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YEMEN: Purge of ex-leader's kin

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi removed his predecessor's son and nephews from powerful security posts on Wednesday in the most dramatic step yet in sidelining old regime figures, according to the nation's state-run media. Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down in early 2012 after more than a year of protests against his rule, placed relatives and loyalists in top military and government posts over his 33-year rule. Fireworks went off in the capital, San'a, and the second largest city, Taiz, after the announcement. Hadi, Saleh's vice president, took over in a power transfer brokered by powerful Gulf neighbors and backed by the United States. Hadi effectively ordered Saleh's son and two nephews to leave the country by posting them abroad.

CUBA: Cooperating with the U.S.

Cuba and the United States may be longtime enemies with a bucket overflowing with grievances, but the fast return of a Florida couple who fled U.S. authorities with their two kidnapped children shows the Cold War enemies are capable of remarkable cooperation on many issues. Joshua Michael Hakken and his wife, Sharyn, are accused of kidnapping their young sons from the custody of Sharyn's parents and sailing with them to Havana. Cuba promptly informed the State Department of the couple's weekend arrival on the island, and worked with U.S. officials to send the family home swiftly. They arrived Wednesday in Tampa to be put in jail.

JAPAN: Nuclear plant's woes continue

A rat causing a power outage by short-circuiting a temporary switchboard. Another blackout occurring as workers install anti-rat nets. Holes in the linings of huge underground tanks leaking radioactive water. The crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi plant has run into multiple problems recently that highlight its precarious state more than two years after its reactors melted down in a devastating earthquake and tsunami. A makeshift system of pipes, tanks and power cables meant to carry cooling water into the melted reactors and spent fuel pools inside shattered buildings remains highly vulnerable, Nuclear Regulation Authority chairman Shunichi Tanaka acknowledged Wednesday.

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