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World datelines

Cambodia

PHNOM PENH — Cambodia's royalist FUNCINPEC party on Thursday named Prince Norodom Sirivudh, who was convicted of plotting to kill Prime Minister Hun Sen in 1995, as its secretary-general.

China

BEIJING — China said Wednesday that followers of the outlawed Falun Gong sect hanged themselves in a mass suicide at a prison camp, but the sect claimed the inmates were tortured to death. Reports of the number of dead of ranged from three to 15, with the number differing even among government officials.

Indonesia

JAKARTA — Indonesian police on Thursday shot dead five ninja-style assailants who raided a village in the country's east two days after more than a dozen people were slaughtered by attackers wearing black masks.

Iran

TEHRAN — A 35-year-old Iranian woman was hanged in public for murder, the official IRNA news agency said on Thursday. The woman had been found guilty of murdering a 65-year-old woman in the western town of Kouhdasht four years ago.

Israel

JERUSALEM — An Israeli hospital has become the first to orally deliver insulin to the bloodstream of healthy humans, an advance researchers said on Thursday may soon improve the lives of 135 million diabetics worldwide.

Japan

TOKYO — Three strong earthquakes struck near a small island south of Tokyo in an interval of about 10 hours Thursday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

TOKYO — A man walked in the front door of Japan's Foreign Ministry on Thursday and began spraying a fire extinguisher in an apparent protest over a recent embezzlement scandal.

Mexico

TOLUCA — A wave of crimes committed by police led a Mexican governor to call for the death penalty for corrupt police officers.

MEXICO CITY — About 100 people protested Wednesday outside the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, carrying coffins representing thousands of Mexicans who have died trying to cross into the United States.

Nigeria

LAGOS — Legislators exchanged blows and pulled guns on each other in a Nigerian state assembly when a debate on a vigilante group turned into a brawl, the semiofficial Daily Times reported on Thursday.

Northern Ireland

PORTADOWN — Protestant extremists claimed responsibility Wednesday for slaying a Catholic teenager, as Northern Ireland feared a descent into more widespread violence over this weekend's disputed Protestant parade in Portadown.

Scotland

EDINBURGH — Celebrations for the fifth birthday of Dolly the sheep were put on ice on Thursday because the research farm that is home to the world's first cloned mammal is still under foot and mouth quarantine.

Sri Lanka

COLOMBO — An estimated 12 Tamil rebels were killed on Thursday in a Sri Lankan army offensive in the north of the country, military officials said.

South Africa

KEMPTON PARK — Heavily armed South African police on Thursday arrested dozens of black squatters on land near Johannesburg illegally sold by an opposition party.

South Korea

SEOUL — A helicopter slammed into an electricity tower and plunged into the sea Thursday, killing eight people, including the head of South Korea's third-largest steel company, police said. Four people were injured.

Switzerland

LUCERNE — A male nurse at a home for the elderly has admitted to killing nine women afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, judicial authorities said Thursday.

Taiwan

TAIPEI — Taiwan prosecutors on Thursday charged a former navy commander-in-chief and eight other retired officers with corruption for their purported roles in multibillion dollar arms scandals that have shaken the military.

Turkey

ISTANBUL — A former prisoner has starved to death, bringing to 27 the number of inmates and relatives who have died in a hunger strike protesting Turkey's new maximum-security prisons, a rights group said Thursday.

Vietnam

HANOI — At least 25 people have been killed and more were reported missing after floods caused by heavy rains from a tropical storm swept mountainous provinces of northern Vietnam.