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A cheap method to detect cervical cancer using vinegar, cotton gauze and a bright light could save millions of women in the developing world, experts reported Friday. The study, published in the Lancet medical journal, found a simple visual screening test to look for the early signs of cervical cancer reduced the numbers of cases by a quarter. The visual screening test is done by a nurse or trained health care worker who washes a woman's cervix with vinegar and gauze using a speculum to hold it open. After one minute, any precancerous lesions turn very white and can be seen with the naked eye under a halogen lamp. Cervical cancer causes about 250,000 deaths every year and is the second-most common cancer in women.


Raise your fists, president asks

President Evo Morales, above, on Thursday asked Bolivians to raise their left fists in the air during the national anthem in solidarity with the country's indigenous majority. Morales' supporters favor a broader use of indigenous icons in the government, arguing that existing "colonial" symbols do not best represent the country's Inca heritage.


Group says human rights vows unkept

One year before the start of the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government has failed to live up to promises of greater human rights and has instead clamped down on domestic activists and journalists, Human Rights Watch said Thursday. China has cracked down to stave off potential political instability, the human rights group said. "The government seems afraid that its own citizens will embarrass it by speaking out about political and social problems, but China's leaders apparently don't realize authoritarian crackdowns are even more embarrassing," Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch said in a statement.


India: Monsoon rains have inundated wide swaths of northern India and neighboring Bangladesh, killing at least 166 people and washing away villages and farmland that 19-million people depend on, officials said.

Congo: A passenger train derailed in central Congo after its brakes failed and eight cars tumbled off the tracks, killing about 100 people, officials said Thursday.

Lebanon: Lebanon's most senior Shiite Muslim cleric issued a religious edict Thursday banning honor killings, calling the custom of murdering a female relative for sexual misconduct "a repulsive act."