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World datelines


CANBERRA — The Australian government refused on Saturday to bow to demands from a group of about 150 hunger strikers at one of the country's controversial camps for illegal immigrants, of whom 58 have sewn their lips together.

SYDNEY — Australian authorities have failed to gain consular access to an Australian citizen they believe is being held in Egypt as a suspected al-Qaida member, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.


LA PAZ — Seven Bolivians died, including a policeman and soldier tortured and murdered by "narcoguerillas," as poor farmers protested an army crackdown on the illegal sale of coca leaves, police said Friday.


RIO DE JANEIRO — At least one person has died in Rio de Janeiro of hemorrhagic dengue fever amid an outbreak of the mosquito-borne viral disease following heavy rains in Brazil the past month, authorities said Friday.


BEIJING — China has issued its most intrusive Internet controls to date, ordering service providers to screen private e-mail for political content and holding them responsible for subversive postings on their Web sites.


LOS POZOS — Foreign diplomats met with Colombian government and rebel leaders Friday to hammer out a timeline for peace talks, while government officials assessed the damage from a wave of guerrilla attacks.


KINSHASA — Congo's president said Friday the body of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko would be repatriated from Morocco, where he fled after being overthrown in 1997. Mobutu died of prostate cancer in Morocco in September 1997.


LONDON — Saved from the soup bowl, 68 Asian freshwater turtles have found homes in British zoos as part of an international rescue effort that began in Hong Kong. The creatures were among a cargo of 10,000 starving and thirsty turtles that was seized in Hong Kong last month and placed in the care of the Turtle Survival Alliance.

LONDON — A woman was arrested in London in an investigation of a bombing campaign by Irish Republican Army dissidents, police said Friday.


BAGHDAD — Iraq says it has received less than half of the medical supplies it ordered under the 10 phases of the U.N. oil-for-food program, an Iraqi newspaper reported Friday.


TOKYO — Police freed a woman held hostage for nearly five hours at a television station in western Japan and arrested her knife-wielding captor Friday, the broadcaster and police said.


MEXICO CITY — Veronica Flores has been sitting in a drab Mexico City public hospital room for three weeks, refusing to leave until police find her infant daughter, stolen from her arms when she was 2 days old.

New Zealand

WELLINGTON — Six people were killed Saturday when their sightseeing plane slammed into a mountain in southern New Zealand, officials said.


LIMA — Hundreds of indigenous tribespeople armed with shotguns, machetes and bows and arrows besieged nonnative settlers in a remote corner of Peru's northern jungle Friday after dozens of people may have been killed in a clash over land, officials said.


MOSCOW — A trial began Friday against three top officials from Russia's elite paramilitary police charged with criminal negligence in a Chechnya friendly-fire accident that killed 22 soldiers and injured 31.

MOSCOW — Seven Russian soldiers died and three others were seriously wounded when a troop truck was blown apart in the center of a southern Russian city Friday, Interfax news agency said.


MADRID — German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar agreed Friday on the need to push forward with economic reforms to boost the competitiveness of the European Union.


VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II, known for his jet travel around the world, is shifting to a train for a trip to Assisi next week.


CARACAS — Venezuelan authorities said they seized more than a ton of marijuana at gunpoint Friday after they intercepted a smuggler's van in the eastern state of Zulia en route from Colombia.