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World datelines

Australia: Elections

CANBERRA — Leaders of Australia's two major political parties lobbied for support from independent lawmakers to stitch together the nation's first minority government since World War II after the closest elections in almost 50 years.

The final results of Saturday's vote may not be known for a week or more, but both Labor and the Liberal Party-led opposition conceded neither would achieve the 76 seats needed to form a government in the 150-seat lower chamber.

Iraq: Prison escape

BAGHDAD — Iraq's deputy justice minister acknowledged Sunday that a man convicted of killing a British aid worker in 2004 escaped from prison 11 months ago and that the government only learned of the breakout last month.

The announcement is also embarrassing for the Iraqi government because it comes a month after the family of the victim, Margaret Hassan, made the news of the escape public.

Sweden: Warrant

STOCKHOLM — Swedish prosecutors defended their handling of a rape allegation against the founder of WikiLeaks, saying Sunday that they had made no mistakes in issuing an arrest warrant and withdrawing it less than a day later.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said the short-lived warrant had damaged his group nonetheless.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said an "on-call" prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for Assange late Friday only to see it revoked the next day by a higher-ranked prosecutor, who found no grounds to suspect him of rape.

Mexico: 4 slain

CUERNAVACA — The decapitated bodies of four men were hung from a bridge Sunday in this central Mexican city besieged by fighting between two drug lords.

A gang led by kingpin Hector Beltran Leyva took responsibility for the killings in a message left with the bodies, the attorney general's office of Morelos state said in a statement.

Russia: Flag Day

MOSCOW — Police prevented about 100 opposition activists from marching through Moscow on Sunday with a giant Russian flag and detained three of their leaders, including prominent politician Boris Nemtsov.

The opposition activists were celebrating Flag Day, a holiday honoring the tricolor flag adopted by a newly democratic Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Cuba: March

HAVANA — The mother of a Cuban political prisoner who died following a hunger strike held a march in her son's honor without incident Sunday, as pro-government mobs that had broken up the demonstration for weeks stayed away.

Reina Luisa Tamayo led about 12 relatives from her home to a Roman Catholic Mass, then on to the cemetery where her son is buried, in her eastern hometown of Banes.

Her son Orlando, a political opposition activist who was jailed on an array of charges, including disrespecting authority, died Feb. 23 after a lengthy hunger strike behind bars.

Egypt: Art theft

CAIRO — None of the alarms and only seven out of 43 surveillance cameras were working at a Cairo museum where a Vincent van Gogh painting was stolen, Egypt's top prosecutor said Sunday.

Thieves made off with the canvas, known by the titles of "Poppy Flowers" and "Vase with Flowers," on Saturday from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum in the Egyptian capital.

Prosecutor general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud blamed the heist on the museum's lax security measures.