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Pope: refugees must be welcomed despite problems

Baghdad

U.S. sends dogs to search for bomb victims

The U.S. military sent search dogs Sunday to help find more than a dozen people still missing and feared dead after the country's worst bombing this year devastated a northern Iraqi town just over a week before U.S. troops are due to leave Iraq's cities. The truck bombing Saturday near Kirkuk flattened a Shiite mosque and dozens of mud-brick houses around it, killing at least 75 people. Iraqi police blamed al-Qaida in Iraq. The timetable set in a security pact calls for U.S. combat troops to withdraw from cities by June 30 in the first stage of a full withdrawal by the end of 2011.

London

Bodies of 2 British hostages identified

Two bodies handed over to British authorities in Iraq have been identified as bodyguards kidnapped in Baghdad two years ago, the government said Sunday. The Foreign Office said the two bodies were "highly likely" those of Jason Creswell from Glasgow, Scotland, and Jason Swindlehurst from Skelmersdale in northwest England. The two men worked for the Canadian security firm GardaWorld and were abducted by armed Shiite militants in May 2007.

Indianapolis

NOW elects its next president

The National Organization for Women has elected a 56-year-old Maryland woman as its next president in a close win over a rival who had been endorsed by the group's current president. NOW said Terry O'Neill was elected during the organization's three-day national conference. The group did not release totals from Saturday's vote. Current NOW president Kim Gandy retires from NOW on July 20 after eight years as the group's president. O'Neill, who has taught law at Tulane University, was NOW's vice president for membership from 2001-05.

Rome

Welcome refugees, Benedict urges

Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday that countries must continue receiving refugees while also addressing the causes that drive so many people from their homes. Italy has enacted a controversial accord with Libya under which it turns back Libyan refugees intercepted at sea before they can reach Italian shores to apply for asylum. Vatican officials, the U.N. refugee agency and aid groups have denounced the new policy. Benedict did not specify Italy in his comments marking U.N. World Refugee Day, which was observed Saturday, making his appeal more general to all countries that deal with refugees.

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

More troops sent to border city

Another 1,500 troops have been deployed to the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, where homicides related to the drug trade have surged in recent weeks. The extra soldiers will begin patrolling the city today, said Enrique Torres Valadez, the spokesman for the joint security operation of soldiers and state police in Ciudad Juarez. The troops arrived Saturday night in the city across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Elsewhere

Sao Paulo, Brazil: Medical examiners have identified the first 11 of 50 bodies recovered from the Air France flight that plunged into the Atlantic three weeks ago, officials said Sunday. Five bodies were identified as Brazilian men, five as Brazilian women and one as a male foreigner.

Times wires

Pope: refugees must be welcomed despite problems 06/21/09 [Last modified: Sunday, June 21, 2009 11:14pm]

    

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