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WORLD BRIEFS


SAUDI ARABIA: 113 al-Qaida suspects rounded up

The Interior Ministry said Wednesday it had foiled several planned attacks on oil installations with the arrests of 113 suspected al-Qaida militants in a five-month-long sweep. Many of the suspects had come to Saudi Arabia on visas to visit holy sites or by sneaking across its borders, but wanted to join and organize attacks with al-Qaida, the ministry said. Saudi Arabia has aggressively pursued militants since a series of attacks inside the country that began in May 2003.


CHINA: Karzai warmly greeted by Hu

Facing criticism in the West over corruption and electoral fraud, Afghan President Hamid Karzai found a more receptive audience in Beijing on Wednesday, overseeing the signing of economic agreements. While China has no troops in Afghanistan, where Karzai relies on U.S. and NATO forces to prop up his government against Taliban insurgents, its proximity and booming economy make it a valuable partner. In their meeting in the Great Hall of the People, President Hu Jintao congratulated Karzai on his re-election in August, a poll seen by the UN as deeply flawed.


Now the world leader in diabetes

China faces a whole new problem: the world's biggest diabetes epidemic. One in 10 Chinese adults have the disease and another 16 percent are on the verge of developing it, according to a new study. The finding nearly equals the U.S. rate of 11 percent and surpasses other Western nations, including Germany and Canada. The survey results, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that, with 92 million diabetics, China is now home to the most cases worldwide, overtaking India.


INDIA / BANGLADESH: Disputed tiny island disappears into sea

Global warming appears to have resolved a dispute that gunboats never could: An island midway between India and Bangladesh that became a flash point for military threats in the 1980s is now submerged under rising seas. The Bay of Bengal island, which India called New Moore Island and Bangladesh referred to as South Talpatti, has ceased to exist, the Jadavpur University's School of Oceanic Studies in New Delhi declared this week. The island peaked at 1.3 miles long and 1.1 miles wide.

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