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WORLD BRIEFS


AFGHANISTAN: Bombs kill 15 civilians

A station wagon carrying a family of civilians struck a roadside bomb in the north Sunday, killing all nine aboard, an official said. The day before, six were killed when their minivan hit a roadside bomb in Sangin district in southern Helmand, where international forces have been taking heavy casualties while battling the insurgency.


IRAN: 'Binge' of executions alleged

Authorities have unleashed an "execution binge" with an average rate of one person hanged every eight hours since the beginning of the year, a New York-based rights group monitoring the Islamic Republic said Sunday. Aaron Rhodes, a spokesman for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said at least 47 prisoners have been hanged since Jan. 1, including a reported Kurdish activist accused of fighting against the state.


AUSTRALIA: Floods now menace south

Record floods were predicted in several rural communities Monday as rivers swollen from upstream rain flowed heavily into southern states. Floodwaters were expected to drown out highways and isolate dozens of towns in northeastern Victoria state. State Emergency Services spokeswoman Natasha Duckett warned that the town of Horsham could face a major flood during Monday's expected peak of the Wimmera River, and electricity supplier Powercor was sandbagging its substation there to ensure it remained dry.


BRITAIN: Royal bride's title unknown

If you're invited to the royal wedding, don't go buying Kate Middleton an engraved gift - the poor woman doesn't know yet what her title's going to be. She will be a princess, possibly a duchess, perhaps even a countess. But the exact title is unlikely to be divulged until shortly before April 29, the day she officially joins "the firm," as the British royal family is known. Royal aides say, meanwhile, that Middleton and Prince William are considering asking guests to make donations to charity instead of sending them wedding gifts.

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