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WORLD NEWS BRIEFS

VIETNAM / Maritime drill set after clash

A squabble over territory in the South China Sea escalated Friday when Vietnam announced a live ammunition drill in an apparent response to China's demand to halt all oil exploration in the area. The verbal clash by the two communist neighbors follows a similar one between China and Philippines earlier in the week. Vietnam said Friday it would carry out two exercises totaling nine hours Monday off the country's central Quang Nam province.

YEMEN / Thousands protest Saleh

Nearly 100,000 Yemenis protested Friday in a main square in San'a, demanding the president's ouster in the biggest rally since Ali Abdullah Saleh left for Saudi Arabia after he was wounded in a June 3 attack on his palace. Saleh's evacuation for medical treatment has thrown Yemen into a dangerous political standoff, but Saleh's allies say he could return within days.

JAPAN / Officials eye nuke plant

Japan's nuclear safety officials reprimanded the operator of Japan's tsunami-damaged power plant Friday and demanded an investigation of how two workers were exposed to radiation more than twice a government-set limit. The government also ordered the utility to reduce workers' risks of heat-related illnesses as concerns grow about the health risks faced by workers at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

GERMANY / Sprouts officially culprit

After a month of testing thousands of vegetables, simple detective work has led to the source of the world's deadliest E. coli outbreak. The culprit: German-grown sprouts. German health officials said Friday that sprouts from a farm in northern Germany caused the outbreak that has killed 31 people. On Friday, authorities lifted the warning against eating cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce, and Russia agreed to remove its ban on vegetable imports. Meanwhile, U.S. health officials on Friday raised the number of U.S. cases linked to the European outbreak to five.

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