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World datelines

Argentina

BUENOS AIRES — Guido Di tella, the Argentine foreign minister who helped mend relations with Britain after the 1982 Falkland Islands war, died Monday at age 70. Family members said Di tella, also a former ambassador to the United States, suffered a stroke at his country home and was taken to a Buenos Aires hospital where he died.

Austria

INNSBRUCK — Former president and U.N. chief Kurt Waldheim has been hospitalized after a fall at an Austrian resort, a hospital spokesman said. Austrian state radio said Waldheim, 83, fell and suffered a facial injury Tuesday at Going, a ski resort in the western province of Tyrol.

China

BEIJING — A member of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement detained in western China has died after a hunger strike, a hospital administrator said. Wan Guifu, 57, died Dec. 18 at the hospital of the Dashaping labor camp in the city of Lanzhou, said the administrator, contacted by telephone. The death added to a mounting loss of life among Falun Gong members since the group was outlawed in July 1999 as a threat to communist rule.

Indonesia

JAKARTA — Indonesia's staunchly Muslim territory Aceh has formally implemented Islamic Sharia law as part of an autonomy package but many see the move as unlikely to end decades of bloodshed there. Aceh Gov. Abdullah Puteh said the territory had formally implemented the Sharia law as of Tuesday as part of the special autonomy package extended to the province last year.

Nepal

KATMANDU — Soldiers gunned down seven Maoist rebels as authorities stepped up security here in the capital ahead of a South Asian summit that gets under way later this week, the defense ministry said. The ministry said five guerrillas were killed on Tuesday in a gunbattle with security forces in Kanchanpur district in far west Nepal.

Northern Ireland

BELFAST — A gang stabbed a man as he tried to stop them from damaging a parked car in one of the most divided communities in Belfast, police said. The 43-year-old man was attacked outside his home on the Catholic side of Limestone Road, neighbors said. The victim, who wasn't identified, was reported in stable condition at a Belfast hospital after being slashed in the head, shoulder and hands. Police said they had made no arrests.

Philippines

MANILA — The president assured a visiting U.S. congressman that her government is doing everything possible to rescue an American missionary couple held hostage by Muslim extremists, an official said. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo met Tuesday with Rep. Todd Tiahrt after he was briefed by the Philippine military about efforts to rescue Martin and Gracia Burnham of Wichita, Kan., said Press Undersecretary Roberto Capco.

Russia

MOSCOW — Chechen rebels said government soldiers had killed 10 civilians in the breakaway Russian republic while scores of Russian troops had died in recent clashes. The www.kavkaz.org Internet site said six women and a 1-year-old child were among 10 people killed by grenades fired by Russian soldiers overnight in the village of Tsatsan-Yurt.

South Africa

JOHANNESBURG — Nelson Mandela said he had backed down from the full support he gave President Bush for a bombing campaign in Afghanistan, adding that his views may have offended some. Mandela gave the U.S. leader his "unreserved support" in November for U.S. action in Afghanistan in retaliation for the Sept. 11 attacks.

Thailand

BANGKOK — The teen twins who led the Myanmar rebel group God's Army have been discreetly moved from a Thai police base to a camp for ethnic Karen refugees on the Thai-Myanmar border, officials said. Johnny and Luther Htoo, 13, had been staying in a cramped two-story house at the police base in Ratchaburi province since they surrendered to Thailand last January after their three-year jungle rebellion against the Myanmar military regime crumbled. Like other refugees, the Htoos are confined to the camp but have freedom of movement.

Turkey

ISTANBUL — A Turkish inmate on Wednesday became the 43rd person to die in a yearlong hunger strike by leftists protesting Turkey's new maximum security prison system. Ali Camyar, 32, died in hospital in Izmir after fasting for more than seven months, the prisoners solidarity group Ozgur Tayad said.

Zambia

LUSAKA — Zambia swore in ruling party candidate Levy Mwanawasa as president on Wednesday as political tension mounted and heavily armed riot police were deployed to keep away opposition protesters.