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Kidnapped Mexican priest, who spoke out against drug gang, found shot dead

priest kidnapped, killed in MexicoA Mexican priest who was kidnapped on Monday has been found shot dead.  Officials said the body of Father Gregorio Lopez was discovered near the southwestern city of Ciudad Altamirano, reports the BBC.

Father Lopez had been seized by gunmen from a seminary where he taught. It is unclear why he has been killed.


Hamas prevents Gaza orphans visiting Israel

Gaa orphan trip barredThirty-seven children whose parents were killed in the recent Israel-Gaza conflict have been prevented by Hamas from visiting Israel on a trip organised by peace activists.

Hamas said they would have had to visit "settlements and occupied towns". The children, aged between 12 and 15 and accompanied by five adults, were turned back at the Erez crossing.

More than 2,100 people, mostly Palestinians, died in the 50-day July-August conflict, the UN said.


In U.S.-Cuba prisoner swap, mystery surrounds the unnamed 53

US-Cuba priosner swapCuba's most prominent dissidents say they have been kept in the dark by U.S. officials over a list of 53 political prisoners who will be released from jail as part of a deal to end decades of hostility between the United States and Cuba.

For years, dissident leaders have told the United States which opponents of Cuba's communist government were being jailed or harassed, but they say they were not consulted when the list of prisoners to be freed was drawn up or even told who is on it.


Italy ferry fire: Evacuation hampered by winds

greek ferry fireShips and helicopters are taking part in a major rescue operation after an Italian ferry carrying 478 people caught fire around 40 nautical miles north-west of Corfu.

The Norman Atlantic was travelling from Patras in Greece to Ancona in Italy.  Choppy seas and strong winds are hampering the rescue. Early reports that it was tilting have been denied.


Night halts search for missing plane with 162 aboard off Indonesia

air asia plane missingAircraft and ships that spent several hours searching Indonesian waters turned up no sign of an AirAsia plane that disappeared Sunday with 162 people on board in airspace possibly thick with dense storm clouds, strong winds and lightning, officials said.

Aircraft searching for AirAsia Flight 8501 called off the effort for the night and planned to resume the search Monday morning, said Achmad Toha of Indonesia's search and rescue agency. Some ships were continuing the search overnight, he said.


Palestinians arrested after firebomb attack injures Israeli girl and father

Paestinians detained in fire bomb attackTwo Palestinians suspected of throwing a firebomb that wounded an 11-year-old Israeli girl and her father have been arrested in the West Bank, the Shin Bet security service said on Saturday.

The two, including a 16-year-old, were detained overnight on Thursday, hours after the incident at Azzoun village in the north of the occupied territory, Shin Bet said in a statement.

It said the two Palestinians hid above the road separating the Maale Shomron settlement from Azzoun before throwing the petrol bomb at a car carrying the Israelis.


Oregon woman held in Timor Leste for months without charges is released

Oregon woman released from east timorA US traveler detained for months in Timor Leste has been released from prison.

Stacey Addison, 41, of Portland, was arrested in September shortly after crossing the border into the south-east Asian nation. The veterinarian was sharing a taxi with a stranger who asked the driver to stop the car so he could pick up a package. Police later stopped the vehicle, determined the package contained methamphetamine, and took everybody to the station.


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