Multinational makers of candies and cookies sought to reassure consumers Tuesday that their products contain no tainted milk from China. But the World Health Organization warned that melamine-laced infant formula is subject to possible international smuggling. China's government appeared to confirm that the risks of consuming the tainted dairy products deliberately were suppressed from last December until June.
Kidnappers who seized 11 European tourists and their guides in Egypt are demanding a $15 million ransom, the official MENA news agency said Tuesday. The Tourism Ministry said German government officials were negotiating with the kidnappers, believed to be local tribesmen, but that could not be confirmed. Egypt has a history of attacks against tourists, but this incident is considered unusual because it took place at a remote site that is not visited often by foreigners.
A Palestinian teenager was shot dead Monday night after driving at high speed into a crowd of pedestrians at a busy intersection in Jerusalem. Nineteen people were hurt in the incident, the third of its type in three months. The Jerusalem Post cited the Maan Palestinian news agency as saying the driver was a member of Hamas. Police said he decided to act after his marriage proposal was rejected by a cousin.
Personnel files on thousands of communist rebels in Colombia have been found on a computer hard drive, a news report said. It said the names, aliases, photos, and identification card numbers of Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) members were stored in a computer seized in a clash between government forces and the rebels in February. The files also indicate to which FARC unit each rebel was assigned.
More than 9,000 prison inmates were granted amnesty Tuesday by the military government of Burma (Myanmar), among them leading democracy activist Win Tin. A state-controlled newspaper said they were freed so they can "contribute to the building of a new nation." Win Tin, a cofounder with Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi of the National League for Democracy, had been behind bars for 19 years. He told reporters, "I will continue with politics, as I am a politician."
Flags flew at half-staff across Finland Tuesday after the second shooting spree at a school in less than a year. Reports said a student killed nine classmates of his vocational college 180 miles northwest of Helsinki, and then himself. An eleventh student was wounded. Police reportedly questioned the gunman less than 24 hours earlier after seeing videos he'd posted on YouTube of himself firing a weapon but had no grounds to arrest him. Last Nov. 7, a high school student shot eight classmates to death before killing himself. .
In a bid to salvage his fragile unity government, Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme canceled plans to attend the opening session of the UN General Assembly in New York. Leterme lost the support Sunday of a Flemish nationalist party, and if the Christian Democrats follow suit, the collapse of his coalition would be difficult to avoid, analysts said. Leterme tried to resign in July over his inability to reconcile Belgium's Dutch- and French- speaking regions. But King Albert II rejected his request.
Relentless monsoon rains and heavy flooding were blamed for 44 more deaths in northern and eastern India Tuesday, bringing the total since last weekend to 163. Still more rain was predicted across the region through Sunday. In Orissa State alone, more than 270,000 people were being sheltered in relief camps and an estimated 200,000 others had yet to be reached by rescuers. In Uttar Pradesh, 732 towns were cut off by raging waters, authorities said.