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HIJACKING ENDS ON CANARY ISLANDS

MADRID

An armed man who hijacked a Mauritanian jetliner to Spain's Canary Islands on Thursday was overpowered by passengers and crew before he was arrested by police who boarded the plane shortly after it landed, government and airline officials said.

Twenty-one of the 71 passengers - who were mostly Spaniards and Mauritanians - aboard the Air Mauritania 737 were treated for slight injuries.

Mauritania's top police official, said the hijacker was a Moroccan from Western Sahara who wanted to immigrate to France.

BEIJING

Bogus ant scheme earns death sentence

A Chinese business executive was sentenced to death for swindling $385-million from investors in a bogus ant-breeding scheme, a court official said Thursday.

Wang Zhendong, chairman of Yingkou Donghua Trading Group Co., had promised returns of up to 60 percent for buying kits of ants and breeding equipment, the reports said.

Wang drew in more than 10,000 investors between 2002 and 2005, People's Daily reported.

Elsewhere

HAVANA: Fidel Castro's eldest son and namesake said Thursday that his father's comeback from intestinal surgery has been "satisfactory" and that he could recover completely. "As Raul said officially, as well as other leaders: His state of health is progressing in a satisfactory and sustained manner," Fidel Castro Diaz Balart told reporters.

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin on Thursday dismissed the president of the war-battered republic of Chechnya and named widely feared Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov as acting president.

CANNES, FRANCE: Looking to end the crisis in Darfur, France won agreement from three nations that they would not support armed rebel movements on each other's territories. Sudan, Chad and Central African Republic signed a declaration Thursday.

UNITED NATIONS: The Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to extend the U.N. mission in Haiti for eight months after a deal between the United States and China on the length of the mandate. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan recommended that the 8,800-strong mission be extended for one year.

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