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Adelaide (Australia) (AFP) - Mitchell Johnson said on Saturday Australia want to "cook" England a bit more in the field before going after another landslide win over England in the second Ashes Test. Johnson, still sporting his drooping moustache, was the destroyer with seven for 40 bringing England to their knees and leaving them facing a mounting 530-run deficit as Australia look to go two-up in the five-Test series against the Ashes holders. England could not handle Johnson's sheer pace as the left-arm speedster carried on from his man-of-the-match Brisbane performance to put the tourists once again on the rack.
North Korea Saturday released a detained American veteran of the Korean War as US Vice President Joe Biden visited the world's last Cold War frontier. US officials said Merrill Newman, an 85-year-old from California, headed home after arriving in Beijing. North Korea deported him "from a humanitarian viewpoint", its official Korean Central News Agency said, citing his "sincere repentance" as well as his age and health condition. His release came hours before Biden visited the demilitarised zone which has split the Korean peninsula since the 1950-1953 Korean War.
By Natalia Zinets and Matt Robinson KIEV (Reuters) - Pro-Europe protesters accused Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich on Saturday of planning to seal a customs union with former Soviet master Moscow this month, a move that would stoke further turmoil in Kiev. One opposition leader said returning to Moscow's economic fold could even endanger the unity of Ukraine, a sprawling country of 46 million that borders four European Union member states and is the main transit route for Russian gas to Europe. The Moscow and Kiev governments both denied Yanukovich and Russia's President Vladimir Putin had discussed the customs union in unannounced talks on Friday in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Christians fearing reprisal attacks from the Muslim ex-rebels who control Central African Republic fled on foot by the thousands Saturday, as others ventured outside for the first in time in days only to bury their dead after the worst violence to rack the lawless country in months.
By David Alexander MANAMA (Reuters) - Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel told Gulf Arab leaders on Saturday that the United States has a proven and enduring commitment to Middle East security, backed by diplomatic engagement as well as warplanes, ships, tanks, artillery and 35,000 troops. The U.S. defense secretary, speaking at a regional security forum, acknowledged Gulf leaders' concerns about the direction of U.S. policy in the Middle East, especially negotiations on Iran's nuclear program. But he said the U.S. emphasis on diplomacy should not be misinterpreted. Leaders in the region fear that the United States will lose focus on the Middle East as it strategically rebalances to Asia.
A new documentary shines a worrying and grisly light on a growing Latino pop culture phenomenon in the United States inspired by the deadly drug violence which has ravaged neighboring Mexico. "Narco Cultura" depicts the "narco clubs" of the southern and southwestern US, from Los Angeles to Atlanta, where fans come to hear popular music glorifying Mexico's drug cartels. Mexico's "narcocorridos," as the ballads are called, are catchy, up-tempo odes to a dangerous, often deadly, criminal life -- likened to America's violence filled "gangsta rap" music. The film by Israeli-American photographer Shaul Schwarz contrasts the grim life of a crime scene investigator in Ciudad Juarez, one of Mexico's most violence-torn cities, with the glamour of a top narcocorrido singer from Los Angeles.
By Martin Petty and Amy Sawitta Lefevre BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ruled out a political comeback for her influential self-exiled brother on Saturday and said an unpopular amnesty bill that would have allowed him to return has been scrapped, permanently. Yingluck said neither Thaksin Shinawatra, the divisive former premier at the center of Thailand's eight years of on-off political turmoil, nor the billionaire Shinawatra family were power hungry and all wanted the country to be democratic and at peace. Anti-government protesters have been on the streets for weeks, clashing with police and vowing to oust Yingluck and eradicate Thaksin's influence in a final push on Monday. "Right now, I don't think he wants to continue with politics, he would like to see fairness to everyone to make sure that we can work together and find a long-term solution for Thailand," Yingluck said of her brother in an interview with foreign reporters.
By David Alexander KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Afghanistan for a weekend visit on Saturday but had no plans to meet President Hamid Karzai amid tensions over his refusal to sign a deal governing the post-2014 U.S. military presence, a senior U.S. official said. Hagel was expected to visit U.S. and international troops across the country and to hold talks with Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi and Interior Minister Umer Daudzai, a Pentagon spokesman, Carl Woog, said in a statement. A senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Hagel did not expect to meet Karzai amid the dispute over his refusal to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) recently endorsed by a loya jirga, an assembly of tribal elders and politicians. "The United States has made its position on the BSA clear," the official said.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Saturday freed an 85-year-old U.S. veteran of the Korean War after a weekslong detention, ending the saga of Merrill Newman's attempt to visit the North as a tourist six decades after he oversaw a group of South Korean wartime guerrillas still loathed by Pyongyang.
By Ed Stoddard and Ed Cropley JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Sports-mad South Africa saluted Nelson Mandela on Saturday with smiles and moments of silence in honour of the late anti-apartheid leader, who inspired people to pursue the impossible from politics to the playing field. The tributes stretched across the sporting spectrum, from club cricket and fun runs to top fixtures such as a League Cup final between Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates, the Soweto giants believed to have been Mandela's favourite soccer side. Saturday's Cup final will be preceded by a ceremony in honour of South Africa's first black president, whose early sporting prowess, particularly boxing and soccer, was cut short when he was jailed for 27 years by the apartheid government. On Saturday, many recalled Mandela's central role in arguably South Africa's greatest sporting triumph - winning the 1995 rugby World Cup just one year after the multi-racial elections that ended decades of white-minority rule.
By Emmanuel Braun BANGUI (Reuters) - The Central Africa Republic's shaky interim authorities on Saturday ordered all forces except foreign peacekeepers and the presidential guard off the streets of Bangui, where gunfire has eased but attacks on civilians have continued. Clashes resumed in Bossangoa, about 300 km (190 miles) north of Bangui, a day after an African peacekeeper was killed there, a witness there said. The order for gunmen to return to barracks in Bangui, read on national radio, came as France dispatched 1,200 troops to the country, where at least 300 people have died in two days of violence in which rival militias clashed and then wholescale killings between Muslims and Christians began. But the atrocities are inside the neighbourhoods," said Amy Martin, head of the U.N. Officer for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA.