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YEMEN: Al-Awlaki was drone's target

A U.S. official said in Washington on Monday a drone attack last week aimed for radical American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is active in promoting terror attacks by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. The strike by an unmanned Predator struck a car in south Yemen, killing two brothers believed to be al-Qaida militants. Al-Awlaki has been linked to attacks on America, including the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, that left 13 dead.


CHILE: Huge dam project approved

A $7-billion project to dam two of the world's wildest rivers for electricity won environmental approval Monday despite a groundswell of opposition. A commission of political appointees in President Sebastian Piñera's government concluded a three-year review by approving five dams on the Baker and Pascua rivers in Aysen, a mostly roadless region of remote southern Patagonia where rivers plunge from Andean glaciers to the Pacific Ocean through green valleys and fjords. Supporters say the economic benefits of the dam project justify carving roads through the remaining wilderness. Only three dozen families would be relocated, but the dams would drown 14,000 acres, require carving clear-cuts through forests, and eliminate white water rapids and waterfalls that attract ecotourism. They also would destroy habitat for the endangered Southern Huemul deer, a national symbol.


FRANCE: Museum frees Maori head

The mummified and tattooed head of a Maori has been returned to New Zealand after 136 years in a Normandy museum, a belated gesture to restore dignity to the first of 16 such human heads once displayed as exotic curiosities. Representatives of the native Maori people sang traditional songs during an elaborate ceremony at Rouen City Hall to hand over the head to New Zealand diplomats, the first to be returned from of a total of 16 in France. The indigenous Maori believe their ancestors' remains should be respected in their home area without being disturbed.

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