanistan early on Tuesday, killing at least two people in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, officials said.

Sri Lanka

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka, which often accuses Tamil Tigers of using children to fight government troops, said on Tuesday the rebels were sending old people to the front line.


DUSHANBE — Tajik security forces have detained four people suspected of last week slaying a family of 11, including seven children who were stabbed to death.


FRANKFURT — An ailing German woman, held hostage by Philippine rebels for 12 weeks, arrived back in Germany on Tuesday and was taken to a hospital.


MANILA — Rescue workers on Tuesday dug up two more bodies from under an avalanche of garbage that buried a Philippine shanty town, raising the death toll to 202.


SAO PAULO — Florida Gov. Jeb Bush kicked off a three-day visit here in the company of 200 executives hoping fostering greater business opportunities between their state and South America's largest country.


KIGALI — Six years after hundreds of thousands of people were slaughtered in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the government has begun a census to work out exactly how many were killed.


MOSCOW — The chief of Russia's association of Caucasus people, Yusup Soslambekov, was shot and seriously wounded Tuesday in front of his apartment building in Moscow, police said.